Te Arawa film maker Hamish Bennett will premiere his short film The Dump at this weekend's seventh annual Wairoa Maori Film Festival.
The film has already had its international premiere, at the Dallas International Film Festival in April.
It tells the story of 11-year-old Utah and his visit with his loner father, showing how someone can be both a hero and a disappointment.
Bennett said he was influenced in part by the movie Boy.
"I was a big fan of Boy and as a teacher those themes appeal to me."
He was rapt the film was selected for the Dallas Film Festival, saying it was originally entered in the Sundance Film Festival.
"The film didn't get chosen but it got recommended to other festivals and Dallas decided to pick it up."
The Dump is Bennett's directorial debut and over summer he co-wrote and directed a seven part comedy/documentary series entitled Deane Waretini: Now is the Hour, which culminated in Rotorua with a comeback concert at the RSA. It will screen on Maori Television in July.
Bennett, who is the nephew of film maker Michael Bennett (Matariki and short film Kerosine Creek), said he goes to see his film maker uncle"pretty often".
"He's been a great help and we've been doing some writing together."
They are working on an animation script which they hope to get funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.
Bennett said he has always been into movies and studied the subject as part of English media at university.
He works as a fulltime teacher but would be keen to achieve a balance between teaching and writing/directing.
As well as being Te Arawa Mr Bennett has Ngapuhi and Kai Tahu whakapapa on his mother's side.
The Wairoa Maori Film Festival, which celebrates the best of Maori and indigenous film making begins on Friday.
Festival director Leo Koziol said they have close to 40 film makers booked for the festival.
"There from near and far, including two guests from Taiwan, two guests from Canada, and two guests from Australia."
A highlight of this year's festival is a bumper new crop of Maori and Pasifika themed short films, curated in part with the assistance and support of the New Zealand International Film Festival.
These include short film The Lawnmower Men of Kapu by Libby Hakaraia and produced by Tainui Stephens.
Whakatiki is directed by Louise Leitch with a script written by Bernadette Murphy (Te Atiawa). Acclaimed playwright Briar Grace Smith will also screen her first directing effort, Nine of Hearts.
Venue for the Wairoa Maori Film Festival is Kahungunu Marae, Nuhaka, located between Gisborne and Wairoa.