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We won at Aspen!

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New Zealand short film Das Tub has won Best Short Short at the Aspen Shortsfest in Colorado – considered one of the world’s top 50 leading film festivals. The win comes close on the heels of the film winning Best Director at the Honolulu Film Awards in Hawaii.

New Zealand short film Das Tub has won Best Short Short at the Aspen Shortsfest in Colorado – considered one of the world’s top 50 leading film festivals. The win comes close on the heels of the film winning Best Director at the Honolulu Film Awards in Hawaii.

Das Tub was directed by Media Design School’s 3D course leader James Cunningham and animated by Advanced 3D students Rupert Ashton, Priyan Jayamaha, Jonathan Hagan, Andrew Junying Xu and Kirsten Dale Pretorius. The film features Kiwi actor Craig Hall and was written by acclaimed NZ screenwriter Nick Ward. The win means that Das Tub now qualifies to be considered for the Oscars.

Judges at the festival said the film won because of its “creativity, humour and ability to surprise”.

“Student film-making is not easy – it requires commitment, stamina and lots of optimism,” says Graeme Mason, CEO of the NZ Film Commission. “Receiving this award is a great achievement and the NZ Film Commission congratulates everyone involved with Das Tub. We look forward to seeing what you each create next.”

Media Design School CEO Frances Valintine says that the award is a reflection of the hard work put in by the entire production team.

“We are all absolutely over the moon with this win, especially considering that there were more than 2500 submissions from all around the world for the Aspen Shortsfest,” she says.

“Das Tub has been well-received by audiences globally because it is a quirky little film that is extremely polished. It truly shows that Media Design School graduates have an edge over others because they have already built industry connections during their time here, and know what it’s like to work on real productions, according to real timelines and schedules.”

Director Cunningham says that being recognised at such a prestigious festival as Aspen Shortsfest is a real honour.

“This award really pays tribute to the achievements of all the tutors in the 3D Department,” he says. “Our 3D courses are unique in that students actually have a chance to collaborate with the best in the industry on these films – actors, cinematographers, writers. That industry collaboration allows for the students to work on professional level visual effects shots. We are very proud of our students’ work and the results speak for themselves.”

Das Tub is a tongue-in-cheek homage to submarine films and tells the story of the crew of a German U-boat as they navigate the vessel through uncharted waters. It has received several international accolades including a finalist nomination at the prestigious Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards in Hollywood in January.

Another critically acclaimed New Zealand film, The Six Dollar Fifty Man, won Best Drama at Aspen Shortsfest last year. The Six Dollar Fifty Man went on to make the Oscars shortlist this year.

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