We're delighted that acclaimed actress and filmmaker Kerry Fox will be the Guest Selector for New Zealand’s Best short film competition at NZIFF 2021!
Fox has selected six short films for New Zealand's Best which will screen nationwide. Previous Guest Selectors have included Tusi Tamasese (2020), Jane Campion (2019), Leon Narbey (2018) and Gaylene Preston (2017).
One of New Zealand’s most internationally successful actors, Fox was propelled to global prominence following her award-winning portrayal of writer Janet Frame in Jane Campion's An Angel at My Table. The actress went on to work with world-renowned directors, including Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave) and Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo) and earned a Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival for her role in Patrice Chéreau’s Intimacy.
In 2009, Fox reunited with Campion for Bright Star, for which she received Best Supporting Actress nominations from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards and the British Independent Film Awards. While much of Fox’s career takes her offshore, the Wellingtonian has returned to Aotearoa to star in locally produced films, including Mr Pip and The Rehearsal.
117 submissions were received this year with the NZIFF programming team shortlisting 12 films for Fox to consider.
"Naturally, I’m going to lean towards films that deliver courageous, rich, original and truthful performances – these are the criteria I believe are essential to the whole creation of cinematic drama,” said Fox
"We’re honoured to have Kerry on board as our Guest Selector this year. Having carved out such a prolific and decorated career both at home and abroad, Kerry brings with her an immense wealth of knowledge and experience that positions her perfectly for this role”: Festival Director, Marten Rabarts.
“We’re also excited to premiere her directorial debut, short film Topping Out, to New Zealand audiences during the festival.”
The six finalist films will be announced later this month together with details of this year’s awards. The New Zealand's Best award winners will be selected by a jury and announced during NZIFF 2021. All six films will also be eligible for the hotly contested Audience Choice Award which is selected by audience members who attend New Zealand’s Best screenings in Auckland and Wellington. Audience members will be invited to rank the finalists and the film that receives the highest rating will win a 25% share of the box office takings from the New Zealand's Best screenings in the four main centres. In 2019 this prize was $5585.