Image: Wellington school children attend a special NZIFF screening at the Embassy Theatre (Photo credit Ambrose Hickman). View our visual summary of the survey feedback over on our Facebook page.
Deciding What to See
“My wife chose the movies and I was happy with her choices”.
We enjoyed lavish praise for the new website, but note that the printed brochure still takes prime place as a guide to film selection. In 2015 we’ll be acting on the numerous requests for a PDF of the printed publication on our site. We were surprised and relieved to see how few people admitted to seeing the film still in the programme as a key influence. (You’d be amazed how many producers continue to sell themselves short by providing lacklustre stills.)
Rotten Tomatoes was named so often as an external source of guidance that we’d like to drill further: is it the audience ratings there or the critics’ approval rankings that hold sway? We were pleased to note the high use of two sponsor sites too: Flicks.co.nz and Letterboxd.
One respondent noted that we weren’t always on the ball about getting trailers on to our site. We’ve often booked films before the trailers have
The queues aside – and how genial and orderly they invariably are – VIFF is the festival that reminds me the most of our own, until I am reminded by the announcement at every screening that VIFF must secure $3 of grant, donation or sponsorship income for every $1 taken at the box office. (At NZIFF we’d probably be happy with $1 for every $5 if you’d like to help out.)
Nonetheless VIFF gives off every indication of being an audience-driven extravaganza, with big crowds eagerly engaging with every film and Q and A I have seen. Those queues, btw, are very social; reputedly the scene of many a life-changing encounter. How better to open a new chapter in your life than with a witty remark to a complete stranger about the duration of the new Nuri Bilge Ceylan movie or by confessing your ambivalence about the colour-blind casting gag in the new Kristen Wiig movie, Welcome to Me? That seemed to be working yesterday for the guy behind me.
VIFF is my third consecutive festival since NZIFF this year. I have now seen a great many not-so-great films at TIFF, attended press screenings for the NYFF, and traded tales with various
The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film was awarded to Ross & Beth, directed and written by Hamish Bennett and produced by Orlando Stewart.
The jury selected Abigail Greenwood, director of the film Eleven, for The Friends of the Civic Short Film Award for distinctive creative achievement.
A special jury of cinematographers selected Grant McKinnon, cinematographer for Ross & Beth as the winner of the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the New Zealand Cinematographers Society (NZCS).
And the 2014 Audience Award, voted by viewers in Auckland and Wellington, went to Ross & Beth.
The three judges were Eleanor Catton, 2013 Man Booker prize winner and author of The Luminaries, visiting filmmaker Rolf de Heer (Charlie’s Country,Ten Canoes) and Michael Eldred, representative for Madman Entertainment. The jury statement reads as follows:
"The jurors were united in their admiration for the shorts presented, their variety and the standard of film making contained within them. Each of the shorts, in giving us something to admire, was a worthy finalist.
For fluid, effective story-telling with both camera and performance, the Friends of the Civic Award goes to Abigail Greenwood for Eleven.
For its completeness as a short film, its mastery of
The films will compete for four cash prizes, with winners to be announced at the closing night event of the Auckland leg of NZIFF. The six finalists are Cold Snap (dir: Leo Woodhead), Eleven (dir: Abigail Greenwood), Over the Moon (dir: James Cunningham), Ross & Beth (dir: Hamish Bennett), School Night (dirs: Leon Wadham and Eli Kent) and U.F.O. (dir: Gregory King).
The New Zealand’s Best programme will screen as part of our 2014 line-up and audiences will be encouraged to vote for their favourite short. The 2014 Audience Award winner in Auckland and Wellington will take away 25% of the box office from the Festival screenings in the four main centres.
In addition, a jury will select the winner for each of three awards – The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize (cash prize of $5,000 for the best New Zealand Short Film); The Friends of the Civic Short Film Award for distinctive creative achievement (cash prize of $3,000). A special jury of cinematographers will select the winner of the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the New Zealand Cinematographers Society (NZCS) which includes a cash prize of $2,000.
Guest selector and international filmmaker Andrew Adamson selected the six finalists from a shortlist
Congratulations to Catherine Fitzgerald on becoming an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film in the Queen’s Birthday honours this past weekend. We are so pleased to see her honoured for her continued dedication to NZIFF and the New Zealand film industry. Catherine has worked with us as chairwoman of the New Zealand Film Festival Trust since 2001. Her work on behalf of the Film Society movement that spawned NZIFF stretches back to the 80s. But it’s not all about us! The ONZM also acknowledges her work as the chair of Woman in Film and Television, the Screen Producers' Association and as producer of New Zealand films, including Taika Waititi’s Oscar-nominated short Two Cars, One Night and the award winning Samoan language feature The Orator. Brava Catherine!