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Previously, we rounded up eight feature films from DEGNZ members in part 1 and part 2. This year, our members have also been generously featured in all four short film programmes at the New Zealand International Film Festival, ranging from the competitive New Zealand’s Best to the stylish and eclectic collection of Eight Uneasy Pieces.
Here is a handy list of all the shorts from our members to watch out for at the festival.
New Zealand’s Best
New Zealand’s Best is NZIFF’s only competitive category for short films. NZIFF programmers have reviewed 84 submissions to make a shortlist of 12 short films, from which director and cinematographer Leon Narbey has selected six finalists. The winner of the audience vote takes away the Audience Choice Award, consisting of 25 percent of the box office from the main-centre NZIFF screenings.
Here are three short films from our members to root for in this year’s New Zealand’s Best competition.
MY FRIEND MICHAEL JONES is co-directed by DEGNZ member Samson Rambo and edited by DEGNZ member Luke Haigh. Set within an Otara school where bullying is ritualised into normality, an unlikely friendship between a high school misfit with OCD and a popular classmate forms the basis of this uplifting tale of acceptance.
CHARMER, edited by DEGNZ member Paul Wedel, is a portrait of a dating couple’s first real encounter. NZIFF notes the film for the languor of its pace and the sensitivity of its performances as it touches on essential issues of sexuality, isolation, and age.
SAIL AWAY, edited by DEGNZ member Dione Chard, is a cabaret romp about a young man who leaves his job at Quality Control to become a deep-sea sailor. Inspired by the likes of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, yet infused with a unique humour, this short film is about following your dreams into the unknown.
Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts
A curated collection of the year’s best Maori and Pasifika short films.
In the heartfelt documentary NATIVE IN NUHAKA, award-winning director and DEGNZ member Hiona Henare explores the close-knit community behind the Wairoa Maori Film Festival, the first New Zealand festival to be run by a Maori whanau. Craig Fasi writes, “Beautiful and undeniably real, Native in Nuhaka encourages more natives to use film as their statement of choice.”
THE MESSIAH, edited by DEGNZ members Cushla Dillon and Fauze Hassen, is an urban coming of age story about a young Polynesian boy’s encounter and experience with a self-proclaimed 14-year-old Messiah. A modern aesop infused with a unique cultural perspective, Leo Koziol calls this film ‘a sublime, dreamy, and surreal Polynesian parable.’
International stories with a Kiwi eye.
Inspired by her own time staying in Japan with her grandmother, DEGNZ member Asuka Sylvie directs LAST SUMMER, an atmospheric drama about a young boy’s summer with his grandmother who is beginning to show signs of dementia. It featured in the Short Film Programme at Toronto International Film Festival.
THE HORNS OF KOLKATA is a documentary by DEGNZ member Andrew Scott that explores the essentiality of honking and horns on the streets of Kolkata, India.
DEGNZ member Shailesh Prajapati co-produces SHIT ONE CARRIES, set in India, about the awkward intimacies between a father and son as old age approaches and caregiver roles are reversed by necessity.
Eight Uneasy Pieces
‘The Cinema of Unease’ explores the nooks and crannies of New Zealand.
In BATS, DEGNZ member Michelle Savill directs a stylish ensemble portrait of hard-partying twenty-something Wellingtonians as they crash their way through a neon night of sex, freedom, and friendship.
THE BROTHER, edited by DEGNZ member Luke Haigh, is a tense tale of a prodigal son’s hunt for atonement, set against the rugged backdrop of the South Island.
DEGNZ member Lauren Porteous premieres an extended cut of her 48Hours Grand Final Winner UNDER THE BRIDGE, a drama about a runaway’s encounter with a homeless man that addresses one of the most pertinent issues in New Zealand today with cinematic flair.
Shorts with Features
I WILL NOT WRITE UNLESS I AM SWADDLED IN FURS, directed by DEGNZ member Wade Shotter and based on the comedic short piece of the same name by John Babbott, is a portrait of a fussy writer’s battle with his own ego and procrastination. Catch this short as it screens before Juliet, Naked.