Talented 12-year-old Luka Wolfgram has just had his short documentary Our Superheroes awarded a finalist spot in The Outlook for Someday film challenge. Picked from dozens of entries nationwide, the 20 winners will attend a glitzy ceremony at the Aoteoa Centre on 8 December. It’s a bittersweet moment for the young filmmaker as the subject of his project was childhood cancer—earlier this year his little brother Kosta, aged just eight, died from a brain tumour.
“My goal was to raise awareness so that people could understand how hard it is for the families as well as the children themselves,” says Luka, who describes the children as ‘superheroes’. “I wanted to do something for them, and when I found out about the competition I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do so.”
His family and friends are rightly bursting with pride. His harrowing, heartfelt and inspiring film—which also includes interviews with other cancer sufferers’ families, teachers and Kosta’s favourite doctor—has encouraged others to begin fundraising for child cancer charities.
“The whole process took around three months,” says the young filmmaker, who cites Tim Burton as one of his idols. “There were about three hours of footage which I had to condense into five minutes. The editing process was the most difficult, I wanted to have everything from the sounds to the sequences perfect. It was crazy, but it felt so good as it came to life and I saw the finished product.”
Luka’s previous movie-making efforts were of a more light-hearted nature (“mocking politicians and celebrities!”), and he would usually get Kosta on board too. “Anything to do with entertainment made him happy,” says Luka. “He loved to dance and rap.”
Between 28 November-5 December, the public is able to vote on the 20 final films, but Luka says it’s not the voting that is most important thing to him, rather raising awareness and “sharing my brother with the world”.
Luka tells me his good deeds continued on a recent trip to Wellington where he stopped to give every homeless person he saw some change. “I don’t like the idea of anyone sleeping rough,” he says, “they may have had very tough backgrounds to have ended up in that situation.” He’d like to continue promoting charitable causes as he gets older.
Luka would also like to ask you to consider donating to any of the following the charities that are close to his heart: St Baldrick’s Foundation (‘Kosta our Superhero’ Givealittle page is fundraising for St Baldrick’s FOundation), Child Cancer Foundation, Make-A-Wish, and Kenzie’s Gift.