Film made by South Auckland primary school teacher has critics raving

South Auckland primary school teacher Hamish Bennett used to make short films in the school holidays, but he had to take a bit more time off to make Bellbird.

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Hamish Bennett initially made short films in the school holidays, but he took some extra leave to create Bellbird. Source: Seven Sharp

Set in Northland, Mr Bennett's first feature-length film is a story of a grumpy old farmer and his son.

It's already being hailed as a quiet Kiwi classic that drips with authenticity. 

Mr Bennett grew up in Maungakaramea, 20 minutes west of Whangārei, and it's where his film is set. 

"Farmers might come across a bit grumpy I think," he told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp. 

"One of the points of the film is that they're just as loving and emotional and sensitive as the next person. I think it's just shown in different ways."

After some arm twisting, Mr Bennett convinced the Demming family into using their farm for the entire shoot.

Farmer Mark Demming said it was a community project.

"A lot of people were behind the scenes - people driving tractors and that sort of thing. They're all local people chipping into help the local boy." 

Watch more in the video above.