A New England-born filmmaker has claimed one of Australia's most prestigious short film awards at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Brietta Hague, from Nundle, developed the idea for what later became the short film Baltasar while working as a journalist in Barcelona.
On Thursday, she cliched the Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for best Australian Short Film.
Ms Hague said the film is based on the traditional Spanish version of the story of Christmas.
One of the kings, King Baltasar, is "the black king".
The first-time filmmaker worked with a number of non-actors to create a work exploring the value of such a significant black figure to the country's undocumented West African population.
"On this one day of the year this black man is elevated to this very special position," she said.
"It's a fictional film. It's a piece of fiction based on the real life of West Africans in Spain, set on this one day of the year."
Ms Hague said her love of international cinema and her desire to make her own was kindled in the New England.
"I'd love to have Nundle premiere!" she said.
"My love of foreign film started in Nundle. The town used to have a film program called 'Flicks in the Sticks' and they actually chose a lot of foreign films.
"That's my passion now and I really have Nundle to thank for that. It was really quite inspiring to me."
The prize was awarded in an online ceremony, but it remains probably the country's most prestigious short film award.
Her Melbourne International Film Festival award means Ms Hague has a chance to make another movie.
The plan is to set the next one in the New England, preferably shooting in Nundle itself, coronavirus willing.
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