Tropfest New Zealand has announced its 15 finalists for the 16 February outing of the world’s largest short film fest.
Last year’s inaugural edition, held in January, drew a crowd of c8,000 to the event for the screening and handing out of gongs. The plum prize is a 5-day trip to Los Angeles sponsored by the New Zealand Screen Association (formerly NZFACT) and the Motion Picture Association. Last ear’s winner was local Dave Smith, with Cappuccino Tango.
Prizes are also awarded for Best Maori Director, Actor, Actress, Animated Film and VFX.
Judging is done live on the night, which is a brave approach and makes no allowance for any technical problems that might occur. But that’s how they roll in the ‘Naki. Fearless.
Several previous entrants are back this year, with four of this year’s 15 finalists having also been nominated last year. Nick Garrett, Allan George, Joel Garman and Michael McAdam all return. George’s Sounds Perfect was the only winner last year, taking him the gong for Best Maori Director and Greg Stubbings the Best Actor Award.
Another recent festival winner is also selected. Walter Lawry is named a finalist at Tropfest with Megan; his Blind Mice took away the Best Student Film gong at November’s Show Me Shorts festival.
The day before Tropfest sees the all-day Roughcut film symposium, featuring actor Craig Hall, Australian filmmaker Jason van Genderen, documentary maker Heather O’Leary, Kate Rodger, lawyer and producer Tim Riley, and the NZFC’s Whetu Fala and Briar Grace-Smith.
Tropfest’s RoughCut runs 15 February. The screening and awards night runs Sunday 16 February at Brooklands Bowl, New Plymouth.
The Tropfest 2014 finalists are:
Bea-Spectacled, Natasha Romaniuk
Help, Andrew Cooper
Kia Orana, Lennie Hill
Lock & Key, Nick Garrett
Megan, Walter Lawry
Miss Kalopsia, Nicola King
My Secret Valentine, Jane Fletcher
On The Rocks, Allan George
Paul Lawrence, Matt Gibson
Relationship Status, Chris Morton
Saving Private Tom, Luke Bremner
The Lighthouse Keeper, Daniel Pettit
Two Guns And A Funeral, Joel Garman
Utter Catastrophe, Michael McAdam
You Only Die Forever, Adam Harvey