Johanna Hertwich, 16, from rural Murchison in the South Island, has taken the Supreme Award at the inaugural Inspiring Stories Film Competition.
Hertwich also took away prizes for Best Short Film and Most Inspiring Story, a third of the total awards.
Her winning film was based on a friend who had been through a rough time, and followed her story of getting back on the rails.
The competition was part of the first-ever Festival for the Future, held in Wellington over the weekend. Open to all ages, it received 16 entries from 10 regions.
First time filmmaker Hertwich was motivated to enter after taking part in a storytelling and filmmaking workshop in Blenheim earlier this year.
The workshop was part of a nationwide series convened by the Inspiring Stories Trust in 13 regions, which aimed to support young filmmakers develop their skills and create a short film about a young person making a difference in their local community.
From March–July, 150 young filmmakers and 50 creative industry mentors took part in the workshops around New Zealand.