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 writer Eleanor Catton, visiting filmmaker Rolf de Heer and Madman's Michael Eldred have selected Ross & Beth as the winner of the $5,000 Madman Entertainment Jury Prize, while the jury selected Abigail Greenwood, director of Eleven, for the $3,000 Friends of the Civic Award for distinctive creative achievement. A separate jury appointed by the New Zealand Cinematographers Society selected Grant McKinnon cinematographer for Ross & Beth to win the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award of $2,000 and an engraved pan glass. The Audience Choice Award, voted by viewers in Auckland and Wellington, went to Ross & Beth. 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.
Director Abigail Greenwood won The Friends of the Civic Award for distinctive creative achievement.
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.
Winner of the Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at NZIFF 2014 and the 2014 Audience Award, Ross & Beth will take home 25% of the box office takings from screenings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Cinematographer Grant McKinnon was winner of the Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the New Zealand Cinematographers Society.