Students bring home international film award

WINNERS: Digital imaging technician Simon Brown and executive producer Nina Hogg collecting the award for best senior short film in Melbourne.

Nina Hogg and Simon Brown of St Margaret’s and Christ’s colleges could soon be following in the footsteps of Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi.

While Waititi has been smashing box offices records with his new movie Thor: Ragnarok, Nina and Simon have written and produced the short film A Perfect Child.

The students’ film won the award for best senior fiction at the Australian Teachers of Media Awards in Melbourne.

It tells the story of Ava, played by St Margaret’s student Tigerlily Perry, a girl who has lost her parents in a car crash and has been sent to an orphanage.

She meets Madam Murphy (Eilish Moran, of The Court Theatre) who runs the establishment in a disciplined and firm manner. Ava soon befriends Lauren (Alice Taylor, of St Margaret’s), but finds out that things are not what they seem at the orphanage.

When Lauren suddenly turns on her, Ava discovers a laboratory full of clones which the orphanage is trying to make into perfect specimens so they can be adopted more easily.

Taking home an award didn’t come easily.

The 18min film took a year to produce from start to finish and involved more than 65 students, mentors and teachers.

Simon said the main challenge came from the editing process.

A Perfect Child went up against 550 entries in the ATOM awards from across Australia and New Zealand.

“The prize-giving was very nerve-racking, especially when Nina and I had to go up on stage to collect the award. We didn’t realise that we were required to give a short speech and had to improvise but it was taken very well, which was a relief,” Simon said.

Nina said many students put their life and soul into the film.

“I hope our two schools (St Margaret’s and Christ’s) continue this collaboration as a way to foster interest in the film industry and highlight the talent of our friends and fellow students,” she said.

The ATOM presentation was hosted by Australian TV presenter Walt Collins and was followed by a screening of the winning productions at the SAE Institute, Melbourne. The awards are in their 35th year, the second longest running in Australia, and aim to recognise film and media excellence in the education sector and screen industry.

•To watch A Perfect Child, go to