As the Auckland leg of this year’s NZ International Film Festival came to a close over the weekend, local directors took the spotlight at the Civic Theatre - where their short films had shown earlier in the week as part of the inaugural NZIFF New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition.
Lambs by Wellington filmmaker Sam Kelly won the Madman Entertainment Jury Prize, with Kelly taking home a $5000 cash prize. Madman’s Michael Eldred in presenting the award on Saturday said “Lambs had the biggest heartbeat, a rawness, honesty and a wonderful humanity”.
Lambs also won the Audience Award, voted for by attendees at screenings held in Auckland and Wellington and including a cash prize of 25% of net box office takings.
Also on Saturday the Friends of the Civic Short Film Award for distinctive creative achievement (and an accompanying cash prize of $3000) was awarded to Home, directed by Dunedin’s Thomas Gleeson
These films were amongst six finalists chosen by guest selector Roger Donaldson prior to the Festival from a shortlist of twelve, the other finalists being Campbell Hooper’s 43,000 Feet; Michelle Savill’s Ellen Is Leaving; Marina Alofagia McCartney’s Milk & Honey; and Zia Mandviwalla’s Night Shift.