Sam Kelly graduated from Victoria University with a degree in Film and Masters in Screenwriting. Sam then made several short films, including winning Wellington’s 48HOURS filmmaking competition for an unprecedented three consecutive years. In 2010 Sam won SPADA’s ‘Young Filmmaker of the Year’.

In 2012 his short film Lambs received official selection at many prestigious international film festivals including Berlin, Clermont-Ferrand, Melbourne, Uppsala and Raindance, and won the Jury Prize and Audience Award at the New Zealand International Film Festival, Best Director at Show Me Shorts, the Young Jury Prize at Sequence (Toulouse), and Runner Up at One Lens (Hollywood). His feature film Savage was released in 2020 and achieved stellar reviews and popular success, now sitting in the top 20 NZ films of all time at the box office.