A short film co- written and produced by Radio Hauraki's Matt Heath has earned a Special Jury prize at the Tribeca Film Festival awards.

The animated short, titled Fire In Cardboard City, screened at the prestigious festival earlier this week and picked up the Special Jury Mention at today's ceremony.

The film's director and co-writer Phil Brough was there to accept the award at the star studded event, which included actor and festival co-founder Robert De Niro

"It's really amazing to get the Special Jury Mention," Brough said. "We put a lot of work into this short and it's awesome that it's getting recognised on such a prominent platform."


Acclaimed director Ondi Timoner (Dig!, Mapplethorpe) was a member of the Tribeca short film jury (along with DJ Steve Aoki and actor/director Alex Pettyfer) and said Brough's short greatly impressed the jurors.

"It had a DIY spirit that was so innovative," Timoner said. "We all thought it had a style that was extraordinarily unique. We had never seen anything like it."

Still from the New Zealand animation Fire In Cardboard City picture supplied
Still from the New Zealand animation Fire In Cardboard City picture supplied

Garnering the Special Jury Mention at Tribeca bodes well for the short's chances for a potential Oscar nomination.

Set in a city made entirely of cardboard, Fire In Cardboard City chronicles the chaos that ensues when a fire breaks out and spreads wildly (due to all the cardboard).

The film won Best New Zealand Film at last year's Show Me Shorts Film Festival and also screened at the Berlin Film Festival. It was produced by Heath and Orlando Stewart, and features a vocal cameo by Jeremy Wells.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded by De Niro and producer Jane Rosenthal in 2002 as a way of bringing culture and vitality back to lower Manhattan following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Brough and Heath are currently working on a television adaptation of Fire In Cardboard City, which will screen on TVNZ later this year.