Aspiring film-makers off to Singapore

Next stop, Hollywood? Mount Aspiring College students Daisy Thor-Poet (13) and Mikaela Cooper (14) have won a trip to Singapore to showcase their short film, The Invitation, where they will be in the running to screen their film in LA.

The girls, both in Year 9, have won the national Kid Witness News (KWN) short film competition run by Panasonic, and will compete in February at the Asia/Oceania finals. Winners from the regional categories will then travel to LA for the global finals.

The New Zealand winners were announced on What Now on Sunday. The girls watched the show separately, but said they called each other “right away” upon hearing the news. This was Daisy’s second year entering the competition, and she said she was confident the film would do well, while Mikaela said she was “very surprised” at the win.

The five-minute movie tells a modern message-in-a-bottle story, that of a lonely young girl who attaches a mobile phone to a bunch of helium balloons and waits for a response.

To reach the final, Daisy and Mikaela had to create a storyboard for a film on one of two themes: ‘communication’ or ‘the environment’. They were initially chosen as one of five sets of ‘top tier’ winners in New Zealand, and were awarded a Panasonic Broadcast Quality camera, editing software and a day of mentoring from television commercial director Blu Steven. They then had approximately two months to complete a finished product.

They wrote the film together and both acted in it, with Daisy working as director and producer.

Daisy hopes to be a film producer when she grows up and Mikaela is interested in photography.

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