Announcing the 2015 awards finalists

The oddly touching comedy “Return” is up for four awards and can be found in the Aroha Aotearoa session.


We’re pleased to announce and congratulate the awards finalists for 2015! Winners will be announced and their films screened at the Opening Night & Awards Ceremony at Auckland’s Civic Theatre on 11 November.

The nominations for the Oscar®-accredited Lightbox Best Film Award are: James Cunningham and Oliver Hilbert for Accidents, Blunders and Calamities; Ryan Heron and Matiu Sadd for Return; and Alyx Duncan for The Tide Keeper. These three short films were nominated in multiple award categories, including the DEGNZ Best Director Award. See below for the full list of award nominees.

James Cunningham’s animated comedy Accidents, Blunders and Calamities features a father possum reading a bedtime story to his children about the most dangerous animal of all… humans! This short film will be making its world premiere during the festival, screening as part of the My Generation and Highlights sessions.

Accidents, Blunders and Calamities is up for 3 awards and can be found in the My Generation and Highlights sessions

The animated “Accidents, Blunders and Calamities” is up for three awards and can be found in the My Generation and Highlights sessions

The Tide Keeper was the winner of the NZ’s Best Short Film Award at the NZ International Film Festival earlier this year. Filmmaker Alyx Duncan has crafted a poetic stop-motion animation featuring her father as an old seaman dreaming of a storm.

Speaking about Berlin-based New Zealander Ryan Heron’s film Return, the judges of the awards said, “This film was like a possum-bound Big Lebowski, with lovely flow, authenticity and rhythm.” Return has the largest number of nominations (four), including Final Draft Best Screenplay and Panavision Best Cinematographer.

As New Zealand’s only Academy Awards® accredited film festival, the recipient of the coveted Lightbox Best Film Award will be eligible to enter the Oscars®. They will also receive $2,000 cash, $5,000 worth of gear rental from Rubber Monkey, a membership to StarNow, a copy of Final Draft screenwriting software, a bottle of Opawa pinot noir and flowers from Enchanted Rose. A total of $5,000 will be given out in prize money for award winners, as part of a total prize pool valued at more than $25,000.

The awards jury was made up of: actor, writer and director Peter Elliot (The Art of the Architect, Gloss, Shortland St); actor Siobhan Marshall (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, Shortland Street, The Blue Rose); film editor and screenwriter Cushla Dillon (Orphans and Kingdoms, Beautiful Machine, Topless Women Talk About Their Lives); and writer, director, actor and winner of the 2014 Show Me Shorts Best Film (Dive) Matthew Saville (Kikia the Poa, Hitch Hike).

The avant-garde short The Tide Keeper is up for three awards and can be found in the Plunge Into Other Worlds Session

The avant-garde short The Tide Keeper is up for three awards and can be found in the Plunge Into Other Worlds session

Show Me Shorts will be bringing 40 short films and six music videos to 22 cinemas across Aotearoa, from Dargaville to Stewart Island, throughout November. Tickets are now on sale from the cinema venues- check out our programme for a screening near you!

Audience members can be part of the awards process by voting for their favourite film to win the People’s Choice Award during the festival. Survey and voting forms can be completed at cinema venues or online after November 11.

Without further adieu, the finalists are:

Lightbox Best Film Award

James Cunningham & Oliver Hilbert, Accidents, Blunders and Calamities
Ryan Heron & Matiu Sadd, Return
Alyx Duncan, The Tide Keeper

Best International Film Award

Eric Rockey, Pink Boy
Jonathan Stein, Out of the Village
Alexander Engel, Digits

DEGNZ Best Director Award

Ryan Heron, Return
James Cunningham, Accidents, Blunders and Calamities
Alyx Duncan, The Tide Keeper

StarNow Best Actor Award

Tina Cleary, Cub
Kate Elliott, Not Like Her
Maria Walker, Tits on a Bull

Final Draft Best Screenplay Award

Lyse Beck, Turtlebank Hustler
Hash Perambalam, Not Like Her
Ryan Heron & Guy Montgomery, Return

Panavision Best Cinematographer Award

Chris Pryor & Ben Montgomery, The Tide Keeper
Fernando Hart, The One and Only
Lance Wordsworth, Return

DEGNZ Best Editor Award

Jarrod Wright, Ken Sparks & Sam Brunette, Madam Black
James Cunningham, Accidents, Blunders and Calamities
Edward Sampson, Restoration

NZFC Special Jury Prize

Mhairead Connor, UFO
Ben Childs, Space Trash Men

Best Music Video

Anna Duckworth & Damian Golfinopoulos, Up In Smoke by Great North
Thunderlips, Emily by The Eversons
Tom Townley & Alexander Gandar, Visions by Chelsea Jade

Best Student Film

Winner to be announced on the night.

People’s Choice Award

Announced in December when audience votes are counted.