Kiwi Filmmaker Alyx Duncan Wins a Shot at an Oscar with Show Me Shorts’ Big Award

Show Me Shorts Film Festival has announced the winners in ten award categories for the 10th anniversary event. The Oscar®-accredited Lightbox Best Film Award was awarded to Alyx Duncan for The Tide Keeper (you can catch it in Show Me Shorts: Plunge Into Other Worlds).

As the winner of the coveted Lightbox Best Film Award Duncan is now eligible to enter The Tide Keeper into the 2017 Oscars®. She also receives $2,000 cash, $5,000 worth of gear rental from Rubber Monkey, a membership to StarNow, a copy of Final Draft screenwriting software, a bottle of Opawa pinot noir and flowers from Enchanted Rose.

Duncan also took home the DEGNZ Best Director Award, while her cinematographers Chris Pryor and Ben Montgomery were jointly awarded the Panavision Best Cinematographer Award.

In their statement, the judges, Peter Elliot, Siobhan Marshall, Cushla Dillon and Matthew Saville, said, “The Tide Keeper is concise, intelligent, beautiful and moving. This film created another world within a world, incorporating an intriguing sense of choreographic movement and the best elements of story-telling and cinema. It is totally original.”

Screenwriters Ryan Heron and Guy Montgomery won the Final Draft Best Screenplay Award for their coming-of-age comedy set in rural New Zealand, Return (you can catch it in Show Me Shorts: Aroha Aotearoa).

US filmmaker Jonathan Stein received the Best International Film Award for Out of the Village (you can catch it in Show Me Shorts: Double Take), which made its world premiere screening on the night. The judges said, “This film delivered without artifice or slant. Stunning. The performances are amazing.”

James Cunningham received the DEGNZ Best Editor Award for Accidents, Blunders and Calamities, (you can catch it in Show Me Shorts: My Generation and Show Me Shorts: Highlights), This animated comedy features a father possum reading a bedtime story to his children about the most dangerous animal of all… humans! Accidents, Blunders and Calamities also made its world premiere debut on the night, along with Best Student Film Award winner The Grind (you can catch it in Show Me Shorts: Aroha Aotearoa).

Speaking about Tina Cleary’s StarNow Best Actor Award winning performance in Cub (you can catch it in Show Me Shorts: Aroha Aotearoa), the judges commented: “Cleary’s performance was amazing – it had distinctive depth and humanity. It was an extraordinary role that she rose to.”

The Best Music Video Award category was fiercely competitive, with the prize going to last year’s winners, directing duo Thunderlips, for The Eversons – Emily (you can catch it in Show Me Shorts: Aroha Aotearoa and Show Me Shorts: Highlights). The judges also acknowledged the work of Mhairead Connor, who produced UFO (you can catch it in Show Me Shorts: Aroha Aotearoa), with the NZFC Special Jury Prize – calling it “Exceptionally bold and brave. Cinematic. Art department, the lighting and the make-up are all really well done. Fantastic.”

Show Me Shorts is now playing 40 short films and six music videos in 22 cinemas across Aotearoa, from Dargaville to Stewart Island. Tickets are on sale from the cinema venues.

Audience members can be part of the awards process by voting for their favourite film to win the People’s Choice Award during the festival. Survey and voting forms can be completed at cinema venues or online at