Issue date: 
Monday, 6 August 2018

Congratulations to the winners of the seventh annual New Zealand’s Best short film competition. The winning shorts were announced on stage at the Civic Theatre in Auckland on Saturday.

The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at NZIFF 2018 was awarded to Falling Up. Director Chelsie Preston Crayford received a cash prize of $5,000.

The Jury citation follows:
“It's days later and we're still thinking about Falling Up, a film that effortlessly unravels not only the exhaustion and heartache and grief of being a recently-separated young mum, but the mundane joy, the unending love, and the moments of quiet triumph.

Chelsie Preston Crayford balances roles as mother, writer, director, and performer in a film that captures a rare emotional complexity. Falling Up had us laughing one moment and close to tears the next. A masterful, stand-out film in this year's line-up.”

The inaugural Creative New Zealand Emerging Talent Award was awarded to Charmer. Director Judah Finnigan receives a cash prize of $4,000.

The Jury citation follows:
“It's astounding that Charmer is Judah Finnigan's first foray into film: his direction is assured and his writing is sharp as hell. Matt Henley's cinematography and Chris Ulutupu's art direction sees the screen dripping and glowing with unexpected colour, and Robyn Malcolm and Stephen Lovatt deliver delightful and nuanced performances as two middle-aged strangers on a first date. It's a remarkable first film, and we're looking forward to seeing what Judah makes next.”

The Wallace Friends of the Civic Award was awarded to My Friend Michael Jones.

The finalists for this award were assessed by Sir James Wallace and Associate Producer Alex Plumb. The filmmaker receives a cash prize of $4,000 and is the recipient of the Golden Elephant, fashioned in tribute to the elephants that grace the Civic Theatre.

The 2018 Audience Award, which will take home 25% of the box office takings from screenings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, is awarded to My Friend Michael Jones, directed by Ian Leaupepe and Samson Rambo. In 2017 the prize was valued at $4,500.

Briar Grace-Smith, author and screenwriter, Rosabel Tan, arts editor, and Luke Murray, representative for donor Madman Entertainment, judged the six short films selected by Guest selector and filmmaker Leon Narbey.

Leon Narbey selected the six finalists from a shortlist of 12. NZIFF programmers Bill Gosden, Michael McDonnell and Sandra Reid viewed 84 submissions to prepare the shortlist.

The six finalists were Charmer (dir: Judah Finnigan), Falling Up (dir: Chelsie Preston Crayford), My Friend Michael Jones (dir: Ian Leaupepe, Samson Rambo), No Shame (dir: Brendan Donovan), Run Rabbit (dir: Robyn Paterson), and Sail Away (dir: Ella Becroft, Tama Jarman).

The New Zealand’s Best 2018 shorts programme will screen around the country with NZIFF.

New Zealand films at NZIFF are proudly supported by Resene.

Read more about the jury's notes on the NZIFF website.

Last updated: 
Monday, 6 August 2018