Frequently Asked Questions

Is my film eligible for awards if it screened online because of Covid 19?

Normally no it wouldn’t be. You would need to submit for our ‘out of competition’ section of the programme. However, due to the Covid 19 pandemic we are relaxing the rules for short films that are part of film festivals that moved online in 2020. These must be existing film festivals that normally screen in cinemas, and the films must only be available online for a maximum of four weeks. Films that are freely available on sites like Vimeo will not qualify for awards, and can only be submitted in our ‘out of competition’ section.


What are the criteria for the award categories?

Please see our awards criteria for details. We will email more information about our awards to filmmakers who are selected for our programme.


Do you grant fee waivers?

Generally no. We only grant fee waivers in exceptional circumstances, such as we have requested your film or you live in a country where the economic climate makes it impossible to pay.


Can my film be shorter than 2 minutes or longer than 20?

No. In the spirit of fairness to other filmmakers, we are very strict on our times. Credits are included in the length. If your film is a little over, we suggest trimming the credits. The same applies to music videos, they must be within 1-10mins long.


I uploaded my film a week ago, but it still isn’t showing as accepted. Has something gone wrong?

No, most likely not. Remember, it’s a very busy time for the Festival so it can take us up to two weeks to process entries. Please wait two weeks before emailing us.


What are the criteria for the award categories?

Please see our awards criteria for details. We will email more information about our awards to filmmakers who are selected for our programme.


I am a New Zealander but I live overseas. Is my entry International or NZ?

To qualify in the New Zealand entry category your film must meet two of these four fundamental criteria:

  1. At least three key collaborator roles are New Zealanders or are New Zealand residents
    • Director
    • Producer
    • Writer
    • Editor
    • Lead Actor
    • Production Designer
    • Cinematographer/DOP
  2. The film is shot in New Zealand
  3. The story is based in New Zealand
  4. Post-production was carried out in New Zealand

When will I find out if my film has been chosen?

We will let all filmmakers know in August. Notification will be via FilmFreeway.


Help! My film isn’t quite finished! Can I still enter?

Yes. We accept entries that aren’t quite complete, so long as you enter through FilmFreeway before our entry deadline. Put a note with your submission and then send us the link to your password protected online screener as soon as possible. We will need to see a rough cut of whatever you have ready before our submission deadline closes. If your film is accepted, we will need the final version by mid-August. Please make sure you contact us before the entry deadline to discuss this with us.


How can I qualify for Oscar® consideration?

The winners of our Best Film Award and our Best International Film Award may qualify for entry to the Academy Awards®. The accreditation covers all three of the short film Oscar® categories so if an animation wins one of the two main Show Me Shorts awards, it is eligible to enter the Academy Awards® in the Best Short Film (Animated) category. Likewise for a documentary or live action short film.


When is the Opening Night and Awards Ceremony?

Our Opening Night & Awards Ceremony takes place in Auckland. Details will be announced here.

Wellington Opening Night usually takes place the following week. Details will be announced here.


When is the Festival on?

The festival usually begins in the first week of October and runs throughout October and November, beginning in Auckland then spreading throughout the country. Dates and cinemas are generally announced by 1 September each year. Join our email newsletter list, and keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more updates.


When do entries close?

The final extended deadline is 1 July.


What does the ‘Out of competition’ category mean?

We realise there are increasing numbers of films available online. We would still like to be able to share the best of these films with our audience, but if the film is or has been publicly available online in New Zealand it is not eligible for our awards (except for the People’s Choice Award). This applies equally to films made in NZ and overseas.


What percentage of selected films come from submissions?

The percentage of our selected films that come from submissions is 100%. Although we do invite some films we see at other festivals internationally, any invited films go through the same process.


How can I be sure Show Me Shorts is a legitimate film festival?

There is a currently a proliferation of fraudulent and psuedo-festivals, which makes navigating the submission process difficult for filmmakers. To help guide filmmakers we offer a list of recommended festivals here. Show Me Shorts is also a member of the Short Film Conference – a network of international short film festivals that work collaboratively to share information and uphold high ethical and practical standards for delivering world-class short film festivals.