Last week named as the first (and currently, only) NZ title selected for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Waiting has taken out the Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at the NZIFF. Aumua receives a cash prize of $5,000.
A 2016 Unitec graduate-year, Waiting was written by Samuel Kamu and directed by Amberley Jo Aumua. Its Toronto selection makes it the first NZ student film to screen at the festival.
Back in Auckland, the $4000 Wallace Friends of the Civic Award went to Julian Vares’ Thicket. Roseanne Liang’s Sundance-premiered Do No Harm took the Audience Award, which comes with 25% of the box office takings from NZ’s Best screenings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
NZIFF programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell prepared a 12-title shortlist from the 83 entries. Gaylene Preston whittled that down to six finalists, which were judged by filmmaker Armagan Ballantyne, writer and columnist Toby Manhire, and Madman’s Andrew Cozens.
The remaining finalist films were: The Dregs (Director/Screenplay: Matt Campbell). Laundry (Director/Screenplay: Becs Arahanga), and Untitled Groping Revenge Fairytale (Director/Screenplay: Catherine Bisley).