Supergirl: Weightlifting 10-year-old makes waves at documentary festival

Most of us probably weren't weightlifting at 10 years old, but then most of us aren't Supergirl.

Naomi Kutin's not the comic hero, but the subject of new documentary, which is in New Zealand for the Doc Edge Festival.

She's a teenager, an Orthodox Jew and a world record powerlifting champion. At 10 years old she deadlifted 98kg - more than twice her body weight.

Brooklyn filmmaker Jessie Auritt first met Naomi in 2012 after reading an article about her, and thought the petite powerhouse was worthy of a documentary.

"I was so fascinated that this young girl was participating in this male-dominated sport and also that she was from a modern Orthodox Jewish family, which typically has very traditional gender roles," she told Newshub.

"You don't see young girls, especially from that religion, doing those sorts of things."

Over the next three years, she followed Naomi's every move.

"We stayed over at their house sometimes, had meals with them. In a sense we joke that we became part of their family in the process of making the film."

The end result was Supergirl - Auritt's first-ever feature length film, and it's brought her to New Zealand to show it at Doc Edge.

Along with capturing Naomi's incredible strength, it shows her battling cyber bullying, health issues and adolescence.

"We got to capture her Bat Mitzvah and see that symbolic transition into womanhood," Auritt said.

It also deals with success at a young age.

"I think it's great that the film can provoke these interesting discussion about parenting, and pressuring your children, that line between encouraging them and pressuring them too much."

To make the film, Auritt had to win over the Kutins' trust - and get access to their most intimate moments.

"I don't know if there's such a thing as being in too deep as a documentary filmmaker," she said.

The first time Naomi saw the film was at the world premiere last year.

"She said, 'Well, it wasn't awkward as I thought it would be!' So for me, that was a win, that I could get a 15-year-old girl not thinking it was painfully awkward to watch herself onscreen," Auritt said.

Since then the family have seen it around six times at different festival screenings.

As the filmmaker, Auritt doesn't watch it all the time - but she says in New Zealand she'll probably go along and hide at the back.

And hopefully other 15-year-old girls will be inspired by the Supergirl, who proves that size doesn't matter.