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NZIFF 2012 names shorts finalists

Festival programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell did the hard yards, sifting through 109 submissions to prepare the 12-strong shortlist for the festival’s inaugural competition. Roger Donaldson has selected the six finalists from 12 possibles.

The six selected films will screen as the New Zealand’s Best programme in the festival and compete for three separate prizes:

Audiences in Wellington and Auckland get to vote on the films, with the winner taking 25% of the box office from the Festival screenings.

A jury of three will select the winners of the $5000 Madman Entertainment Jury Prize and the $3000 Friends of the Civic Award.

The six films selected as finalists, all completed this year, are:

43,000 Feet
NZ 2012. Director: Campbell Hooper Producers: Heather Lee, Amber Easby Screenplay: Matthew Harris.
9 mins
With several minutes before he hits the ground, a falling man reflects on his past and his immediate future.
Hooper’s first short, 43,000 Feet screened in competition at the recent Tribeca Film Festival.
“Great photography. Very original framing and concept.” – Roger Donaldson

Ellen Is Leaving
NZ 2012. Director: Michelle Savill Producers: Michelle Savill, Desray Armstrong Screenplay: Martha Hardy-Ward.
15 mins
Ellen is cool. She is recycling stuff before she heads overseas.
Ellen was EPed by Gaylene Preston.
“I love how original it feels. The details of the travel pack put a real smile on my face. ” – Roger Donaldson

Home
NZ 2012. Director: Thomas Gleeson Producers: Thomas Gleeson, Pip Walls.
11 mins
We watch a house take a road trip.
“A beautifully photographed minimalist documentary.” – Roger Donaldson

Lambs
NZ 2012. Director/Screenplay: Sam Kelly Producer: Tom Hern.
15 mins
A 14 year old has to choose between staying at home and protecting his siblings from abuse or leaving and starting his own life.
Lambs screened in competition in Berlin and will screen next weekend at Wairoa.
“Really captures a tough uncompromising world in a very compelling way. I loved the central character’s heroism. It reminded me of Once Were Warriors in the best possible way.” – Roger Donaldson

Milk & Honey
NZ 2012. Director/Screenplay: Marina Alofagia McCartney Producers: Angela Hicks, Marina Alofagia McCartney.
14 mins
This brief drama recalls the notorious dawn raids on Pasifika families.
The film also screens next weekend at Wairoa.
“I lived in Ponsonby in the 70s and remember the events portrayed in this film. Very poignant.” – Roger Donaldson

Night Shift
NZ 2012. Director/Screenplay: Zia Mandviwalla Producers: Chelsea Winstanley, Matt Noonan.
14 mins
An airport cleaner has reason to keep to herself.
Night Shift screened in competition in Cannes last week.
“I love this story – it feels so real and packs a real wallop.” – Roger Donaldson

The NZIFF opens in Auckland (19 July – 5 August); screens simultaneously in Wellington and Dunedin (27 July – August 12); then Christchurch (9 – 26 August). Further regional dates will be advised as confirmed.

The Festival has already announced nine films including the Peter Jackson-produced documentary West of Memphis and Joss Whedon’s The Cabin in the Woods featuring Anna Hutchison. Festival programmes will be available from 26 June in Auckland, and 29 June in Wellington.

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