Campbell McKellar graduated with a double degree in Audio Production and Contemporary Music after 4 years study.

SIT short film flies higher

Author: SHANE COWLISHAW - The Southland Times
Date posted: 03/04/09

Forget fastest Indians, the next big thing is flying monks.

A low-budget short film by a 19-year-old Southern Institute of Technology student, The Flying Monk, has been nominated for a prestigious film award in the United States not long after winning its first one.

The film, completed last year by film student Matthew Inns, is assured one of the four top awards in its competition category at the 42nd WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival after being selected by a jury.

The film was co-produced by Invercargill man Bryan Campbell.

The festival presents about 55 new independent feature films and 100 new short films each April, culminating at the awards weekend on April 24-26.

It does not accept films from the major studios but boasts of having given "first honours" to later-famous directors including Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, the Coen Brothers and David Lynch.

Mr Inns said just to be nominated in this festival was an honour but to win a prize was "awesome".

However, although he has been making films since he was six he was humble about the accolade and quick to deflect praise onto the people that had helped him make The Flying Monk. "I don't like saying I won this festival because there were so many people involved in it," Mr Inns said.

While it would be nice to attend the award ceremony and mix with Hollywood's elite, it was not an affordable option and the money was better put into the next project, he said.

"For me, I don't really give a s**t about the glory of it, if someone gave me $5000 to go I'd much rather put it towards my new project," he said.

The WorldFest is the second international award for The Flying Monk after it placed second overall at the 2008 Indie Short Film Competition.

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