Every year for the past eleven years, teams of furious filmmakers—some amateur, some professional—from around New Zealand have given up two days of their lives to partake in the Rialto Channel 48 Hours, “New Zealand’s largest guerrilla filmmaking competition”. 44 teams took part in 2004 and more than 800 took part this year. And a team with some strong connections to the world of marcomms was named as grand champions.
Put simply, filmmaking teams have just one weekend to make a short film. But they don’t know what genre they will be shooting until the start of the competition. Everything, including writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack, must occur within the 48 hour window and to add to the mayhem, teams must also include some random elements, like lines of dialogue, props, characters and special camera moves.
The Traces of Nut team from Wellington took the title this year with The Sleeping Plot, a black comedy based around a 10-year-old girl who will do anything to find her best friend. The film was co-written by Dean Hewison, a director, Sam Dickson, a creative at JWT and Richard Falkner.
Hewison, who won the AUT University best director award, is currently in Auckland directing a TVC for Two Birds and JWT. And he also directed the feature How to meet girls from a distance. The film also won the Canon Best Cinematography Award and Hewison’s 10-year-old daughter Nova Waretini-Hewison, who was initially on set to help dad out before she became an integral part of the plot, took out best actress.
According to the Herald, judge Scott Walker, the director of Frozen Ground (chief critic at Variety, Scott Foundas, and Homeland director Lodge Kerrigan also judged), said the film was “smooth” and “professional”.
“I loved the story, original, manipulative. I fell for that kid. Funny, and clever. High production values made everything feel smooth and it looked professional. Great wee story, well told. All the little portends as the film went along were great, making a second viewing really rewarding.”
I Got Robots by Chess Club was second, and Autocraniotomous by Nightowls was third.
The animated winner Sleep Clinic and The Sleeping Plot will now feature at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, in September.
Grand National Champion
The Sleeping Plot by Traces of Nut
I Got Robots by Chess Club
Runner Runner Up
Autocraniotomous by Nightowls
V Best Actress
Nova Waretini-Hewison in The Sleeping Plot
V Best Actor
James Kupa in I Got Robots
Rialto Channel Rising Star
Guinea Pig Funeral by Jolly Shrimp Co.
Canon Best Cinematography
Matty Warmington, Traces of Nut, for The Sleeping Plot
AUT University Best Director
Dean Hewison, Traces of Nut, for The Sleeping Plot
Loop Best Song
Bobs Bust Out, composed by Jeremy Veal from ICW Productions in Consulting Vic Meyer
Loop Best Score
Jordan Brown, Elysium Exit, for The Empath
Media Design School Best School
Good Intentions by Booty Poppers
Images & Sound Sexiest Short
The Empath by Elysium Exit
Gaylene Preston Best Female Director
Lucy Timmins, Booty Poppers, for Good Intentions
Sleep Clinic by Dr Jeckyll
NZ Herald Online Best Script
Alex Parsons & Dan Bain, The Eh Team, for Is Love Enough?
Jeremy Mulholland, The Eh Team, for Is Love Enough?
Best Art Direction
Sleep Shepherds by Dust Booth
Best Make Up
Night Vision by Touching Cloth
Best Use of the Character
Breakdown by Grrr Arrrrg Productions
Best Use of the Prop
The Appointment by Spooce Media
Best Use of the Line
The Hopeless Life of Snoz Meyer by The Underdogs
Incredibly Strange Award
A Man Escaped by Niu Film
Best Team Intro
Bus of the Undead