Show Me Shorts Film Festival

Show Me Shorts Film Festival

The Show Me Shorts Film Festival is back for it’s fifth year with 40 new entries for your viewing pleasure.

From comedy to drama, action to fantasy, the Show Me Shorts fest guarantees fun and promises to introduce viewers to new experiences and cultures.

Festival founder and director, Gina Dellabarca, says the 2010 programme is better than ever and that there is something for everyone. Dellabarca shares with View her thoughts on short film, New Zealand film and who, in the film world, she would love to sit down and have dinner with.

When & why was the Show Me Shorts festival created?
The idea was born in 2005 when two friends and I were yarning over a glass of wine at Mezze Bar. We were looking for a fun new project to work on together that would provide something there was unfulfilled demand for. The conversation turned towards short films and that just seemed to work on multiple levels.

How long/why have you been involved in the Show Me Shorts festival?
I’ve always loved short films, ever since a friend took me along to ‘Five for Fives’ at the Paramount in Wellington. Being a part of bringing such fantastic short films to appreciative audiences is addictive.

Why are short films so special and important to the film industry, not just in New Zealand but internationally?
People need stories to inspire their imaginations. There’s something magical about the way a short film distills the essence of a story. The genre is increasingly accessible and popular with audiences around the world. Shorts can be a stepping-stone or calling card for filmmaking genius. They are an experimentation ground for new techniques and controversial ideas that are too risky for a feature film. Some stories are also just suited to being told in this format.

What are some highlights of yours from previous Show Me Shorts festivals?
So many! The popular docu-mations ‘Noise Control’ and ‘A Very Nice Honeymoon’ by Phill Simmonds, which won our Best Film awards in 2008 and 2007. Last year’s animated, film-noir, post apocalyptic zombie movie ‘A Break in the Monotony’ by Damien Slevin. Our first-ever Best Film winner ‘Ray’ by Jannine Barnes is another influential and accomplished short that still resonates with me.

I like to re-watch some of my favourites over again, and that’s why we are working on Volume Two of our Best of Show Me Shorts DVD, which will be out before Christmas from Vendetta Films. We are also streaming the winners from each of our first four years at Flicks for the week leading up to the festival this year, so people can check them out there.

What films are you most looking forward to at this years line-up?
We have such a strong programme of films this year. The collection includes timely and clever gems like the claymation mockumentary ‘The North Pole Deception’, about the poor working conditions for elves in Santa’s workshop. There are some brilliant comedies like Katie Wolf’s ‘This is Her’ and ‘Oscar’s First Kiss,’ which is set on a Melbourne tram where a teenage boy attracts the attention of a flamboyant stranger. There’s our first vampire film ‘Sacrifice’ and a post apocalyptic film ‘Locked In’ for fans of that genre too. I just can’t wait to get these brilliant films in front of the public!

How difficult was it to choose just 40 films to screen this year & how did you choose what made one film more worthy over another?
It’s always a difficult process and we are constantly aware of respecting the time and energy that the filmmakers have put into every film entered. We are looking for films that best fit what we think the film-going public most want to see. There is something special about every single film in our programme, be it a character, an idea or an unexpected twist. Our decisions are highly subjective of course, but we like to think people are growing to trust the range of films we curate each year.

How do Kiwi short films rate compared to international short films?
Kiwi short films are awesome! Festival directors all over the world acknowledge this, and there are short films from New Zealand constantly circulating around the globe and bringing home swags of awards.

In your experience of short film, is there a certain genre Kiwi filmmakers tend to follow more than others?
Undoubtedly the trend has been towards coming of age dramas.

What are some recommended films/sessions people, such as those who are new to the Show Me Shorts film festival, should see?
For newcomers to Show Me Shorts I would suggest starting with the session that contains the most comedies, ‘Kissing Games.’ This 87 minute session features seven short films that are guaranteed to have you laughing.

What are some classic Kiwi short films that people should see at least once in their lifetime?
Undoubtedly Kitchen Sink, Two Cars, One Night, Noise Control, Infection, A Very Nice Honeymoon, The Six Dollar Fifty Man, Cargo, Poppy, The French Doors, and The Singing Trophy. I’m sure I have left some others out, but those are the ones that first spring to mind.

What other parts of the festival are there that people can get involved in?
If you are interested in short films, come along to the StarNow Short Film Seminars in Auckland on Monday the 8th of November and Wellington on Monday the 15th of November. Hear from award winning short filmmakers as they show us some of their films and talk about the process of making them. Tickets are just normal movie prices and available from Academy Cinemas in Auckland and Paramount in Wellington.

For any aspiring short filmmakers out there, what are some basics you think they need to know? What pathways can aspiring New Zealand filmmakers look to in order to develop their career?
I’m no expert, but aspiring filmmakers should remember this is a collaborative art form so if you find people you work well with hold onto them and invest in developing strong relationships. Support other filmmakers and they will do the same for you. Find mentors you respect and learn to accept criticism that will help you grow as a filmmaker. Stick at it if you love it. Find the things you are good at and get help with the parts you are not.

And finally, you’re hosting a dinner party and can invite three film-oriented people (actors, directors etc). Who would you invite and why?
Oh that would be awesome! I pick Dorothy Arzner, Alfred Hitchcock and Nick Ward. Lively conversation and free-flowing booze with those three would facilitate a night to remember I am sure!

View is giving away five double passes to the Show Me Shorts festival! Enter now!

If you're keen to find out more about the festival and where to find session times click here.
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Show Me Shorts Film Festival

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Content updated: 22/10/2018 17:49

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