Daisy Thor-Poet. Photo supplied.
Step aside Peter Jackson.
Wanaka schoolgirl Daisy Thor-Poet is the latest New Zealand
filmmaker to earn international accolades after winning a
global competition for her short film about bereavement.
The year 11 Mount Aspiring College pupil's film Forever
Emily was chosen from 650 entries from 28 countries to
win the Panasonic Kid Witness News film-making competition at
Unesco headquarters in Paris on Thursday.
Panasonic paid for Daisy (15) to travel to France for the
awards ceremony - along with her sister Ming (13) and friend
Kath Millis (16), who both starred in the film, and teacher
Rachel O'Connell - after she was shortlisted for the top
prize with schools from China, Germany, Japan, Malaysia and
Inspired by observations of her family dealing with her
uncle's death, Daisy's film is from a teenager's point of
view and took 60 hours to write, shoot and edit over 14
''I wanted to show people that there is hope that they can
still overcome grief and remember their loved ones,'' she
The judging panel commended Forever Emily for its
carefully framed shots, attention to detail, well-written
script and choice of subject matter ''that would resonate
with anyone who has experienced grief''.
Daisy's father, Zeke Thor-Poet, was ''pretty proud and
excited'' yesterday after receiving the news from his
''giggling like crazy'' daughter in a 6am phone call from
''To win a global recognition for New Zealand and our region,
how cool is that? A pretty big achievement for 15,'' he said.
His daughter started filmmaking at age 12 and looked up to
New Zealand film-maker Jane Campion's ''down-to-earth and
simple'' style of work, with minimal characters and dialogue.
College principal Wayne Bosley said the school was
''absolutely blown away'' by the film's success.
''It's just so wonderful for Daisy, Ming and Kath that
they've received this acknowledgment.''
The annual competition invites school pupils worldwide to
create a short film with an ecology or communication theme.
The selection process takes more than a year with national
and world region competitions to get through to reach the
Daisy is also a New Zealand finalist in next year's
competition for her most recent film Searching for
Summer, and will be travelling to Bangkok in January to
represent the college in the regional judging.
It is the third time she has won the New Zealand part of the