Inspired by the selfless actions of a Pukerua Bay man who walks the streets picking up rubbish, two Kāpiti College students have created Golden Hill, a heart-warming and emotional film which has taken out the People's Choice award at the Roxy5 Short Film Competition.

The emotional film is a step in a new direction for budding filmmakers Tommy Kelly and Ryan Parkinson who did everything from directing, editing and producing to writing the script and acting.

"It was quite cool winning the People's Choice award because we didn't know where we were sitting in terms of the other competition," Tommy said.

Filming Golden Hill in Paraparaumu.
Filming Golden Hill in Paraparaumu.

"We were extremely happy when we found out - it's a really gratifying experience getting an award for something you've worked hard for.

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"We're just really thankful for everyone that helped us make the film."

Having made one film together and been involved in a number of separate projects, Tommy Kelly and Ryan Parkinson's first film together was a 10 minute horror.

"The first film was more experimental, a little longer and more of a horror.

"When we entered the Roxy5 this year, we wanted to try a different genre.

"Golden Hill was shorter, simpler and more effective, appealing to the audience which is important for a competition like this.

Actor Keith Mole in short film Golden Hill.
Actor Keith Mole in short film Golden Hill.

"The narrative is inspired by a man in Pukerua Bay who is well known for picking up rubbish from the footpath.

"He walks up and down the road picking up rubbish, and he's one of those people that you don't know personally but everyone knows about him, he was our motivation."

Making films because they love filmmaking, Tommy and Ryan combined their hobby with school credits and the competition.

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"We love making films as a hobby and we heard about the competition and thought why not combine our interests and use it for some film credits for NCEA at the same time."

Filmed around the streets of Paraparaumu, Tommy and Ryan planned the film in the first school term and it was filmed after lockdown with Tommy playing Logan, Jamie Kelly playing Noah, Kristine McShane playing the mum alongside professional actor Keith Mole who played the 'old man'.

"Entering a film competition is a really good way to actually make a film and get moving towards a deadline.

"It turned out to be a very heart-warming, emotional story that we enjoyed making."

The annual competition is for school students in Years 7-13 and is presented by the Miramar Events Trust and The Weta Group.

Golden Hill was named as one of 10 finalists before winning the People's Choice award.

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Another Kāpiti College team consisting of year 11s Larry McMyler and Caitlin Proctor also made the finals for their satirist mockumentary Miss Orange 2020.

The judges described Golden Hill as "extremely competent and impressive piece of filmmaking".

"The intuitive use of camera craft, staging, shot composition, and editing makes for compelling viewing and the story unfolds beautifully and believably."

They go on to say it was a wonderful story with the storyline delivered seamlessly.

"There is a very well-paced use of ambiguity in the story which revealed itself well.

"The overall result is a professional-looking short film with high production values and believable performances."

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The students have won a full day tour travelling behind the scenes of Miramar film making facilities including Park Road Post, Weta Workshop, Weta Digital and the Roxy Cinema.

Check out the film here.

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