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Programme Announced for 2019

We have revealed the 2019 programme, which includes our largest number of films ever: sixty short films and three music videos, chosen from a record 2040 entries!

Our programming team has scoured the world for their selection of the best new short films to deliver to New Zealand audiences. The programme spans a variety of genres, styles and topics.

Eight Kiwi films will make their world premiere during the festival:

  • Kino Ratten by Peter McCully
  • Elder Birdsong by Shuchi Kothari & Sarina Pearson
  • TIP by Jaya Beach-Robertson
  • #Collapsingempire by Cathy MacDonald
  • Number Two by Rachel Ross
  • One Hundred and Twenty Seconds by Connor Slattery
  • Te Whakairo – Ngā Kī o Te Tai Ao (The Carvings Carry the Stories of the World) by Vanessa Wells
  • Love Bytes by Sam Prebble.

There are also more than 30 New Zealand premieres of international films in this year’s programme.

Festival Director Gina Dellabarca says, “This year, the quality of films overall was extremely high, which is why we’ve expanded the programme. Sixty-three films may not seem like so many when compared to some international film festivals that can run hundreds of films, but we deliberately try to keep the programme small for three reasons: 1. To ensure only the best films are selected; 2. To make deciding which films to see manageable for audiences; 3. Because it’s better to have fewer screenings that are full instead of lots of half-empty screenings.”

A total of 23 countries will be represented on screen this year: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Japanese filmmakers are in the spotlight in the 2019 programme, with a special Japanese Focus section. Two Japanese filmmakers, Fuyuko Mochizuki and Kimi Yawata will be taking part in screenings and events, while Eiji Shimada from Sapporo International Short Film Festival & Market joins our national awards jury.

Regarding trends, documentaries made up a large portion of this year’s entries, with a total of ten short documentary films selected for the programme. For fans of this genre, there is a section of the programme called Doc Station where most of them can be viewed together. Viewers can observe the beautiful banality on board a cruise ship, take part in a festival celebrating crawfish, experience a Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and follow the mayhem that ensues when a new traffic separation device is installed in Sweden.

The remaining six themed sections of the programme are: Better Work Stories showing people in unusual jobs or in boring jobs doing unusual things; Freaky Futures features sci-fi and dystopian stories; My Generation is for children and families; The Sampler is the travelling programme with shorts of wide appeal; Unconventional Families includes a wide variety of stories about whānau; and Love and Other Catastrophes has dating disasters, grand gestures and love gone wrong.

With more than 25 cinema locations across Aotearoa there are ample opportunities to get friends and family together and enjoy the range of films and events on offer. Full dates, locations and booking information is available at