On Wednesday evening, Show Me Shorts unveiled its 2014 line-up at Auckland’s Capitol, ongoing home of the festival despite the need to shift the opening to larger premises this year.
This year Show Me Shorts received its largest number of entries, with almost 1,000 short films coming in from over 55 countries. Those have been whittled down to 47 including six music videos, from 13 countries. Beyond NZ, titles hail from Australia, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Switzerland, the UK and USA.
As is customary, the chosen ones will play in themed programmes: Art Will Save the World, Bromance, In the Neighbourhood, Listen Up, Time Travellers, and My Generation.
One of this year’s judges, The Listener’s David Larsen, tweeted before the programme announcement:
I love my country. Watch 40-odd NZ short films in 3 days though, & you do notice DEATH BLOOD DEATH SO MUCH DEATH.
— David Larsen (@leaflemming) October 14, 2014
before deciding to make lemonade and suggest, “I’m thinking we need an award for Best Death.”
Larsen is judging this year’s crop alongside the director of 2013 Best Film Joe Lonie (Honk If You’re Horny), Fantail writer and lead Sophie Henderson, and actor Robyn Malcolm.
Other high-profile stars feature in some of the shorts, including Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!) in Dog Food; Oscar-nominated British actress Sally Hawkins (Happy Go Lucky, Love Birds) and Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter, Moulin Rouge) who co-star in The Phone Call.
Closer to home actress Loren Taylor (Eagle vs. Shark) features in two shorts: Leo Woodhead’s award winning Cold Snap; and with Craig Hall (A Place to Call Home, The Hobbit) in Make My Horror Movie winner Jason Lei Howden’s The Light Harvester.
Greg Johnson and John Leigh (both ex-Shortland Street and recent hosts for the NZWG’s SWANZ bash) join forces in Snowmen; Charlie Bleakley (Scarfies) and Cohen Holloway (Boy, Good for Nothing) share the load in Coconut, which was one of the films screened at Wednesday’s launch.
Also in the launch mix was animated title Condom, from the Australian team that last year had Mud Crab selected. Flying the MV flag was Jordan Dodson and Sean Wallace’s Glare for Sheep, Dog & Wolf.
As well as unlehing the film , Show Me Shorts also announced the names of the writers selected for the Show Me Shorts & Script to Screen Writers Lab.
Show Me Shorts kicks off with the Rialto Channel Opening Night & Awards Ceremony on Thursday 6 November at Auckland’s Civic. Ten awards will be presented, including the Oscar-qualifying Best Film gong. A vox pop gong, the Wendy’s People’s Choice award, will deliver a $1000 cash bonus later on in the festival run.
Capitalising on the benefits of digital distribution, Show Me Shorts is now better able to live up to its motto (here for a good time, not along time) and run in a more concentrated burst rather than tiki touring around the country to this year’s 20 venues until mid-January. This year’s Show Me Shorts festival runs 6 – 23 November.