This year’s NZ’s Best line-up is now announced, with Lee Tamahori the guest selector. The six shorts will compete for awards at this year’s NZIFF.
“It’s always tricky choosing finalists,” said Tamahori. “I look for the most engaging elements in a film, be it animation, documentary or drama. Narrative is important, though not imperative. Imagination and visual stimulation are just as vital. The shortlist I have chosen makes me appreciate why I got into this medium in the first place.”
The New Zealand’s Best finalists are:
Cradle, Director: Damon Duncan
Judgment Tavern, Director/Screenplay: Dean Hewison
The King, Director/Screenplay/Producer: Ursula Grace Williams
Shmeat, Director/Screenplay: Matasila Freshwater (pictured, top)
Spring Jam, Director/Screenplay: Ned Wenlock
Wait, Director/Screenplay: Yamin Tun
The films compete for the $5,000 Madman Entertainment Jury Prize, $3,000 Wallace Friends of the Civic Award, and the Audience Award. Made with the support of Wallace Media, Williams’ The King won’t compete for the Wallace Friends of the Civic Award. The King is already a winner, having taken the Bright Sunday Prize for Emerging Pasifika Director at Wairoa over the weekend. It was recently selected for the Sydney Film Festival, where it plays alongside fellow NZ’s Best contenders Judgement Tavern and Wait.
Festival programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell viewed 81 entries to prepare the shortlist of 12 films from which Tamahori chose the finalists.
The full NZIFF programme will be available from Tuesday 21 June for Auckland and Friday 24 June for Wellington with further centres to follow.