Filmmakers release debut movie for Kiwis to watch for free

Six days, a shoestring budget and a group of mates - these were the ingredients with which two New Zealand directors put together a feature film. 

It started with a whirlwind weekend in 2017.

Micah Winiata and Mason Cade Packer had just called 'cut' on their last scene for the 48-hour film festival.

"We made a short film with some Shortland Street actors in Auckland and after that film, we felt creatively excited to do something else," Winiata said.

Using their charm and $2000 of their own savings, the duo convinced their team to put together a feature film in just six days.

Winiata and Packer made the film while at the Broadcasting School in Christchurch. After graduating, they received acceptance letters to continue studying film at Chicago's Columbia College - and the pair took their movie with them. 

Faint of Heart tells the tale of how a husband's life-threatening alcoholism leads him to discover time travel after his wife leaves him. 

"We ended up getting a team of sound mixers from Columbia to work for free and they spent three months mixing and mastering the film for a class, which meant we got our film finished at a professional standard," Packer told Newshub.

Winiata says there is a trademark way Kiwis make films.

"If we want to hire out a location, we just give them a box of beers instead of a grand," he laughed.

Over in the United States, things are a little more by the book. 

"In America... everything has laws and consequences." 

The directors graduate from college this week and are hoping to make their mark in the US film industry, despite the uncertain job market.

The pair have released their film on Vimeo but created a code specifically for New Zealanders in lockdown.

The first 5000 Kiwis to use the code 'covidnz' get to view Faint of Heart for free. 

"It's a showcase of homegrown talent across the cast and crew and now, with the release of it, it's a distinctly New Zealand film."

So before heading into the freedom of level two, here's another film to add to your lockdown watchlist.