Every year Show Me Shorts recruits a new panel of highly regarded screen industry practitioners to decide the winners of our awards. They watch all of the films in advance of the festival, so that the winners can be announced and prizes presented at our Opening Night & Awards Ceremony.
Meet our jury members for 2018
Rhys Darby is an actor and comedian best known as the hapless band manager, Murray, from HBO’s Flight of the Conchords. A veteran of almost twenty years as a stand-up comedian, Darby made his feature film debut in Yes Man. He went on to feature as one of the DJ’s in The Boat that Rocked. He has since completed two lead roles in romantic comedies, Coming and Going opposite Sasha Alexander (NCIS) and Lovebirds opposite Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins. Most recently he was seen in the hit film What We Do in the Shadows as werewolf, Anton
Carol Hirschfeld (Ngāti Porou) is a broadcaster who has worked in news and current affairs for more than 30 years, holding numerous roles with TVNZ, TV3, Maori TV and RNZ. She received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland in 2017, and has served on a number of trusts and boards. She now works as Head of Video/Audio & Content Partnerships at Stuff.
Phil Brough is a successful New Zealand director and actor, known for his award-winning short Fire in Cardboard City, The Devil Dared Me To and Back of the Y. He has extensive experience in 3D animation and visual effects. His work has featured on television channels including BBC, Cartoon Network and MTV Europe. His award-winning short film Fire in Cardboard City is currently being adapted into a children’s TV series for TVNZ
Kimberly Wright joined Sesame Workshop seven years ago as the Film Producer, commissioning live action, animated, and mixed media short films for Sesame Street. She works closely with filmmakers and production companies, and oversees all aspects of creative development of the films and animations. Her success in this role was recognised in April of 2018, when she was awarded with her first Daytime Emmy Award. Prior to joining the Sesame Street family, Wright had been a producer for over 11 years, working for Telepictures, NBC, and Paramount Pictures, and producing several national daytime talk shows, including The Queen Latifah Show, The John Walsh Show and The Montel Williams Show. In 2006, Wright had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help Montel surprise troops in the Persian Gulf with messages from loved ones, and gave them the chance to share personal stories on air. Wright has a BA in Radio/Television from The George Washington University, and currently resides in northern New Jersey with her husband and two young children.
Opal H. Bennett
Opal H. Bennett has been a curator since 2014 when she joined the Programming team at Montclair Film Festival as Shorts Programmer. She is currently on the programming teams for a variety of high profile international film festivals, including: Aspen ShortsFest, Athena, Nantucket and Tribeca Film Festival. She is a Program Consultant for The March on Washington Film Festival, and on the selection committee for shorts at Cinema Eye Honors. Bennet has served on juries for SxSW, IndieMemphis, NewFest, Leuven ShortsFest, IndieStreet Filmfest, Cleveland and Seattle International Film Festivals among others. A Columbia Law grad, Opal holds a Masters in Media Studies from the LSE, and received her B.A. from New York University.
Andrew Cornwell was General Manager for Sony Pictures in New Zealand from 1992-2017, where he was responsible for the theatrical and home entertainment divisions. Under Andrew’s direction Sony acquired and distributed many New Zealand features including Poi E, Mt Zion and Billy T Te Movie. He was on the Board of the New Zealand Film Commission between 2006 and 2015 and was a Trustee of the New Zealand Film Production Fund. He is a past Chair of the Motion Pictures Distributor Association, the Home Entertainment Association of New Zealand and the Film and Video Labeling Body.