Whānau Mārama: NZ International Film Festival Announces Winners Of NZ’s Best Short Film Competition’s Jury Prizes

Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) announces the winners of its eleventh annual New Zealand’s Best short film competition’s jury-awarded prizes. The awards were presented live this evening following the screening of the five finalists’ films at the ASB Waterfront Theater in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Director Bala Murali Shingade’s film
Perianayaki earned him both the Flicks Award for Best Short Film (a cash prize of $7500) and the Creative New Zealand Emerging Talent Award (a cash prize of $4000), an award presented to a fresh voice: filmmaking that gives life to stories of those less often represented in film, or that speaks to new or existing audiences in different ways.
Perianayaki actor Jeyagowri Sivakumaran’s performance also earned a Special Mention.

The Auckland Live Spirit of The Civic Award (a cash-prize of $4000), awarded to a filmmaker whose work indicates the possibility of a feature made by them being of the stature and quality to open a Festival at Auckland’s The Civic in the future, was awarded to Trees directors Ben Bryan and Tom Scott.

The awards were judged by a three-member jury featuring filmmaker and writer Tim Wong, filmmaker and past Best Short Film award-winner Chelsie Preston-Crayford and Flicks.co.nz editor Steve Newall.

“As a jury, we acknowledge the high standard of shortlisted films and the difficulty of singling out a few for prize giving – each had its unique merits and outside of the awards criteria, deserved recognition on individual terms. It’s a hell of a thing to make any film, not to mention one that’s thrust into competition. Our appreciation goes out to all the filmmakers who submitted shorts for consideration,” says Tim Wong on behalf of the jury.

“We were ultimately drawn to two shorts at opposite ends of the spectrum of excellence: one that swung for the fences and committed to a vision, and another that grounded itself quietly yet profoundly in the everyday. Trees was striking in its confident ambition, while Perianayaki was searingly truthful, with a central performance we won’t forget.”

The five short films, selected as finalists by this year’s Guest Selector: filmmaker and Arts Laureate Florian Habicht, were Savior (dir: Alistair MacDonald), Manny and Quinn (dir: Siobhan Marshall), Perianayaki
(dir: Bala Murali Shingade), Rustling (dir: Tom Furniss), and Trees (dir: Ben Bryan and Tom Scott).

The Audience Award, as voted by the public, will be awarded on the closing night of the festival in Wellington, Sunday 14 August. Audiences at the New Zealand’s Best screenings in Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Whanganui-a-Tara will be asked to vote for their favorite short to decide this. The
winner of Audience Award this prize takes away a 25 percent share of the box office takings from the New Zealand’s Best screenings in the four main centres.

New Zealand Films at Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival are proudly supported by Resene.

Jury citations:

Flicks Best Short Film Award – Perianayaki
A great example of the power of a short film to leave a lasting emotional imprint in just minutes, Perianayaki resonates with humanity and elicits empathy long after its credits roll.

Creative New Zealand Emerging Talent Award – Perianayaki
Bala Murali Shingade’s sensitive direction and authenticity towards the unseen experience of under-represented lives spoke genuinely to the purpose of this award – and compellingly for the nurturing of his talent.

Auckland Live Spirit of The Civic Award – Trees
NZIFF has a storied history of opening with ambitious films that challenge the audience and saturate the giant Civic screen. Trees hints Tom Scott and Ben Bryan may earn a place on that stage in the future – their film is a confident and above all cinematic short that channels some of the Festival’s ‘eff you’ anti-mainstream sentiment, and points to the strong potential to realize a bold concept, to full effect.

Special Mention: actor Jeyagowri Sivakumaran
Whose nuanced, heartbreakingly honest performance in Perianayaki is a revelation.

© Scoop Media


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