The Outlook for Someday challenges young New Zealanders to make a sustainability-related film. Learn about current sustainability issues and use past films as inspiration to create your own.

Make your own films

Visit the Outlook for Someday website

The Outlook For Someday banner. Text: make change with film. Go to for filmmaking workshops and annual film challenge.

Making your own film is a great way to tell a story or express an opinion about an environmental passion or challenge.

Planning your film, writing a script, selecting your screen stars and filming and editing are all fun and creative processes you can do individually or with the help of family and friends.

Guidance on making your own film:

The DOC Big Picture Award

DOC sponsored the Outlook for Someday Big Picture Award between 2010 and 2017. These winning films focus on one or more of DOC's Big Ideas and Values.

2017 winner

Still from the Small Changes film.

'Small CHANGES',
By Waitākiri Primary School, Christchurch (9-11 years old).

The film is a futuristic docudrama showing how even the smallest changes go towards creating the vibrant future we all want to see. It's a great example of the big picture idea that people are part of the natural world. People's actions can impact both negatively and positively on the environment. Individuals, especially young people, can make a positive difference to our environment.

The film also exemplifies the big picture values of Aroha (compassion and understanding for the environment) and Manaaki (to look after/care for – being good kaitiaki/guardians for our natural world).

2016 winner

Still from the Dog Island Motu Piu film.

'Dog Island Motu Piu'
By Sarah Ridsdale (15 years old).

The film is a claymation about two young tuataras (named Tua and Tara) learning from their grandfather about how Peter Ridsdale (Sarah's uncle), who died in June 2016, founded the Dog Island Motu Piu Charitable Trust, to preserve and promote the conservation of the island.

Sarah's film exemplifies the importance of community groups working throughout the country to restore and protect our natural environments and historic places. It encapsulates DOC's Big Picture values of manaaki and aroha.

The claymation won both the DOC Big Picture Award and the BodyShop Standout Winner.

2015 winner

Still from the I Love Waiorongomai film.

'I Love Waiorongomai'
By Eva Hakaraia.

A story of community conservation in action to restore the health of Lake Waiorongomai.

This film clearly exemplifies DOC's Big Picture ideas: that Aotearoa is a special place with unique biodiversity and ecosystems, people are part of the natural world, and that the planet's diversity is critical to our survival.

2014 winner

Still from the Nature Ghosts film.

'Natures Ghosts' 
By Emma Scheltema.

Animating a story of ecology with the same simplicity and care with which we should treat our earth, this film gracefully reminds us of DOCs Big Picture Values: that everything is connected and biodiversity is critical to the survival of our planet. What we do does make a difference.

2013 winner

Still from the I'm a Little Molecule of H20 film.

I'm a Little Molecule of H2O'
Directed by 23-year-old music teacher Paascalino Schaller and his Avalon Intermediate School music students.

This film won both the Department of Conservation Big Picture Award and the Element Audience Favourite Award for 2013. It impressed the judges with its clever and relevant lyrics, cinematography and message.

"It's a fantastic, funky film that gets to grips with the Big Picture of how we are all connected to the natural world," said judging team member, Nikki Wright (DOC). "The film is a brilliant example of young people creating their own take on the issue of our day and putting it into a local context."

2012 winner

Still from the Arboraceous film.

The animated drama Arboraceous won both the DOC Big Picture Award and the Body Shop Standout Winner.

Made by sixteen-year-old school girl Natasha Bishop,Arboraceous is a playful glimpse into the future, warning us of the consequences if we do not take better care for our planet.

In 2013, Natasha took her film and message to the prestigious Japan Wildlife Film Festival and came back with two awards! 

Special award: The Greedy Little Huhu Grub
Junior students from Renwick School, Marlborough won the special award for their short film 'The Greedy Little Huhu Grub,' a drama in which a concerned tui watches as a destructively ravenous huhu grub consumes everything around him. Read the media release Award winning student film to air on national television.

2011 winners

Junior students from Renwick School, Marlborough won the special award for their short film 'The Greedy Little Huhu Grub,' a drama in which a concerned tui watches as a destructively ravenous huhu grub consumes everything around him.

View The Greedy Little Huhu Grub video on The Outlook for Someday website

Award winning student film to air on national television - media release 12 December 2011

View all the 2011 winning films on the Outlook for Someday website

2010 winners

The Kaitiaki Children and the Birds and Sam the Superworm
The Department of Conservation Biodiversity Award in 2010 was shared by two teams from Newmarket Primary School in Auckland. 

Other conservation related films

Inanga (2017)
A film that brings us along for the ride with a local community working to help inanga (whitebait).

Penguin Boxes (2017)
A documentary about community action on Great Barrier Island to help one of nature's cutest critters - the Blue Penguin.

The Demise of the Bees (2016)
An animated insight into how our survival depends on plants, pollen, nextar and our buzzy friends.

Glad to sea you're on board (2016)
An informative call to action on overfishing.

Biodiversity (2015)
A colourful depiction of our natural world and the importance of protecting species from extinction.

Whenua Finds a Future (2015)
Curious Whenua the Whio learns about his species from his DOC ranger friend.

Te Ao o te Tūturuatu (2014)
Narrated in Te Reo Māori, this painterly animation tells the story of the endangered Tūturuatu (Shore Plover) and its habitat and survival in New Zealand. In 2015, Te Ao o te Tūturuatu was among 48 nominated films for the Japan Wildlife Film Festival (JWFF) from 1853 international entries from 112 countries. Aged 12, the youngest film-maker ever to have a film selected in the 25-year history of the festival, Tōmairangi travelled to Tokyo to attend JWFF in August 2015. At the festival she received the Best Young Film-maker Award.

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