For our third New Zealand’s Best short film competition, NZIFF programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell viewed 115 submissions to make a shortlist of 12 from which filmmaker Andrew Adamson selected these six finalists. A jury of three will select the winners of the $5,000 Madman Entertainment Jury Prize and the $3,000 Friends of the Civic Award. A separate jury appointed by the New Zealand Cinematographers Society will present the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award of $2,000 and an engraved pan glass. The winner of the audience vote takes away the Audience Choice Award, consisting of 25 percent of the box office from the NZIFF screenings. Andrew’s comments on each film appear below.
A beautifully painful story of peer pressure and betrayal. Well shot and well acted by the young cast, it’s a very moving story that takes one back to the difficult years of childhood.
A unique take on a child escaping his surroundings. Good use of makeup and effects sets you up for a turn from the surreal to the tragically real. In the bleak New Zealand tradition the film is affecting and stays with you.
Hayley Sproull’s performance is perfectly subtle as a sympathetically insecure young woman caught between youth and premature aging. A very complete and satisfying narrative that is rare in the short film format.
A witty and imaginative take on the ‘battle of the sexes’. Cunningham has made great use of technology and whimsical production design to create a fun but pointed commentary on one of the many testosterone heavy occupations.
A well structured, beautifully shot, narrative... It leaves the audience contemplating life, death and pain – and how confusing such things can be for a child dealing with death every day.
A well crafted character study of aging rural New Zealand. Lovely subtle performances paint a sweet, sad and gentle story rooted in relatable characters.