Hamish Bennett’s Ross & Beth, produced by Orlando Stewart, took three of the four NZ’s Best awards at the NZIFF. Abigail Greenwood’s Eleven took the fourth prize on offer.
Ross & Beth took the Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at NZIFF 2014 and, along with the bragging rights, $5,000. The jury said the prize was given “for its completeness as a short film, its mastery of the different aspects of the medium, both technical and artistic, and its ability to so fully engage its audience”.
Ross & Beth had its world premiere at the NZIFF. It was supported by the NZFC as a Fresh 30 short, following Bennett’s 2010 Fresh 10 short, The Dump.
Cinematographer Grant McKinnon took the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the New Zealand Cinematographers Society (NZCS) for his work on Ross & Beth, plus $2,000. The film also took the Audience Award, which delivers 25% of the box office takings from the screenings in the four main centres. Last year the values was $4,500.
The Friends of the Civic Short Film Award for distinctive creative achievement and $3,000 went to Abigail Greenwood, director of Eleven. The jury praised the film’s “ fluid, effective story-telling with both camera and performance”.
Greenwood’s short was funded by the NZFC as Fresh 10 short in 2012, then under the title of Shooting an Elephant. It premiered at this year’s Berlinale in the Generation Kplus programme.
Festival programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell viewed 115 entries to prepare the shortlist of 12, which Andrew Adamson whittled down to six finalists. This year’s judges were Eleanor Catton MNZM, 2013 Man Booker prize winner and author of The Luminaries, visiting filmmaker Rolf de Heer (Charlie’s Country, Ten Canoes) and Michael Eldred, representative for Madman Entertainment.
Also named finalists were Leo Woodhead’s Cold Snap, James Cunningham’s Over The Moon, Leon Wadham & Eli Kent’s School Night, and Gregory King’s U.F.O.
The NZIFF screens in Auckland until 6 August, in Wellington until 13 August, in Dunedin until 17 August before continuing around the country.