Australasian film-makers put their short but sweet movies on display for a 10-day festival.
Budding New Zealand and Australian film-makers will unleash their creativity on the big screen at the Show Me Shorts festival held in Auckland over the next 10 days.
Festival director Gina Dellabarca says more than half the films are making their New Zealand or world premiere. Others such as Day Trip, Choice Night and The Six Dollar Fifty Man have arrived after global runs around the international festival circuit.
The SMS festival has been running for five years, and with more entries than ever this year, it was difficult to select just 40 films, she says.
Tonight's Auckland opening event acts as a prize-giving across eight categories with screenings of the winning films. For the rest of the festival the films are divided into six themed screening sessions: Imagination, Kissing Games, Noir Motive, Child's Play, Redemption and High Stakes. Each includes about seven short films with a total running time of around 80 minutes.
Local highlights include a claymation mockumentary called the North Pole Deception about elves in the North Pole standing up for their rights. Its director, Joe Hitchcock, is relatively new to film-making, but has been nominated for a best director award this year alongside Katie Wolfe for This is Her, Mark Albiston for The Six Dollar Fifty Man and Christopher Dudman for Choice Night.
Dellabarca says many of the entrants use short film as a stepping stone to feature films and she has watched them improve and develop their craft over the past five years.
Experienced directors and producers are also involved in the festival. Ainsley Gardiner, the producer of Boy has her directing debut with Mokopuna about a young girl who becomes curious about her heritage after befriending a Maori boy at school.
Dellabarca says the event offers film-makers a platform to show films that are often more experimental features.
"I love how a short film distills the essence of a story, until it get the real heart of it. It makes them more powerful in a lot of ways," she says.
What: Show Me Shorts Film Festival
When: from tonight until November 14
Where: The Academy Cinema, Matakana Cinemas, The Victoria Picture Palace and Theatre, Devonport; Waiheke Island Community Cinema