A subtitled film about a family of zombies coming under attack by a human zombie hunter has taken top honours at the V48-hour Film Festival grand final.

Brains? beat hundreds of other films produced over one frantic weekend to take the gong in Auckland last night.

Teams must write, shoot, cut and hopefully survive making a short film, all within the space of 48 hours.

Wellington-based director Giles McNeill, who led a team of 18 to make the short film, was still buzzing when the Herald on Sunday called after the big win.


"I was so surprised because the competition was massive and there are some really talented people involved."

The team won $60,000 in cash and prizes. Second was Team Lense Flare with The Girl With The Clover Tattoo and third was Muck Puddy for Love In Decay.

Brains?, described as a comedy/horror, got the nod because it was so different, McNeill believed.

The plot centred around a zombie family sitting down to a dinner of brains and other body parts when they are attacked by a human and "tragedy and hilarity ensues", he said.

"I really wanted to make something that stood out. We took all the normal elements out. The human becomes the zombie. It's a monster film, but the usual monsters are the sympathetic [characters]."

The movie was subtitled because the zombies did not speak English, they spoke zombie. It was an obvious decision, rather than a bold one, McNeill said. "When they speak we as humans can't really understand, it's all just moans and groans and words like 'brains'. But that played really well to the big crowds."

Watch the winning movie here.