Southern trio Tropfest finalists

Three film-makers, two films, one flat - it might sound crazy, but for a group of Southern Institute of Technology graduates, it has been a recipe for success.

Southern film-makers Dan Pettit, Joel Garman and Jaimee Poipoi were all named finalists in the New Zealand leg of Tropfest, a global short film competition, for their films Two Guns and a Funeral and The Lighthouse Keeper.

The film-makers share a flat together.

Poipoi, producer of Two Guns and a Funeral, said it was cool for the entire flat to experience Tropfest together, especially as only 14 short films from across New Zealand were chosen as finalists.

"It was really exciting. We're already excited for next year - we're a little bit keen."

The festival, held last weekend in New Plymouth, featured a series of workshops with actors from The Hobbit and winning film-makers from Tropfest New York, as well as the screening and competition, Poipoi said.

Pettit won best animated film for The Lighthouse Keeper, which he directed.

The three plan to return to their alma mater later this year to shoot their next project.

All of the New Zealand finalists' films can be viewed at

The Southland Times