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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

6 mins ago

Adam Browne has come a long way since he studied for a Diploma in Video and Electronic Media at EIT in 2011.

Accredited Wellington filmmaker Adam Browne, who received an award for the documentary ‘Only F**ks Pat Me On The Head’ at a New York film festival last year, says he still uses the skills he learnt at EIT eleven years ago.

In 2011 Adam completed EIT’s Diploma in Video and Electronic Media, which is now known as the NZ Diploma in Screen Production, but he has had a long academic career. He graduated with a Bachelor in Digital Media (Film) at Invercargill’s Southern Institute of Technology in 2013, and a Master of Fine Arts at Victoria University in 2018.

The documentary about Wellingtonian Jon Little who has Cerebral Palsy, was one of six films selected to be screened at the NZ International Film Festival last year. Adam went on to receive international recognition with the award for Best Cinematography at the 2021 NYC Short Documentary Film Festival.

“I was working up in Auckland when one of the directors Paul Wolffram told me about the project, the story behind it and the message that the film was trying to get across.

“The message is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a day and to engender or form empathy for people in general. So, I really connected with that.”

It is not the first accolade the 31-year-old has received since graduating in 2011, and it certainly won’t be the last.

He was a production runner for the Disney film Pete’s Dragon and won the New Zealand Cinematographers Society Gold Award for Student Cinematography in 2018 for his work on short film “Hark”. He also worked as a Colourist Assistant on Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines.

“It’s quite a hard industry to crack into and it’s not something that happens overnight but I’ve worked pretty hard to get to where I am now.”

For Adam, being able to capture the human element through his storytelling is important.

“As filmmakers, as servants to the audience or even just service to the story, it is always going to be about the people. And I think for me, the most interesting thing about cinema is human connection and human stories.”

He credits his time at EIT with teaching him the foundational technical skills needed to make it within the industry.

“I think the greatest thing about EIT is they teach you foundational technical skills of how to make a film. The theory part is important as well, but it is those fundamental practical skills EIT teaches that puts you in good stead to get into the industry.”

While he is currently focusing on cinematography and enjoys collaborating with Directors as a Director of Photography, Adam’s long term goal is to be a Writer and Director for independent productions.

“I thought that cinematography was a good choice in terms of building my chance to eventually direct because I think film is a visual medium and understanding the intricacies and the reasons why you shoot a film a certain way will put me in good stead to direct a feature or maybe a television show one day.”

EIT Screen Production Tutor Claire McCormick says it is a real pleasure to follow the ongoing success of EIT’s screen production graduates.

“This intimate short documentary manages to take the audience inside the subject’s world, very much from Jon Little’s point of view.  I am thrilled Adam has been recognised for his cinematography, which is a critical part of the film’s creative achievement.  This is another deserved award to add to Adam’s collection.”

To watch EIT graduate Adam Browne’s award-winning documentary, visit