Wanaka girl wins global contest

16:00, Dec 06 2013
Daisy Thor-Poet
SKILLED WORK: Daisy Thor-Poet of Wanaka who won the international Panasonic Kid Witness News filmmaking competition in Paris yesterday. 

A film produced by a Wanaka schoolgirl was named winner of an international film festival in Paris yesterday.

Daisy Thor-Poet, 15, produced the film titled Forever Emily that was chosen from 650 entries from 28 countries.

Proud dad Zeke Thor-Poet said he had an excited phone call from his daughter about 6am.

"She's in Paris at Christmas time and just won a global competition. She was totally thrilled to be selected and represent New Zealand and now to win from the whole world."

Daisy was a very down-to-earth girl who had attended the prizegiving at the Unesco headquarters with her sister and a friend who had played roles in the film and a Mt Aspiring College teacher at the expense of competition sponsor Panasonic.

"She was totally surprised," Mr Thor-Poet said.


"She didn't go there with the expectation she had already won it. It was a nail-biting moment when they announced the winner."

Daisy's winning movie, taken from a teenager's point of view, deals with grief and the feelings and stages that people go through to come to an acceptance of death. Her sister Ming plays Emily's ghost in the five-minute story.

She filmed and edited the film, which took her 14 weekends and 60 hours to produce.

Mr Thor-Poet said his daughter first got involved in the Panasonic Kid Witness News filmmaking competition in 2010 when she saw it advertised on What Now and she was a pupil at Garston School.

As the family did not own a film camera she designed the story board and won a camera from Panasonic to film with.

That film, Giving Back, was about respecting and appreciating the environment we live in. Her next film, The Invitation, a film about the quest to find new friendship saw her fly to Vietnam last year as a finalist.

She is also a finalist for her most recent film Searching for Summer, a short work about finding your identity and place in the world and she will travel to Bangkok next month to represent her school in the regional judging before starting year 12.

The film can be viewed at: http://youtube/mbu79MTVsuQ

The Southland Times