And the Oscar® accreditation goes to…
Show Me Shorts Film Festival kicked off on Thursday with a glamorous pink-carpet awards bash at Auckland’s swankiest cinema, The Civic.
The top award went to Julia Parnell and Matthew Saville for their fantasy drama through the looking glass, Dive. This film is now eligible for entry into the 2016 Academy Awards®. Saville also took home the Final Draft Best Screenplay Award for Dive. The judges said “Matthew Saville’s Dive is sweet-souled, sharp-witted and powerfully moving. It takes a simple idea and explores it with intelligence and excellent technique, and the results are not simple at all. Dive goes deep. It took our breath away.”
The Best International Film Award went to Swiss filmmaker Marcel Barelli for Vigia (Lookout), an animated tale narrated by a grandfather telling his grandson about the importance of bees.
Actor Jackie van Beek was acknowledged for her performance in Uphill, which she also wrote and directed. In awarding the StarNow Best Actor Award, the judges said “Painfully truthful, full of heart, restraint and intelligence, Jackie’s performance in Uphill is a truly classy piece of work. She tells a story of grief and the internal movement through the grief without ego or signposts. She allows us to enter her emotional landscape and gently lets us closer as the film progresses. Mature, beautiful, raw work from a terrific actress.”
Hamish Bennett took away the DEGNZ Best Director Award, for his already award-winning popular country tale Ross & Beth.
The inaugural Best Music Video Award was won by Alix Whittaker and THUNDERLIPS for Glare by Sheep, Dog & Wolf. This highly cinematic video received strong praise from the judges, who were impressed with the storytelling and artistic vision.
Judges awarded the NZFC Special Jury Prize to ‘Queenie’, saying “This is a gorgeous piece of animation. We felt it deserved a Special Jury Prize because of the wit and delight which was equally present in the script, voice work and animation. The animation itself was a complete delight, original and innovative. The rhythm, design and textures of the animation suited perfectly the soft comic irony of the story. This should be a series!”
Award winners partied into the night alongside their supporters and short film fans at The Civic. “The new venue was a triumph. The short films looked glorious up on that epic screen,” says festival director Gina Dellabarca. “Now is the opportunity for New Zealanders to indulge in watching all of these wonderful short films. I encourage everyone to make the most of the festival over the next three weeks. Show Me Shorts is here for a good time, not a long time.”
The judges were writer/actress Sophie Henderson; award-winning journalist and film critic David Larsen; star of stage and screen Robyn Malcolm; and director/musician Joe Lonie.
The winners of the Show Me Shorts Best Film Award are now eligible to submit their film for the 2016 Oscars®. They also received $2,000 cash, $5,000 worth of gear rental from Rubber Monkey, a membership to StarNow and a copy of Final Draft screenwriting software as part of their prize package. A total prize pool valued at more than $25,000 was given out at the awards event.
Show Me Shorts now plays in 20 cinemas across New Zealand until 23 November. During the festival, audiences can also vote for their favourite film to win the Wendy’s People’s Choice Award by filling out the festival survey in cinemas or on the Show Me Shorts website.
Pick up a brochure with the full Show Me Shorts 2014 programme from cinemas, cafes and libraries, or visit www.showmeshorts.co.nz.
Full list of award winners
Best Film Award: Julia Parnell and Matthew Saville, Dive
Best International Film Award: Marcel Barelli, Vigia (Lookout)
DEGNZ Best Director Award: Hamish Bennett, Ross & Beth
StarNow Best Actor Award: Jackie van Beek, Uphill
Final Draft Best Screenplay Award: Matthew Saville, Dive
Panavision Best Cinematographer Award: Ginny Loane, Helmut Makes a Quilt
Best Editor Award: Annie Collins, Eleven
Best Music Video: Alix Whittaker and THUNDERLIPS, Glare by Sheep, Dog & Wolf
NZFC Special Jury Prize: Paul Neason and Steffen Kreft, Queenie
Student Film, Notable Mention: Yarden Elyashiv, Bars and Tone
Wendy’s People’s Choice Award: Announced in December when audience votes are counted.