Stuff's short film festival: Poppy

Two New Zealand soldiers trapped behind enemy lines find an orphaned baby - one wants to save it, the other does not.

The simple plot of Poppy, the second movie in Stuff's short film festival, is based on a heart-wrenchingly true story about choices and redemption.

Writer David Coyle's great-grandfather was one of the soldiers who found the baby while trying to make his way to safety on France's western front in World War I.

Coyle wrote the script as an 18-year-old student. After discovering it, director James Cunningham was determined to make the story as a CGI short film.

After a one-day shoot at Weta Digital in Wellington, Cunningham spent nearly a year cooped up in his spare room, lovingly crafting the film.

Cunningham says the driving ethos for the film was to create an emotive, affecting and dramatic CGI animation, and to take the genre to a new realm.

"Poppy is not cute, quirky or a film for children," he says.

The film is part of a series put together by NZ On Screen for Anzac day.

In association with the New Zealand Film commission this is the second film in Stuff's short film season - the first was Six Dollar Fifty Man

Others in the collection include Taika Waititi's award-winning Maori Battalion short Tama Tu, as well as Peter Burger's Cannes-selected short Turangawaewae.

Other films to be shown include: Manurewa; Only Son; Two Cars, One Night; Careful with that Crossbow; Day Trip; Amadi and Choice Night.