Back o' the Bus wins Tropfest NZ 2016

Mon 28.Mar.16



Best Film – Back o’ the Bus, directed and produced by Hannah Taylor, winning a return flight to Los Angeles to meet with film and TV executives, five nights’ accommodation and $500 spending money, sponsored by the New Zealand Screen Association and the Motion Pictures Association. Best Film also comes with a TAFT sponsored $10,000 cash prize.

Runner Up The Dream of the Driver, directed and produced by Yamin Tun, winning $1,000 cash prize.

Third Place Lon-Done, directed by Allan George and produced by Allan George and Ben Fowler, winning $500 cash prize and the 2016 People’s Choice Award.

Best Female Actor –Jaya Beach-Robertson in Lock & key 2: Rise of the Demons

Best Male Actor - Jordan Rivers in John Squared – winning $2500 cash prize

Best Use of VFX – Chayse Millar for Bathilda’s Cauldron, winning $2,500 cash prize, Sponsored by ACG Yoobee School of Design 

Best Animated Film – Kennedy Faimanifo for Papa Taniwha, winning $2,500 cash prize, Sponsored by ACG Yoobee School of Design 

Te Tohu Auahatanga Maori Award, Jharaiz Kiriona, director and lead actor for Wings, winning $2,500 cash prize, Sponsored by Nga Aho Whakaari & Te Puni Kokiri 

Studio Award - David Gould director of Tomorrow’s Dream winning a $10,000 studio package at Avalon Film & TV Studios

New Plymouth hobby filmmaker, Hannah Taylor has earned the top spot at Tropfest NZ 2016 with her documentary/biopic short Back o’ the Bus.

Hannah’s short film chronicles her family’s experiences with racism, filmed while visiting her family in Fort Worth Texas on a trip to farewell her ageing grandfather. Hannah said winning was a complete shock, “I never expected it at all, the calibre of films this year  was incredible and put together by people who really know what they are doing!”

The Motion Picture Association and the New Zealand Screen Association sponsors the winning film prize which is a return flight to Los Angeles to meet with film and TV executives, five nights’ accommodation and $500 spending money.

Matthew Cheetham, Managing Director of the NZ Screen Association said they were thrilled to support Tropfest for a fourth year and promote the talent of NZ filmmakers. “The 2016 submissions were again of an incredibly high standard that attest to the quality of film makers in New Zealand. Hannah Taylor’s winning entry, Back o’ the Bus, was thought provoking and a deserved winner.  

First prize also takes possession of a $10,000 cash prize, sponsored by the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust.

Jharaiz Kiriona, director and lead actor of Wings won the Nga Aho Whakaari and Te Puni Kokori sponsored award recognising outstanding creativity in film with a $2,500 cash prize attached. Whetu Fala, Chairwoman of Nga Aho Whakaari commended Jharaiz’s directing skills. “His work offers a window of hope for young people facing challenges, Wings is a satisfyingly beautiful short film about the power of love.”

First time festival sponsor, Gary Watkins of Avalon film & TV Studios said the number of quality short films was excellent. “Tropfest really highlights the creativity and imagination young filmmakers of NZ have on offer. David Gould from Tomorrow’s Dream won the Avalon Studios sponsored Award which includes $10,000 worth of studio hire at Avalon Studio’s Wellington site.

The Tropfest winner and finalist films can be viewed on Tropfest NZ’s YouTube Channel at

The judging panel for 2016 festival included writer/director/producer Oscar Kightley (Sione’s Wedding, bro’Town) producer Fiona Copland (The Strength of Water, Matariki), writer and director Jonathan King (Under the Mountain, Black Sheep) & 2015 Tropfest winner Gabriel Reid.

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