Skip to Content


48HOURS Entries, 2021

National Winner

Good Girl

Traces of Nut

City Winner

Unfinished Symphony

Awkward Animations

City Winner



City Winner

The Dying Art of Cat Burglary


National Finalist

The Last Lord of Scotland

Dystography Studios

National Finalist

Loot & Blunder

I Love Loops

National Finalist

In Deep

The Creamery

National Finalist

Pre-emptive Defense

Couch Kumara

National Finalist


Underwater Dreams

National Finalist


Mitchell's Here

National Finalist

A Matter of Time

Apple Fork

National Finalist


Snack To The Future

National Finalist

We built and destroyed a full sized cardboard u-boat specifically and only for this competition. also known as “DAS BANANA-BOOT”

Qualified Tim

National Finalist


Tasteful Sideboob

National Finalist

We built and destroyed a full sized B17 bomber specifically and only for this competition. Also known as "Banana Boys"

Disqualified Tim

Peter Jackson Wildcard


Cyan Sea

Peter Jackson Wildcard

Rekindled Spirits

Pastafarian Productions

Peter Jackson Wildcard

Shit Chat


Recent reviews

hey just letting people know who missed it
the link used to be a rickroll before the comp finished ._.
and I don't know how to express the respect I have for this team now

I genuinely cannot imagine how difficult it must be to get the same genre 2 years in a row in this competition, but mad props to Tasteful Sideboob for coming up with something incredibly unique and getting in back to back national finals with horror films on the back of this strongly directed tale of obsession driven by an insanely strong performance by Rosie Howell.

HYDRANGREA is genuinely a film that takes multiple watches to fully understand what is going on more deeply, with the use of colour and the titular flower presenting strong metaphors about isolation and love that works very strongly. At its core we have a lost soul ready to try anything to get over being spurned in her romantic attempts, where unusual therapy and an unlikely person adminstering the treatment leads to a uniquely awkward comical situation.

On that note the visuals were striking, with the self reflexive re-emergence of our lead's inner self absolutely startling. Everything was framed in a very cinematic manner, with a sure hand behind the camera adding subtle but noticeable touches like handheld footage as we followed our lead, putting us in her slightly unstable mind.

Through social media after first watch I said that the film was too quiet, and I straight up apologise for that because sound has been crystal clear on each subsequent watch, allowing the shimmering dreamy moments of electronic score to shine through, as well as the memorable moments of sound design such as the leaves crunching as the inner self came through in the pot.

Now coming back to the messages the film was presenting, I think using such a strong blue colour tone to the grading in the flashbacks to rejection was genius, because not only did it convey the cold feeling of rejection but also a feeling of isolation and loneliness, whilst at the same time maintaining the comic tone this team nails every year thanks to the bright pink sweater on display at the dramatic moment.

This was so brilliantly complimented by the red hues of our lead's centrally framed face in the therapy, which gives a sense of warmth, passion and love. So by having these 2 contrasting colours the audience knew of her hurt and despite her obsessive traits was rooting for the protagonist by the end, allowing the comic payoff to hit so hard and so well.

If I am to be critical, I think as much as I loved the subversive take on the genre, as a massive horror fan I do ask myself is this a scary take on the genre? To me it isn't at first glance, but on reflection it's one of the more "oh, shit" type of disturbing scenarios you could imagine, and I'm all about rewarding unique genre takes in this comp. Also irrespective of my personal opinion about the genre and whether being scary matters, the performance carried the film so admirably that it creates something that stays with you for a long time after the credits roll.

Story: 4/5
Technical: 4.5/5
Elements: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

What I love about THE DYING ART OF CAT BURGLARLY, is not so much the fact that it was shot in Australia and looks great, as overseas entries are such a thrill, but that it told such a clever, unique and universal tale of said robbers doing anything to get ahead in life. It's like a keeping up with the joneses times eleven, and absolutely nails the antihero character requirement the competition asked of the team.

To immediately give more praise to the team, the editing was simply out of this world. Yes stock music was used throughout, but I was so amazed on my third watch just now to learn that several tracks were used because the tonal consistency was so strong across the entire film. It was a very smooth ride that allowed the complete focus to be on the catburglars, with a feeling of danger and excitement due to sound beats that went from pulsating to drone-like in nature as the plot beats of the film unfolded.

I also appreciate that this team not only went Ultra, but actually used the darkness of night to elevate their film through not just a central plot device of the crooks looking for cash, but the elevating relevation of the home owner being at home and having their own dramatic tension to worry about, through something unpredictable that does indeed regularly happen in the middle of the night.

The comedy was also gold, with a script that threw out such gems as thinking a pumpkin would be a good take, only to be reprimanded by the old timer, who rolled off the list of what brings in the real money with aplomb.

Ending was an all-timer, for me. Sinister, yet hilarious and very satisfying, with the aformentioned characters and how well they sold the importance of the heist making it feel earned rather than shocking. Just really solid performances all round, with the would be mum being a particular highlight due to how well she played her role physically.

The very minor quibble for me was that it reminded me a lot of LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, but that was just in feeling rather than in terms of the actual storytelling.

Congrats on the baby by the way team!

Story: 4/5
Technical: 4/5
Elements: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

For me, the idea of a buddy film being sold where one of the parties involved happens to be inanimate is a very hard sell, but Snack to the Future came very close to pulling off a masterpiece. If anyone could pull off a blow up sex doll causing a rift in a seemingly happy relationship, it was going to be them.

What I particularly enjoyed was how the team elevated the idea of the domestic, suburban mundane nature of life and turned it on its head. Where an anniversary should be an occassion to be celebrated, coming in at just the wrong moment gets some deep rooted issues to come up.

