The story of a 10-year-old Wellington girl searching for her best friend has bagged top prize at the 48Hours Furious Film-Making Challenge.
Wellington film-maker Dean Hewison, along with writers Sam Dickson and Richard Falkner - collectively known as Traces of Nut - were crowned grand national champions at the Civic Theatre in Auckland last night for their short film The Sleeping Plot.
The film also won awards for best director and best cinematography.
Last night, Hewison said that after participating in the challenge since its inception 11 years ago, it was incredible to win the top award.
"It's something we've been striving for for many years, " he said. "We are extremely happy about it."
However, the real star was Hewison's 10-year-old daughter, Nova Waretini-Hewison, who went from helping out on her father's set to the film's main character.
Last night, her strong performance bagged her the national best actress award.
The entire film is shot from Nova's character's perspective, with no adult faces seen, as she searches for her friend.
Judge director Scott Walker said the film was funny, clever and original. "I fell for that kid, " he said.
Hewison said it had been a "strange and weird time" for his daughter, being named the best actress for her first acting role.
"She is absolutely blown away."
The 48Hours challenge is promoted as the country's "largest guerrilla film-making competition", giving teams just one weekend to make a short film.
This year more than 800 films were submitted.
- The Dominion Post