Award winning green filmmaker travels Aotearoa, home schooling son, filming sustainable families
Award winning Nelson filmmaker, mum and passionate greenie Emma Heke and her seven year old son Connor are in Northland right now on the northern leg of a nationwide road trip, filming other families who are living the green lifestyle.
In the last three months of 2011 they captured a range of ‘green’ businesses with a family perspective from the West Coast, Southland, Otago and Canterbury; building on Emma’s success in winning a Ministry for the Environment 2011 Green Ribbon Award for her Red Heke Productions DVDs for children. Earlier this month they filmed on three locations around Wellington before heading north to film in Auckland.
“We are filming over 60 families with environmentally sustainable businesses and lifestyles to showcase the diversity of green business and dispel myths around green living,” Emma says.
“We’ll be telling the stories mainly through the eyes of the children involved and we reckon every New Zealander will be able to identify with at least one family in the film and be challenged and inspired to make a difference too.”
In Northland they will be filming Viola Organics, Kaiwaka Organics and the Borger family in Paparoa.
Emma says the trip so far has been inspirational and humbling.
“The quality of organic products, the integrity of organic business practice, the viability of the businesses – it’s all so inspiring and the footage we’ve gathered is first class,” she says. “We have a wealth of organic experts from all fields in New Zealand – overwhelmingly the message is clear that as a country we should forget about mining and fossil fuels and concentrate on getting high quality alternative energy sources,” she said. “Also, a united vision from all these people is that NZ has the potential to be a world class leader as an organic nation where we could command a world premium and our country would be truly clean and green.”
Connor is home-schooled and Emma says the trip is giving him a huge range of experiences.
“He’s made tee tree oil, milked goats, fed lambs and calves, made cheese, picked strawberries and has mastered a Canon digital SLR – most of the photos on our Facebook page are his! He’s made innumerable friends his own age, plus adults, and the depth and breadth of what he’s learning is incredible.”
Emma’s epic journey is titled Our Green Roadie and is largely self-funded. Emma rents out their home while they are away and they sell her DVDs for children along the way to pay for fuel and accommodation in camping grounds.
From all this filming will come a series of programmes aimed for prime time TV viewing and a feature-length documentary set for national and international film festivals, and Emma hopes, for community and school viewings nationwide.
“We think seeing such a variety of green lifestyles will really show people what is possible and will greatly impact on mainstream New Zealand,” she says.