I really think the team were onto something here, in that whilst our lady pumped full of air and designed for private use is ridiculous as a story driver, it seemed they were exploring the concept that everyone should be allowed their kinks and as long as you communicate then that is the key for a happy marriage, which is a really healthy refreshing approach to see! But I felt that was kind of surface level, and instead we got introspection and realisation that self gratification was what was missing for our leading lady, leading to a classic case of shoe being on the other foot and a complete rift in the dynamic.

Snack to the Future again showed a really steady hand behind the camera here, allowing the film to breath both figuratively and literally, as our curiousity immediately was piqued due to breathing sounds whilst lounge music played before they went for the strange grandular doll reveal.

Technically, it's a really strong film, with really strong performanes and an engaging plot. But I personally think that whilst it was so close to nailing the buddy genre it just missed the mark, for me, too much in my book. To me the key for genre subversion is a question of would I think of the genre as the way to describe the film? And honestly, no I wouldn't. But I get that a lot of judges saw it differently.

Story: 3.5/5
Technical: 4.5/5
Elements: 2.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Slick slick slick pool party driven by a tremendous original synth score, with the thumping electronic reverb creating a feeling of mystery and dare only to find out the film actually had a heart. Honestly team I loved this film and am so pleased it made its way to the national final as I feel that films with such a positive idea often get overlooked in this comp.

In terms of what I liked about this film, colour me extremely impressed at how great this was all pieced together. Beautiful people, beautiful locations and a back and forth approach between our protagonist being drilled in an interview versus the heist being put into action. For me I particularly liked that you didn't just go for the setup and then play it out, but cut to and fro creating a labyrinth of intrigue for me as a viewer. The question of not knowing what the ultimate heist was going to be until the finale left me on the edge of my seat throughout.

I've had more than one person talk to me about whether the film would be as good without the sensational location and beautiful people and yeah, maybe the overall plot is a bit generic, and I would have liked to have seen a little bit more depth to the characters, which I think could have pushed this to top 3 overall.
But here's the thing, the team did have access and equipment and made the most of it, they played to their strengths and there is no way I can judge them on a 'what if they didn't have models and shot the same film on their cellphone'. I can only judge them on making a stellar, beautiful, positive message heist film that played with the genre and audience expectations whilst ticking the element boxes really well. Editing and sound was also sublime. Loved it.

Story: 3.5/5
Technical: 5/5
Elements: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Because these reviews will (hopefully) last in the years to come, I'm going to note how absolutely insane it was that Tim Hamilton's team entered not just once on the first weekend in Wellington, but again on the second weekend where all teams who entered were placed in the Tamaki Makaurau region of the competition.
So yes this says they qualified for the Grand Final from the 09 region, but they very much shot using the same skeletal set down in the 04 that they had spent weeks on prior to making "We built and destroyed a full sized cardboard u-boat specifically and only for this competition. also known as “DAS BANANA-BOOT”. Even more incredibly, that film and this film are directly connected, taking place effectively during the same war. Just a staggering achievement, production wise.

For me, I honestly felt the film played as chaotic, for lack of a better word, on first watch. But I've come to realise that was an extremely harsh way to describe the film, because it is more a case of so much going on that a lot of it went over my head and I picked up a lot of the nuances on repeat viewings.

And also, chaotic kind of fits, in a good way, because war is chaos, and this film is about dealing with a plane being under attack from enemy fire and how the team rises to the occassion. Not just being under attack, but given it is a first flight for the crew the element of uncertainty about to what to do is presented very well. Perhaps a bit casually, but what that did was create a heightened sense of comedy as planes blew up and heads were exploded.

On that note this film had some of the best sound design I've ever come across in this competition. From the incredible folley used to genuinely sell the idea that the team were up in the air in a B17 bomber, through to the guns and splats everything just sounded right. I loved the last minute of musical score used in the film, letting things wrap up with a melancholy feeling, but also thought it was the right move letting everything play out using just the sounds of the battle for the first 3 and a half minutes, as it stressed the real time real urgency of the situation.

I must say I do still have some thoughts about the buddy film genre. Yes I got a big smile from the winks and nods to 4th wall breaking - "it's a genre thing", and we had two clear leads who developed a sense of camaraderie as the film progressed. But was that enough to have really nailed it? I personally am unsure. But still a staggering achievement.

Story: 3/5
Technical: 5/5
Elements: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

One of the best things about this is how insanely brave the form is and yet it's also technically masterful.

Deserves every Nickelodeon award it can get - a favourite of mine this year!

Well, this was quite well made, interesting and a little twisted.
However, for anyone with a fondness for their canine friend this film may have taken things a bit too far. Exploding dogs are definitely not laugh-out-loud comedic drama even for cat lovers. However they give effect to the story and obviously the genre.
Looking past the canine massacre before me, I was becoming even more disturbed by the obvious use of a copycat plot device. I went back and watched Peptok (Grand National Winner) from 2018 to confirm that indeed the same plot device of the self help woman's voice in the earbuds of the protagonist is being used in the 2021 Grand Nation Winning film... hmmm.... I recall the word "originality" being important part of this competition.
Following on with the film which so far had served up only a shock effect, I was then caught off guard by the sudden switch in narrative voice to the Dog! Who's talking? Wheres that voice coming from? Oh it's the dog giving a monologue that makes little sense about some military association... hmmm that was a thin line to draw from the writers and throws the audience out of the story. Ah but its a splatter film you might say... yes but it's still a film and all films in this competition need to be original and have strong narrative structure.
The ending came as no surprise. Most of everyone has guessed it unless they have left the room already.
So this is it. Our Winning film? I saw some awesome films in this competition and while this is finalist material, I certainly would not have picked it as the winner. 3/5 from me.