Andrew Adamson has done the honours and selected the six shorts which will compete as finalists for this year’s New Zealand’s Best Short Film awards at the New Zealand International Film Festival.
Adamson (Shrek, Mr Pip, World’s Apart) selected the films from a 12-title shortlist prepared by festival director Bill Gosden and programmer Michael McDonnell. 115 titles were considered.
Half of the half-dozen will have their world premiere screenings at the NZIFF: Hamish Bennett’s Ross & Beth, Leon Wadham & Eli Kent’s School Night, and Gregory King’s U.F.O..
Ross & Beth is a Fresh 30 short, following Bennett’s 2010 Fresh 10 short, The Dump. School Night’s Wadham was nominated at last year’s SWANZ in the Best TV Comedy Episode category as part of the team who wrote Sunny Skies. On the other side of the camera, he was also nominated for the Best Short Film Actor gong at the MOAs for his turn in Louise Leitch’s Blankets.
King (A Song of Good) has been making festival-selected and -awarded shorts for 15 years. Last year he was one of eight filmmakers selected for Script to Screen’s inaugural FilmUp mentorship programme. King worked with Australian writer/director Rolf de Heer, whose Charlie’s Country recently picked up the Best Actor gong for David Gulpilil in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard competition.
Also selected for last year’s FilmUp was the director of one of the three NZ’s Best titles that have already seen the light of day, James Cunningham (Poppy, Rotting Hill, Shelved). Producer Tim Sanders (The Insatiable Moon, This Is Not My Life, Whale Rider, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) mentored Cunningham, who has a double-digit sized collection of successful shorts to his name – several recent ones having been made with his Media Design School Students.
Cunningham’s Over The Moon is selected as a finalist for NZ’s Best.
The final two selections are Leo Woodhead’s Cold Snap and Abigail Greenwood’s Eleven.
Made under the NZFC’s Premiere Shorts funding strand, Cold Snap premiered in Venice last year, six years after his Cargo was also selected there. In April this year it took away the jury prize from the Hong Kong IFF.
Greenwood’s debut short was funded by the NZFC as Fresh 10 short in 2012, when it was travelling as Shooting an Elephant. It premiered at this year’s Berlinale in the Generation Kplus programme.
All the titles compete at the NZIFF for four cash prizes: the Madman Entertainment Jury Prize ($5,000); the Friends of the Civic Short Film Award ($3,000); the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the NZCS ($2,000). The final award is the audience award, which delivers 25% of box office from the four main centres – last year it paid out $4,500.
The NZIFF will commence its programme reveals in Auckland on 23 June. The festival will screen in Auckland (17 July – 3 August); in Wellington (25 July – 10 August); Christchurch and Nelson (6 – 24 August); Dunedin (31 July – 17 August). It will also visit Timaru, Gore, Hawke’s Bay, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Masterton, and New Plymouth.
All the info is here.