Thursday, August 03, 2017

New Zealand’s Best 2017

New Zealand’s Best 2017 are the 6 short films shortlisted for prizes in NZIFF 2017. Audience members get to vote for the people's choice award (25% of the box office for showings in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin). This year the 6 films differed hugely in quality. I've ordered them from best to worst as I voted on them:

Do No Harm

A surgeon protects her patient during an operating theater invasion. Who needs more than 12 minutes for a kick-ass action thriller? Director Roseanne Liang is better known for My Wedding and Other Secrets.


Mum wants to have sex, but...
Predictable but funny, with good timing and acting. Though the title might set you thinking of a different ending. (Funding story)

The Dregs

A period film on the formation of an Auckland high school punk band. Basically a view of high school from a misfit boy's perspective. Dreams, bullying, and girls that are too cool to talk to.

Untitled Groping Revenge Fairytale

This film could have done with a better title, even leaving the first word off would have been better. The concept was good, though the selection of men seemed like untargeted revenge.


From the elliptical style of storytelling, exacerbated by the fact that the characters barely talk to one another, we see a boy standing up to his dairy farmer father. A very long 16 minutes.


Two boys wait outside a suburban dairy for a phone call. How to make 12 minutes feel like 12 hours.

The first two films are straight forward audience pleasers by directors who obviously know what works.
The second two are reasonably well made. One with a slightly tame story, the other slightly flawed.
The last two would only appeal to other film makers.


Waiting won the Madman Jury Prize.
Thicket won the Wallace Friends of the Civic Award.
Do No Harm won the Audience Award.
What can I say?

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