2020 Bright Awards Winners

NZ’s most creative secondary school students acknowledged in the Bright Awards.

Our annual Bright Awards, which recognise and celebrate up and coming creative talents from secondary schools around the country, have been announced, with Christchurch’s Burnside High School taking top honours – named Bright School of the Year.

The fifth annual Bright Awards sought out digital design submissions from Year 11–13 students to showcase and celebrate their creative nous in digital design and technology. Winners were handpicked for five categories on offer, including Animation, Graphic Design, Games, Web and Interactive, and Photography.

Winning students came from: Auckland’s Macleans College, Kristen School, Pakuranga College and Christchurch’s Cashmere High School & Burnside High School.

Each category winner was awarded two major cash prizes: $1,000 for the student and $3,000 for their secondary school to put towards further nurturing their students’ creative digital abilities.

We’re delighted to see such an array of inspiring work from across Aotearoa.  These awards are a great opportunity for young creatives to showcase their talent and the calibre this year is as high as ever,” said Bright Awards Head Judge and Media Design School Lecturer, Jim Murray.

None of the work on display would be possible without the support of the teachers and schools who challenge and inspire these students. If this is a sample of the emerging creative talent across NZ, then we have a bright future ahead.”

The list of winners can be found below.

Photography category winner

Xiaoqian (Amy) Chen (Year 12 at Kristen School in Auckland) Project Name: Breathing - Monotone Photography

Amy’s ‘Breathing- Monotone Photography’ composition is a collection of black and white photos that represent a quest to let go of our negative thoughts. Her photos represent the lockdown and the heavy feelings associated with it. The judges commented that “the movement shows the necessity of overcoming these feelings... and keep moving forward.The choice of black and white is excellent. Overall a very good concept. The lighting and composition are spot on.”


Animation category winner

Joel Graham (Year 12 at Cashmere High School in Christchurch) Project Name: The Whole Journey

Joel’s animation raises awareness of organisations, such as Hagar International, that assist people who have survived human trafficking, slavery or abuse. Having grown up in Afghanistan, Joel realises it’s often not possible for people to tell their own stories publicly, due to the stigma that unfortunately exists even for survivors. He approached Hagar and they were keen for him to animate a story. The judges complimented his beautiful drawings and excellent understanding of storytelling. “The way Joel has animated such a difficult topic in an engaging, beautiful & heartfelt way is incredible. His storytelling skills are impeccable and he displays impressive skills in animation”.


Graphic Design category winner

Amanda Pu (Year 13 at Macleans College in Auckland).  Project name:

Amanda created as a project that explores the inner social and cultural workings of second-generation immigrant youths. This project features a bimonthly collaborative zine that draws together voices and art, from the youth to the youth. Amanda discusses how this edition's theme focuses on identity – intangible yet inseparable from our physical bodies. The zine uses semi-transparency and tactile flaps that hide and reveal details from sight in different positions. The judges commended her “Excellent design and great understanding for layout, colour, composition and material. The work conveys a sense of fragility and yet shows depth. Excellent work!”


Games category winner

Kelvin Chen (Year 13 at Burnside High School in Christchurch). Project name: Sphere Game

Kelvin has created a 2.5D puzzle platformer with an unexpected twist – you can split off and move parts yourself to solve the puzzles. The game includes 25 hand-crafted puzzles, 2 secret levels, 4 collectible objects, and 4 secret paths to explore. The judges complimented Kelvin’s well chosen sounds and impeccable environment design. “The simple yet creative design was highly effective.”


Web + Interactive category winner

Tyler Gamble (Year 12 at Pakuranga College in Auckland). Project name: Clive Security Robots

Tyler created his website as a platform to sell the robots he designs and builds. He wanted his website to stand out and therefore made it as interactable as he could, adding animations and a ‘build your own robot’ feature. The judges commended his “innovative UI design and great 3D animation and animated page transitions that bring a sense of ‘wow’ to this site.”


Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

Breathing - Monotone Photography by Xiaoqian (Amy) Chen
The Whole Journey by Joel Graham by Amanda Pu
Sphere Game by Kelvin Chen
Clive Security Robots by Tyler Gamble