NZIFF announces New Zealand's Best Shorts
The New Zealand’s Best programme is NZIFF’s only competition section. Finalists will compete for a total of four prizes, with winners to be announced at the closing night event of the Auckland leg of NZIFF.
The six finalists are Nancy From Now On (dir: Keely Meechan), Krystal (dir: Briar Grace-Smith), Egg Cup Requiem (dirs: Prisca Bouchet, Nick Mayow), Golden Boy (dir: Alex Plumb), Our Father (dir: Esther Mauga) and Hinekura (dir: Becs Arahanga).
“It was moving and invigorating to watch the 12 shortlisted short films and experience their energy, raw talent and the occasional truly sophisticated achievement” says Jane Campion.
Audiences at the New Zealand’s Best screenings in Auckland and Wellington will be asked to vote for their favourite short. The Audience Award winner takes away a 25% share of the box office takings from the New Zealand's Best screenings in the four main centres. In 2018 this prize was valued at $4,800.
Madman Entertainment will again support the title award, the Madman Entertainment Best Short Film Award. The cash prize of $5,000 is donated by the Australasian distribution company. The winner will be chosen by a three-person jury appointed by NZIFF and Madman Entertainment.
The Creative New Zealand’s Emerging Talent Award is a cash prize of $4,000 and recognizes a fresh voice: film-making that gives life to stories of those less often represented in film, or that speaks to new or existing audiences in different ways. The winner of this award will be selected by the jury.
The Auckland Live Spirit of The Civic Award is a newly created award to be selected by the jury and has a $4,000 cash prize attached.
Guest selector and filmmaker Jane Campion selected the six finalists from a shortlist of 12. NZIFF programmers Michael McDonnell and Sandra Reid, and Communications Manager Rebecca McMillan viewed 91 submissions to prepare the shortlist.
New Zealand’s Best Finalists for 2019:
Guest Selector Jane Campion’s comments on each film appear in italics.
Nancy From Now On
Director/Screenplay: Keely Meechan | Producer: Alesha Adhar
A young man has a burning desire to be a drag queen.
I liked this film for its light-handed yet authentic expression of alt-sexuality and the unforgettable charm of the lead Bailey Poching.
Director: Briar Grace-Smith | Producers: Jaimee Poipoi, Rosie Jones
A young woman is released from jail and goes straight to a party.
Distinguishes itself through Briar Grace-Smith’s tenderly emotional eye on a young girl in fright. The world of her brother’s ‘cool’ friends feels credible, fun and alive, but not wise, not kind.
Egg Cup Requiem
Directors/Producers: Prisca Bouchet, Nick Mayow
A collector reveals the story behind his lifelong obsession.
This clever film builds a powerful and unexpected emotion, the likes of which felt new to me. There is not a wrong move in this exquisitely told portrait. It’s a bold, true and quietly brilliant achievement.
Director/Screenplay/Editor: Alex Plumb | Producers: Alex Plumb, Gorjan Markovski
A day in the life of a young man with a desire to be noticed.
I liked very much that Alex Plumb drew us into mysterious, existential territory, that he trusted the psyche over sense.
Director/Screenplay: Esther Mauga | Producer: Shani McLeod Bennett
Two sisters are confronted by a dark history when their estranged father returns.
I appreciated the subtle telling of this family drama, especially the standout central performance of the charismatic and conflicted elder sister played by Samara Autagavaia.
Director/Screenplay: Becs Arahanga | Producers: Sharlene George, Kathryn Akuhata-Brown
In 1600s Aotearoa a young woman prepares for her destiny by undergoing a sacred ritual.
An irresistible tale of female empowerment told in a gloriously enchanted Māori world. It’s a super heroine story about periods, fantastically alive and unforgettable. Makes me proud to be a woman.
NZIFF is run by a charitable trust and encourages lively interactions between films, filmmakers and New Zealand audiences in 13 towns and cities around the country. The full NZIFF programme will be available from Tuesday 25 June for Auckland, and Friday 28 June for Wellington. NZIFF starts in Auckland on 18 July and in Wellington from 26 July in 2019.