Frequently Asked Questions

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 Withoutabox or 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 Withoutabox or 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 will take place at 8pm Saturday 28 October 2017 at The Civic in Auckland.

Wellington Opening Night will take place at 8pm Thursday 9 November 2017 at The Embassy.


When is the Festival on?

The festival runs through 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.

2017 dates are: 28 October – 25 November


When do entries close?

The final extended deadline for 2017 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 they are not eligible for our awards (except for the People’s Choice Award). NZ and International entries both qualify for this category.