Bignell Street Motel and Caravan Park in Gonville was the inspiration behind a short film on show at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

The World in Your Window stars one of its former residents too.

Director Zoe McIntosh met Lena Regan - a straight-talking, tattooed transsexual - when she was filming the 2012 documentary King of Caravans, which follows residents of the Bignell St park.

"It's kind of a place where people go when they are a bit down and out and they're trying to get their life back on track," McIntosh said.

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"Lena ended up being one of the main characters in the documentary.

"She just really resonated with me. Just because she has this real boldness and she was super brave. I just admired her strength and rebelliousness."

Zoe McIntosh has directed The World in Your Window, a short film inspired by the Bignell Street Motel and Caravan Park and one of its former residents.
Zoe McIntosh has directed The World in Your Window, a short film inspired by the Bignell Street Motel and Caravan Park and one of its former residents.

So McIntosh cast Regan when she was making her latest film inspired by her time at Bignell St.

The World in Your Window is about a young boy who lives with his dad in a caravan park and is trying to help his father through a rough time.

"This transsexual women covered in tattoos - together they try and work out how to get the dad out of this stuck state."

McIntosh said it was a reminder that amidst grief, help often came from unexpected places and in fortuitous ways.

The latest film has screened at festivals around the world including Clermont where it won the Prix Etudiant de la Jeunesse award.

It was awarded best international short film out of 9000 entries at Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia.

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McIntosh said it was a risk taking on someone with no acting experience.

"It was definitely one of the biggest challenges."

But she had kept in touch with Regan over the years and they had built a strong relationship which helped when it came to filming.

The World in Your Window will be screen alongside My Life As a Courgette at the festival with dates in Auckland and Wellington.

For times click here.

King of Caravans is now available to watch on vimeo.com

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