Comedic shorts can have just as strong a chance of winning awards as dramas and other genres. Here are three previous Show Me Shorts Best Film winners that demonstrate how laughs can deliver on many levels. There’s no relying on just a good gag here either, these shorts have depth of character, original writing and are full of delightful surprises.
Please note that the first two films (Honk if You’re Horny and This Is Her) are intended for mature audiences and have sexual themes and content. However, Noise Control should be appropriate for all ages. Enjoy!
Honk If You’re Horny (Best Film winner 2013)
Honk of You’re Horny is dirty, funny as hell, and has a neat little twist that only a short film can deliver. Joe Lonie fully deserved his Best Director gong for this film (he wrote the script too), which sets a cracking pace and builds towards a climax like no other. Lonie always had Kiwi TV icon Andy Anderson in mind for the lead role, so was over the moon to land him. Anderson delivers one of those classic late-career golden performances that he should be proud of. It’s such a great ride, you’ll press play and suddenly realise you’ve spent 11 minutes living vicariously through the characters.
This Is Her (Best Film winner 2010)
This is Her is such an emotionally engrossing and darkly humourous story, once it finishes you feel like you’ve watched a feature-length movie. Or wish it was one. Former actor Katie Wolfe (Mercy Peak) has a great eye as a director in this debut short that made people sit up and take notice. She’s taken writer Kate McDermott’s wry, black script and shown an assured hand with the layered back and forth storytelling style (McDermott picked up Best Script too). There’s some seriously eye-catching cinematography from Ginny Loane (who helped shoot Top of the Lake) and slick editing from Lisa Hough (Friday Tigers). An outstanding team all around!
Noise Control (Best Film winner 2008)
It’s been seven years but Noise Control is such a wonderful blast from the past. It never gets old. The Simmonds brothers (Phill and Jeff) utilise a 2001 TV3 news story presented by Carol Hirschfeld about a crowing rooster at a kindergarten, and bring it to life with their unique animation style. Phil had seen the Aardman film Creature Comforts (where mundane interviews are brought to life with claymation zoo animals) and decided they should make their own ‘documation’. There’s true-blue Kiwi characters here that will make you smile, including a bittersweet appearance from broadcaster Paul Holmes. This is an inventive time capsule of a short film that shows winning ideas can come from anywhere. It’s always a crowd pleaser!
These three short films make comedy look easy, but it’s important to remember that each was re-written and honed over a long period of time. And that hard work is what elevated them to award-winning status. Timing, after all, is pivotal when delivering comedy. Interesting well-rounded characters are also a must in these shorts, as are a few shocks, playfulness and most of all heart; something these films have in spades.