At the age of just 15, Sarah Ridsdale has won a major film competition.

Her film, titled 'Dog Island Motu Piu' was inspired by her uncle's dream for another home for native animals. She entered the film in the Outlook for Someday Film competition, which encourages youth to make short films about sustainablitiy.

"I made a 5 minute animation film about an island off the coast of Bluff called Dog Island, and my uncle set up a restoration project there for an ecotourism destination," says Sarah Ridsdale.

Peter Ridsdale passed away earlier this year from motor neurone disease, but he did get a chance to see the film before he died.


"He asked Sarah if she would like to make a movie about the Dog Island project and what it was maybe going to look like in the future. So Sarah took hold of that and ran with it and produced something that was pretty special," says Scott Ridsdale, Sarah's father.

Sarah, who's home-schooled, spent a little over 6 weeks making the film.

"I took over about 1700 photos just moving each thing a tiny wee bit, then taking another photo," says Miss Ridsdale.

The movie involved the whole family with her parents helping with voice overs of the characters.

"Janet and I are incredibly proud of Sarah. She has got this special ability to understand the environment and what's going on and what's important and can put that into a movie, and you know she's enjoyed the claymation and the creativity and to deliver a really good message," says Mr Ridsdale.

With talent like hers, it's likely New Zealand hasn't seen the last of Sarah Ridsdale.

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