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Rainbow Shorts 2020

2020 has been a chaotic year, to say the least. But In the midst of the mayhem, we are truly honoured and excited to share a programme featuring more rainbow community stories than ever before. This year, we offer twelve powerful films with LGBTQI+ connections.

This selection of shorts is filled with a range of different genres and films from near and far. In our Let’s Get Physical session, you’ll find the inspiring and moving documentary, Her Beneath Her by Connor Slattery and Samantha Crews, telling the stories of three Hyper Queens in New Zealand’s male-dominated drag community. Samantha and Connor were inspired to create their documentary after a friend, True Hayes, started performing as a female-identifying drag queen in Auckland and was immediately met with both backlash and support. “Our aim was to create a short film which not only gave female-identifying drag queens a voice but celebrated their place in the community.”

We were also proud to hold the world premiere for the tense and intimate New Zealand drama The Trick, directed by Harry McNaughton and Natalie Medlock. The Trick follows a lonely young toyboy and his unpredictable experience with a sex worker on his birthday. Like Her Beneath Her, this story was sparked from a real experience that was shared with Harry when he conducted a series of interviews with sex workers. When discussing the inspiration for his short, Harry said, “The idea of both a sex worker and a client yearning for intimacy, but unable to bridge the gap between that transaction was very confronting to me.”

In our International Time Zones Online session, Kapaemahu by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson explores the hidden history of four mysterious boulders on Waikiki Beach and their legendary transgender healing spirits. Kapaemahu shares an important sentiment that is echoed in all of the rainbow films in this year’s programme – that any and all gender expressions and sexual identities should be celebrated.

Show Me Shorts was created to champion stories, connect communities and support artists through the medium of short film. Over the past fifteen years, we’ve been proud to showcase films that reflect different ages, cultures, struggles, joys and points of view. But submissions numbers for LGBTQI+ stories have been noticeably small, especially from New Zealand filmmakers. We were hugely excited to see a shift in this pattern in this year’s submissions and hope to see these submissions grow as more doors are opened.

Short films are so much more than just 5-20 minutes of moving pictures. For filmmakers across the world, short films are opportunities for career development, expressions of unique perspectives, and reflections of deeply personal experiences. Short films can open doors, but they’re not always easy doors to open. Crafting a visual representation of your point of view and sharing it publicly is no small feat, especially at the calibre of work we have seen this year.

We would like to extend a massive thank you and congratulations to all of the filmmakers that contributed to the LGBTQI+ films in this year’s programme:

  1. The Trick by Harry Mc Naughton, Natalie Medlock and Koro Dickinson (NZ) – Love Lines
  2. The Test by Jessica Smith and January Jones (Australia) – Moments of Truth
  3. Kapaemahu by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson (USA) – International Time Zone Online
  4. Dungarees by Abel Rubinstein, Tara Trangmar and Ludwig Meslet (UK) – UK Focus Online
  5. Pompeii by Harry Lighton, Marco Alessi, Matthew Jacobs Morgan and Sorcha Bacon (UK) – UK Focus
  6. The Fabric Of You by Josephine Lohoar Self, Calum Hart and Reetta Tihinen (UK) – UK Focus Online
  7. My Brother is a Mermaid by Alfie Dale (UK) – UK Focus Online
  8. Tres Veces (Three Times) by Paco Ruiz and Roberto Butragueno (Spain) – International Time Zone Online
  9. Working Class by Kyan Krumdieck, Gregory Cooper and Sophia Seaton (NZ) – The Sampler
  10. Her Beneath Her by Connor Slattery and Samantha Crews (NZ) – Let’s Get Physical
  11. Frankie Jean and the Morning Star by Hannah Marshall, Tarra Riddell and Gareth Williams (NZ) – The Sampler
  12. Nimic by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou (USA) – Tangled Worlds

We hope to see more of your work in 2021!