Good things come in small packages

Show Me Shorts is New Zealand’s leading international short film festival. We work to connect New Zealanders with the best short films from here and around the world; celebrate excellence in short film making; and foster the New Zealand short film community.

Each year our experienced team of short film lovers curate a selection of the best short films from Aotearoa and around the world, plus some of the top local music videos. We serve them up at more than 20 cinemas nationwide, from Kaitaiai to Stewart Island. We launch the festival with a glamorous awards night, celebrating the best and brightest filmmaking talent. We also provide resources, professional development and networking opportunities for aspiring short film makers.

These stories offer us the chance to escape into new worlds, learn more about ourselves and connect with others. The programme covers a diverse range of themes and subjects, including horror, drama, animation, comedy and everything in between.

Our vision is  a New Zealand where our people know we are world leaders in making short films, and we’re so proud of it that this forms part of our national identity.

A short history

Back in 2005 a small group of friends was looking for a fun project to work on together. Over a glass of wine a shared love of short films was explored, and within a few weeks we had assembled a team and started working towards the first edition of the festival in November 2006.

We knew that New Zealanders had a reputation as world-leaders in making shorts, but at that time there was no easy way to see those films. We hoped there were more people like us wanted to.

Our committed group of volunteers started a charitable trust and over the last decade we have worked hard to build new connections and partnerships across the industry and the globe. We have gone out looking for the top short films, persuaded local cinemas to screen them, and raised money to promote the films and put on the festival.

Every year Show Me Shorts has grown just a little larger and connected more New Zealanders with our selections of short films. Key milestones along the way include: becoming Ocsar®-accredited in 2012; moving our opening night event to the iconic theatre The Civic in 2014; and signing a deal with Lightbox in 2015 that made 65 short films from our back-catalogue available to hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders.

NZ’s first Academy Awards® accredited festival

Yes – you read that correctly. 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 obviously a great acknowledgement of the high quality of films in our programme, but more importantly it’s amazing for the short film makers – enabling more exposure and credibility for talented writers, directors, producers, cast and crew.

Awarding excellence

Show Me Shorts is a competitive festival, with a range of awards and prizes. Respected and experienced judges from the film industry help decide the winners, with creativity, cinematic films and original vision being strong factors they look for.

The festival awards are presented at our Opening Night and Awards Ceremony in Auckland. Check out our previous winners here.

Past programmes

(Click to download a PDF)

Don’t just take our word for it

We’re proud to have some of the nation’s best industry names behind us as official Ambassadors, including Oscar-winner Sir Richard Taylor.

Meet our Ambassadors.

Supporting emerging filmmakers

Our philosophy is not only to showcase and celebrate the world’s top shorts, but to also provide support to the next generation of aspiring filmmakers.

Our range of education and professional development programmes feature Short Film Talks with inspiring industry professionals, an intensive Short Film Lab (for writers, run in conjunction with Script to Screen), as well as special screenings for school groups.

Find out more about our filmmaker resources.

The team

The Show Me Shorts team of volunteers are a passionate bunch. We offer our time for free because we’re committed to spreading the short film love.

The SMS team at the 2016 Opening Night and Awards Ceremony

The SMS team at the 2016 Opening Night and Awards Ceremony

Show Me Shorts Film Festival Trust is a registered charitable trust.

Meet our Trust Board members here.