A short history

Show Me Shorts is Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading international short film festival. We are a competitive Academy Awards-accredited festival that screens in more than 30 cinemas nationwide.

Our mission: To connect New Zealand audiences with short films and share New Zealand short films with the world.

In 2006 the first festival was brought to life at Academy Cinemas Auckland by co-founders Katrin Hagen, Kate Nicholson, Gina Dellabarca and Tamara Liebman. At this time New Zealanders had a reputation as world-leaders in making short films, but there was no easy way to see the films. We hoped there were more people like us who wanted to.

From small beginnings the team has grown, and we have worked hard to build new connections and partnerships across the industry and the around globe. We have gone out looking for top short films, persuaded local cinemas to screen them, raised money to put on a world-class festival, and advocated on behalf of the short film community. We now put on more than 100 screenings of our selected top short films each year. We launch the festival with Opening Night events in three different cities (Auckland, Wellington and Chirstchurch), and we celebrate filmmakers with an Awards Night. We also provide resources, professional development and networking opportunities for aspiring short film makers such as our prestigious Screenwriting Lab.

Key milestones:

  • Listed by MovieMaker magazine as one of the top 20 short film festivals globally – 2022
  • On Demand platform built – 2021
  • Festival Strategy Advice service launched – 2020
  • Festival Director appointed MNZM for services to NZ film industry – 2019
  • Sales agency begins operating – 2017
  • First sales deal – 2015
  • Becoming Oscar®-accredited – 2012
  • Launch of our Screenwriting Lab – 2010
  • Expansion to Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin – 2007
  • First edition – 2006

NZ’s first Academy Awards® accredited festival

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences granted Show Me Shorts Oscars®-qualifying status in 2012. The first film festival in New Zealand to achieve this. It means the winners of our top two awards each year (Best Film and Best International Film) are eligible to enter their short films into the Academy Awards®. Our ability to provide a pathway to the Oscars® is a great acknowledgement of the high quality of films in our programme. For short film makers this enables us to provide more exposure and credibility for talented writers, directors, producers, cast and crew.

Past programmes

(Click to download a PDF)