Claire and Jake

SAE People’s Choice Winners 2020

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 SAE People’s Choice Award are Jake Mokomoko and Claire Varley for Hāngī Pants.

This short comedy made its world premiere during Show Me Shorts 2020, and went on to garner strong praise from audiences around the country. The winner of this award is determined by audience votes, collected through the Show Me Shorts website. Prizes include: $1,500 cash, a copy of Final Draft writing software, an engraved bronze winners badge and certificate.

More than 500 votes were cast from audiences all over New Zealand. Hāngī Pants was a clear winner but faced stiff competition from other popular kiwi films Zealandia, Frankie Jean and the Morning Star, Working Class and Daddy’s Girl (Kōtiro).

As first-time filmmakers, husband and wife team Mokomoko (director and co-writer) and Varley (producer and co-writer) were unable to secure funding, but that didn’t stop them from forging ahead with their vision. Hāngī Pants is based on the hilarious true story about a tangi where a string of ex-wives turn up, each one trying to out-do the other. “Our mother used to tell the story all the time,” says Varley. “This Elizabeth Taylor-looking woman shows up at the marae gate in a tight, red dress and red lipstick, inappropriately dressed for a funeral. She’s making a point, she’s ruffling some feathers. We knew it would make a funny short film and saw it as an opportunity to follow our passion for telling stories,” she goes on to say.

Having attended film school and worked as a camera operator for more than 17-years, Mokomoko is no stranger to the industry. Now working as an independent director of photography, he has spent the past four years travelling around the world shooting stories for Amazon Prime and the UFC. Mokomoko responded to the news of their award by saying:

We are so humbled to receive the People’s Choice Award for Hāngī pants! We set out with one goal, and that was to bring laughs and smiles. Looks like we achieved that as many of you enjoyed and voted for our film. We are so stoked you did! A big mihi to our Hāngī Pants whānau and to Show me Shorts festival. This has been an unforgettable experience.

Grace Wilfred of SAE Auckland says: “We are thrilled to be able to support the Show Me Shorts Film Festival again this year and be a part of showcasing such a wealth of talent. Congratulations to the winners of this year’s SAE People’s Choice award, and we look forward to seeing what Mokomoko and Varley create next!”

Show Me Shorts Film Festival 2020 is presented by Stuff. There were 78 short films and music videos in the programme. The only location still to play is Stewart Island, during 2-27 January 2021. More information about those screenings is available here.