Issue date: 
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

We are pleased to announce the 16 short films green-lit for the 2013 round of Fresh Shorts.

Fresh Shorts is a competitive low budget short film funding scheme for new directorial voices, and is a core part of our commitment to talent development and identifying the next generation of New Zealand feature filmmakers.

Now in its fourth year, Fresh Shorts received a total of 235 applications this year, with 149 submissions at the $10,000 funding level and 86 at the $30,000 funding level.  Applicants came from a variety of backgrounds, with projects spanning a diverse range of genres and subject matter.

A shortlist of 43 projects was reviewed by a panel of industry practitioners and New Zealand Film Commission staff before the final 16 films were selected.  The panel consisted of: Chris Dudman (Director), Tina Cleary (Casting Director), Daniel Joseph Borgman (Writer/Director), Bonnie Slater (NZFC Professional Development Executive), Briar Grace-Smith (NZFC Development Executive) and Lisa Chatfield (NZFC Short Film Manager).

This year saw a fantastic progression of filmmakers who have previously achieved success at the Fresh 10 level transitioning to the Fresh 30 level.  These filmmakers include: the team behind I'm Going to Mum's (writer/director Lauren Jackson and producers Jeremy Macey and Andrew Cochrane), which premiered at Berlin this year; Aidee Walker, who wrote and directed the NZIFF 'New Zealand's Best 2013' Jury and Audience Award-winning short Friday Tigers; and directing team David White and Paul Wedel, whose short documentary I Kill was awarded a special jury prize at the 27th Montenegro Film Festival.  I'm Going to Mum's, Friday Tigers and I Kill were funded in the 2011 round of Fresh 10's.

Says Lisa Chatfield, “It was another tough year at the Fresh Shorts decision table having to get down to 16 films.  The panel are really pleased with the range of work and voices selected this year.  Although all the projects need additional development work our feeling is that the individuals attached to the projects have the ability and commitment required to make these scripts into strong, distinctive films.”

Congratulations to all the successful teams.

Eight short films have been green lit at the $10,000 budget level:

Actually Alex

Ness Simons (writer/director), Bonnie Low (producer), Jules Lovelock (co-producer)

When his childhood best friend comes to town, Alex must find the strength to reconcile his past with the man he has become.

The idea is visually interesting, the script is simple and effective and the characters are well defined.  This is a good and natural step for this team based on the work they’ve done before.


Chris Molloy (director), Aroha Awarau (writer/producer)

A heart-breaking decision cripples a loving mother who is torn between her loyalty to her children and doing what is right.

A good story with a good dramatic knot and palpable moral dilemma that feels like a different perspective on a story that has been seen before.

Hope (documentary, aka Fathers & Sons)

Ryan Alexander Lloyd (director)

A poetic documentary following a father and son, motor bikes, sing-a-longs, wide landscapes and coffin building in a garage. 

Love the simplicity of the story, men of the land, their stories as born out of their hands, their faces.  Uniquely personal and very visually powerful, you can really see the histories of these characters.

Meet Peter (documentary)

Gemma Duncan (Director), Alex Behse (Producer)

Meet Peter. Peter loves caves.  Peter loves lava caves.  Peter has devoted 50 years of his life to the discovery and documentation of Auckland’s underground secrets.

There was passion in the project.  Gemma feels like a committed documentarian and she has proven that she has a great eye and ability in her previous work.


Lani Feltham (writer/director)

A couple search the bush for a wasp's nest the size of a fridge.  He’s a tracker of signals, but can’t seem to read they’ve both long since fallen out of love.

Application portrayed a great sense of cinema in both content and visual style.  Responded to the setting of a stagnant relationship in the calm before the storm.


Ed Lust (writer/director), Alex Porter (producer)

When Amon is sent home to shave, the opportunity to test out his mature look proves far more tempting than returning for his next class.

It’s relevant and real; liked the edginess and it subverted expectations.  It is understated and beautifully nuanced, timely and original.

Stick To Your Gun

Joe Hitchcock (writer/director)

Gun-loving Dorian aspires to cook breakfast for the man handcuffed to her bed, but first she has to stop a wild chicken from destroying everything.

Loved the romp, loved that it was original, unexpected.  Previous work showed the ability of this team to make something absurd, surreal, and entertaining.

Unit 6

Jane Sherning Warren (writer/director)

A young woman sets out to kill her baby as a way of escaping her past, but is saved by the life she thought threatened her future.

Director has pulled together an excellent team for a beautifully written and well-constructed film.  Sophisticated, with a bleakness that gives this film a kind of poetry.

Eight short films have been green lit at the $30,000 budget level:

Break In The Weather

Aidee Walker (writer/director), Morgan Leigh Stewart (producer), Alexander Gandar (producer)

After years abroad, Jamie returns to Hamilton and finds herself confronted by a mixtape of heart-breaking memories, the people and places responsible for them, and 90's pop hits.

Personal, poignant, intelligent, and affecting piece with good pace. It’s easy to enter to the world Aidee has created with this story; she makes her characters accessible.

Clean Hands Save Lives

Katherine McRae (writer/director), Migiwa Ozawa (producer), based on a short story by Kirsten McDougall

A young family is drowning in suburbia.  In a bid for survival, the mother leads her children on a fateful journey to a wild coastline.

There was a strong sense of atmosphere.  Enjoyed the content's mix of the mundane and the epic. Kathy and Migiwa are a strong and mature team.

Each To Their Own

Maria Ines Manchego (writer/director), Lani-rain Feltham (producer)

A busy suburban woman struggles to reach her dying mother, whose looming death exposes fault lines in the little things that bind three generations of women blood, hair, clouds, ash and pimples.

A solid idea with well-drawn characters drawn around a single event with a good sense of realism and a clear tone.  A cinematically driven project from a talented visual filmmaker.


Mick Andrews (writer/director), Brett O’Gorman (director), József Fityus (producer)

In a sleepy rest home, Ron gets an overdue visit from his son whose motives are less than pure.

An original, austere story told in a familiar short film setting its strength lies in what is not said.  The lack of sentimentality lends it a real poignancy.

Spring Jam (animation)

Ned Wenlock (director), Christopher Brandon (writer), Gerogiana Taylor (producer)

A young stag lacking in the antlers department knows he needs to make sweet music in order to have any chance in the mating season.

Love the stag.  It’s fun and original the characters lift of the page.  Great team and you get a clear sense of the film from their combined vision.

Tits On A Bull

Tim Worrall (writer/director), Piripi Curtis (producer)

Inseparable rugby mates since she was a kid, Phoenix and coach Rusty’s friendship is pushed to breaking point by Phoenix's budding romance with team captain, Melanie.

Well-written, engaging story, with great fully realised characters and sharp dialogue.  Māori, pakeha, rural, gay, straight, funny, real lots of good reasons for making it.


Lauren Jackson (writer/director), Jeremy Macey (producer), Andrew Cochrane (producer)

Alisi is out on a limb and her family's disappointment in her might just snap the branch.

The characters ring true and speak with real, credible voices – we believe in them.  Very strong team.  Confident Lauren can get great performances based on her previous work. 

We Kill (documentary)

David White (director/producer), Paul Wedel (director)

The mass slaughter.  A short documentary about the people who grow and kill the meat so many of us consume. 

Feels cinematic.  They are committed documentarians with a strong body of prior work.  This documentary knows what its fresh angle on the story is and where its audience sits.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 29 August 2013