This year's New Zealand International Film Festival has announced the six finalists in its its local best short film competition, with many of the nominated directors including some well-known acting names.
Canadian-Kiwi director Alison Maclean - whose credits include everything from her 1992 New Zealand feature, Crush, to episodes of Sex and the City and The Tudors - selected the six finalists, with festival programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell having viewed 91 entries to prepare a shortlist of 12.
Among the film-makers up for the $5000 Madman Entertainment Jury Prize and the $3000 Friends of the Civic Award are actor-writer Oscar Kightley, and actors-turned directors Chelsie Preston-Crayford (Home by Christmas, The Cult, Underbelly) and Aidee Walker (Outrageous Fortune, How to Meet Girls from a Distance).
Here's how the six finalists line up, with comments from Maclean:
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1: Tom's Dairy
Director: Oscar Kightley
A poignant and humorous short film about a young boy growing up in West Auckland in 1981.
2: Friday Tigers (Nga Taika o Te Ramere)
Director: Aidee Walker
When an unexpected friendship threatens Ana's secret world, can she find the courage to deal with her past for the sake of her future?
Director: Dan Kircher
A young, green police officer is implicated in the assault of an arrestee.
4: I'm Going to Mum's
Director: Lauren Jackson
Jacob is 8 years old and his parents dress him funny. Stuck in the middle of a fresh divorce, he takes drastic fashion action to make himself heard.
5: Blind Mice
Director: Walter Lawry
In the small Auckland drug scene, a young woman, Jules, finds her life complicated by an unwanted pregnancy.
6: Here Now
Director: Chelsie Preston-Crayford
Inspired by Lena Dunham's Girls, Here Now explores the dilemma of the modern-day 20-something. Tess and her friends have no problems, but are they really living?