A jury of teenagers have awarded Kapiti film-makers Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland the Grand Prix in the Berlin International Film Festival.
Their film Shopping won the Grand Prix for best feature film in the Generation section of the festival - voted on by a jury of three teenagers.
Known as the Berlinale, the film festival is one of the world's most prestigious, with about 400 films shown each year across seven sections.
The three jury members said the film, which is set in 1981 Kapiti, was an "extremely compelling" tale with a fantastic lead actor in Kevin Paulo.
"We loved watching him on screen and felt a deep empathy with him," the jury said in its notes.
"Sharp editing, strong visual choices and a complex, painful and loving portrayal of family."
Coming off the back of their two short films, The Six Dollar Fifty Man and Run, Shopping is the pair's first full-length feature film.
Shot on the Kapiti Coast and in Wellington, the film which focuses on Paulo's character Willie as he balances family life with small-time crime, took almost six years to make it to the silver screen.
It showed at the Sundance Film Festival last month, but failed to pick up any awards.Filmed with funding from the New Zealand Film Commission, Shopping is scheduled to be released in New Zealand theatres later in 2013.
Film Commission chief executive Graeme Mason said the Grand Prix was an incredible achievement for the team.
"Mark and Louis are no strangers to sweeping awards and to win this Grand Prix is yet another fantastic recognition of their talent."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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