NZIFF continue to appoint prominent NZ filmmakers to select the latest and best in NZ short films with Lee Tamahori confirmed as Guest Selector for the 2016 New Zealand’s Best competition.
Five to six selected New Zealand shorts will premiere in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch where audiences are encouraged to vote for their favourite short from Tamahori’s shortlist. Previous Guest Selectors have included Christine Jeffs (2015), Andrew Adamson (2014), Alison Maclean (2013), and Roger Donaldson (2012).
Lee Tamahori began his extensive career directing commercials, founding long-running commercial production company Flying Fish. His debut feature film Once Were Warriors is one of the highest-grossing New Zealand films of all time and led him to a Hollywood career which includes Mulholland Falls and Die Another Day. Tamahori’s latest feature film Mahana, based on the Witi Ihimaera novel Bulibasha and starring Temuera Morrison, was released in New Zealand cinemas in March.
“We are honoured to have Lee Tamahori as our Guest Selector of the 2016 New Zealand’s Best shorts competition. We see great value for the contenders in having a filmmaker of Lee’s experience and accomplishment respond to their work. We received 81 short film submissions which have been shortlisted to 12 for Lee to consider.” says NZIFF director Bill Gosden.
This year’s NZ’s Best finalists will be eligible for a total of three prizes. Madman Entertainment will again support the title award, the Madman Entertainment Best Short Film Award. The cash prize of $5000 is donated by the Australasian distribution company. The winner will be chosen by a three person jury appointed by NZIFF and Madman Entertainment.
The participation of Sir James Wallace together with the Wallace Foundation and Wallace Media Ltd will continue the Friends of the Civic Award. The Wallace Foundation stepped in last year to fund the award after the dissolution of the longstanding donors, the Friends of the Civic. The Wallace Friends of the Civic Award will be a cash prize of $3000 awarded to the film or contributor to a film deemed to merit special recognition. Sir James and Wallace Media Ltd Associate Producer Grae Burton will select this year’s winner.
The Audience Choice Award will be selected by audience members who attend the NZ's Best screenings in Auckland and Wellington. Audience members will be invited to rank the finalists and the film that receives the highest rating will win a 25% share of the box office takings from the New Zealand's Best screenings in the four main centres.
New Zealand films at NZIFF are proudly supported by Resene. NZIFF is run by a charitable trust and encourages lively interactions between films, filmmakers and New Zealand audiences in 13 towns and cities around the country. The full NZIFF programme will be available from Tuesday 21 June for Auckland, and Friday 24 June for Wellington. NZIFF starts in Auckland on 14 July and in Wellington from 22 July in 2016.