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Film takes out both major prizes at short film comp

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Film takes out both major prizes at short film comp

A single short film took both the major prizes in the second annual NZIFF New Zealand’s Best Short Film competition announced at Auckland’s Civic Theatre tonight.

The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize, a cash prize of $5000 for the Best New Zealand Short Film at the 2013 New Zealand International Film Festival, is awarded to Friday Tigers, directed and written by Aidee Walker and produced Julia Parnell. The film also won the Audience Award.

Juror Simon Wilson, editor of Metro Magazine provided the jury’s citation:

"The judges looked for creative engagement with the film-making process, technical competence and, above all, a film that would provide us with a surprising, even thrilling, encounter.

We loved the whimsy of Friday Tigers, with its line drawings and a young mother’s delightfully fanciful creation of animal identities for herself and her small daughter. But the light mood barely hides the darker currents in play: this is a woman clinging to the few good things in her life so determinedly, she hardly has the chance to make sense of anything. The story moves crisply, the acting is beguiling, and the ending - a vote for courage and the power of the imagination - is a surprise and a delight."

The jury was unable to agree on a recipient for The Friends of the Civic Short Film Award for distinctive creative achievement to any one film in the 2013 Best of New Zealand Short Film programme. The $3000 prize money will be held over and added to the Friends of the Civic award in 2014.

The Audience Award, 25% of the net box office takings from the screenings in the four main centres was also awarded Friday Tigers. The votes were collated from four screenings held in Auckland and Wellington as part of the 2013 NZIFF. The cash value of this prize derived from ticket sales is likely to be around $5000.

The three judges were Metro Magazine editor Simon Wilson, Michael Eldred for Madman Entertainment and veteran film producer Bridget Ikin (An Angel at My Table, My Year Without Sex, The Rocket, William Yang: My Generation).

Guest selector and international filmmaker Alison Maclean selected the six finalists from a shortlist of 12. Festival programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell viewed 91 entries to prepare the shortlist.

The finalists (with Alison Maclean’s comments on each film in italics):

I’m Going to Mum’s

NZ 2013. Director/Screenplay: Lauren Jackson Producers: Jeremy Macey, Andrew Cochrane

Festivals: Berlin, San Francisco 2013. 13 mins

Torn between his separated Mum’s and Dad’s, what’s a kid going to wear? Truly original. It builds from a simple, charming and wryly funny premise to become unexpectedly powerful.


NZ 2013. Director/Screenplay: Dan Kircher Producer: Roimata Magregor. 15 mins

Beautifully shot and constructed, this oblique, subjective memory piece gets inside the mind of a rookie cop.

Tom’s Dairy

NZ 2013. Director/Screenplay: Oscar Kightley Producer: Elizabeth Mitchell. 13 mins

1981. A summertime day in the life of a Samoan kid in West Auckland touches on wider conflict and grief. A simple story perfectly told.

Here Now

NZ 2013. Director/Producer/Screenplay: Chelsie Preston Crayford. 14 mins

Perfectly calibrated and true, something pierces the boredom and unconscious dailiness of life for a young woman working in a dress shop.

Blind Mice

NZ 2013. Director/Producer/Screenplay: Walter Lawry. 15 mins

A young woman gets caught between two men. This is very assured filmmaking. Anchored by three vivid performances, we’re thrown into an ambiguous triangle that has more going on than meets the eye.

Friday Tigers

Nga Taika o te Râmere

NZ 2013. Director/Screenplay: Aidee Walker Producer: Julia Parnell. 16 mins

When a single mother creates a fantasy world for her three-year-old daughter, is there room for anyone else? Balances real world domestic/romantic turbulence with the gentlest kind of fabulism.

NZIFF in Auckland screens until 4 August, in Wellington until 11 August, in Christchurch from 1 to 18 August, and in Dunedin from 8 August to 25 August before continuing around the country. The NZ’s Best Shorts programme will screen in every NZIFF regional programme.

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