Rotorua film-maker Allan George has picked up a top award and directed his way to a near-winning finish at the world's largest short film festival.
The former Western Heights High School student entered a seven-minute film called Sounds Perfect into the inaugural Tropfest New Zealand film festival on Sunday.
Tropfest started in Sydney but is now held in eight countries. More than 8000 people came to watch the 12 best New Zealand films on show in New Plymouth, where Mr George won the Best Maori Director award.
His film-making partner Greg Stubbings also won the Best Actor award for their comedy documentary.
"It got a huge response. The whole arena was cracking up and we got three rounds of applause," Mr George said.
"The film is about a passionate audio engineer who works in the adult film industry. He is very enthusiastic but he doesn't quite fit in."
Mr George said there were only four awards up for grabs and they managed to win two of them.
"When they announced [Mr Stubbings] as the Best Actor he wasn't there so I had to go and do the speech for him. I was sending him a text to tell him he had won when they called my name as the Best Maori Director," he said. "So I had to go up to do another speech."
He said they were a bit gutted not to get the overall winners' award - the Best Director Award - because the winner gets to fly to Hollywood to meet top film executives for a week.
Mr George and Mr Stubbings work for television show The Crowd Goes Wild. Mr George is also the co-founder of Auckland-based company Sideways Productions, who produced the short film.
To watch the award-winning short film Sounds Perfect visit the Tropfest New Zealand homepage.