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Tim McLachlan, of Auckland, was chosen as one of the five finalists of "100% Pure New Zealand Presents Your Big Break", an international short film competition organised by Tourism New Zealand.
Mr McLachlan and fellow Aucklander Rajneel Singh will compete against US film-makers Kristi Simkins and people's choice winner Aya Tanimura, and Argentinian Andres Borghi.
About 1100 aspiring directors from 30 countries entered a screenplay for a three-minute short film which captured the spirit of New Zealand.
The finalists were picked by Academy Award-winning producer Barrie Osborne (The Lord of the Rings) and a panel of judges.
They have five days to prepare the filming of their submitted scripts, then they travel to Queenstown to work with Mr Osborne on their short films for two days.
Mr Osborne said it was a fun project to be involved in.
"It promotes New Zealand but also promotes film-making and young film-makers . . .
"It inspires interest in New Zealand and in film-making and I'm always interested in looking for new talent," he said.
Post-production is set for five days at Park Road Post Production, in Wellington.
Academy Award-winning director Sir Peter Jackson will select the winner.
Mr McLachlan said he and Mr Singh were excited about the result and filming in Queenstown.
He had been involved in the film industry as a stunt double and actor and had dreamed of becoming a director since he was 10 years old.
Mr McLachlan's film, titled Frosty Man and the BMX Kid, features Bay of Plenty actor James Rolleston (12), who starred in Taika Waititi's film Boy.
Mr McLachlan said he was lucky to have James take part, especially as the rising star had just returned from Boy's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival five days ago.
Casting was crucial for the "humorous and heartfelt" story, Mr McLachlan said.
"It's about an old man and a young Maori boy, who meet up on a remote lake."
The competition website - www.your-big-break.com - attracted more than two million views between November 31 and January 15.
More than 250,000 visitors watched videos or read scripts during that time.