Rising Kiwi filmmakers scoop top award at international, NASA film comp - judged by Oscar nominated director

It was 34 days before the competition deadline when two young Auckland filmmakers started working on their short film, which then went on to win it.

It wasn't much time, given they had to write the script, choose the actors to play the parts, edit the film and come up with an original score.

Rising stars Harriet Maire and Ferris Bradley, both 21 years old, are now soaring above the clouds after their short film Lani's Space won a special category award at the CineSpace competition in Houston.

The short film is about a solo father's journey to understand his daughter's love of space.

They were competing with 900 entries from around the world.

The film was also screened at the Houston Cinema Art Festival in November 2016 along with 15 other finalists.

The cherry on the icing was when they found out award-winning American director for the movie Boyhood, Richard Linklater, judged their category.

Harriet directed the film and wrote the script, while Ferris produced it.. 

They then submitted the film into the competition, which is a short film contest giving filmmakers around the world a chance to share their works inspired by and using NASA imagery.

They went on to win the award for film best depicting benefits to humanity from the International Space Station.

Although they found out they had won the award in November last year, their success was only made public this week.

Ferris and Harriet won USD$4000 (NZD$5521), which they plan to feed into another creative project coming up soon.

"My dream in the hopefully not-too-distant future would be to buy the rights to turn one of my favourite New Zealand novels into a film," Harriet said.

"When making a short film, you become so wrapped up and invested in the project that sometimes it can be difficult to objectively see whether it does what it sets out to achieve, and tells a good story."