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Welcome to our New Acting Festival Director

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Gareth Farry our new Acting Festival Director. Gareth comes to us from a wide background working in cultural events and social change. He’ll be on board for the remainder of the year while our co-founder and long-time Festival Director Gina Dellabarca takes some well-earned leave. We’re excited for you to get to know Gareth so we sat him down for a quick Q&A.

Welcome to the Show Me Shorts whānau, Gareth! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a creative producer who has been working in the arts and culture sector in Auckland for the past 25 years. I graduated from Otago University with a BA/LLB and when I was told I had to join the bar (being the legal profession) I got confused and opened a bar (called the Khuja Lounge) instead.  Since then I have run a record label, managed the Arts Programme for British Council in NZ and most recently managed a social enterprise and intercultural dialogue programme called Active Citizens. I feel I bring a wealth of experiences to this role, but am new to the film sector itself, so keen to learn and make new connections! 

What was the last short film you watched that really stuck with you?

I’ve watched the whole 2020 programme for Show Me Shorts over the last couple of weeks (a hard job but somebody has to do it!), and out of so many amazing short films I would probably say a couple that really stuck out to me were: My Father, The Mover –  a beautiful alive and uplifting story of a daughter and father combo who transcend their hardship and ‘find their superpowers’ through dance and movement; and Claire Van Beek’s short Daniel – a stunningly visual, superbly acted film set at an isolated convent in rural New Zealand, where a young novice is confronted with the sudden desire to explore her sexual self in the wake of meeting a blue-tongued lizard, (yes you read that right!).

What’s your favourite thing about film festivals? 

My favourite thing about film festivals would be the unexpected discovery that inevitably lies around the corner. The exploration of new cultures, life-views and worlds, and the transcendent power of story-making and storytelling that allows us to reconnect and reinforce the universal themes that are common to us all.  Basically what I mean is being able to lose yourself in a narrative once the lights go down – it really is one of the joys of life. 

What’s one thing you would tell aspiring filmmakers and creatives?

Be authentic with yourself and your expression. The first person you need to convince is yourself – if a story resonates with you then chances are it will with others too.