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NZ Short Film Collection

Selected by Juliette Veber
8th July 2010

 NZ Short Film Collection

NZ Short Film Collection

 Juliette Veber

Selected by Juliette Veber


Short and sweet

This selection — in partnership with the NZ Film Commission — showcases choice, award-winning examples of Kiwi short filmmaking. From the Silver Lion-winning O Tamaiti to the sleazy charms of The Lounge Bar, from Cannes to Ngawi; this collection is a celebration of "a beautiful medium for nailing an idea to the fence post with a piece of No.8 wire." 


NZ Short Film Collection - Part One

 The Lounge Bar

The zenith of Don McGlashan and Harry Sinclair’s legendary Front Lawn collaborations, this iconic Kiwi short follows two men and one woman on a rainy night at a deserted bar. Pivoting on amnesia and woven together by music, two timeframes seamlessly combine as a darkly humorous plot unfolds.


Shy Ricky and extrovert Tilly commandeer Ricky’s father’s fishing boat to find freedom in the fog. Oppression, boredom and sex — the cultural trinity of the NZ small town (here, isolated fishing village Ngawi) — is evoked by director Peter Salmon. Fog was selected for Critics’ Week at Cannes.

 Despondent Divorcee

In competition at Cannes 1995, Jonathan Ogilvie short takes its title from a shocking 1942 photograph of a suicidal woman plummeting to her death. Photo close-ups overdubbed with a beguiling noir-ish narration brilliantly channel the chill detachment the photographer required to get his shot.

 Nothing Special

Written by Helena Brooks and comedian Jaquie Brown, Nothing Special is something of a cautionary tale: it’s good to love your son, but less good to think he’s Jesus reincarnate! Winning performances and music (Blerta’s ‘Dance All Around The World’) saw it chosen for competition at Cannes (2005).

 Nature's Way

A young girl is murdered and her body dumped in the forest. Jane Shearer’s haunting Cannes-nominated tale of utu on the suburban fringe, sees the dense native bush pass down its judgement on the killer (played with itchy paranoia by Matthew Sunderland) who struggles to get away with it.


In Michael Bennett’s surreal short, two old minstrels (NZ screen legends Ian Mune and Martyn Sanderson) are adrift in the ocean, a placid Friesian cow in tow; bovine bliss dries up as a guitar duet escalates to a duel. Cannes-selected Cow won Best Short Film Script at the NZ Film Awards.


Closer is the story of a deaf teenage boy trying to come to terms with the death of his older sister. Written and directed by David Rittey, and co-written by poet Therese Lloyd, it won Best Short Film, and Performance at the 2005 NZ Screen Awards; and was selected in competition at Cannes.

 Turangawaewae / A Place to Stand

Actor Wi Kuki Kaa plays a Vietnam War veteran who is dislocated by his war experience and homeless. Directed by Peter Burger, this moving short about a man jolted to find his turangawaewae and the whānau that helps him get there, was selected for Critics' Week at Cannes.


A teen rent boy exposes the truth about the death of a girl in a hit and run accident. Using typography in place of dialogue, flares of bold colour, dioramic frames, and brutal portraiture, director Welby Ings’ film is an exquisite, boldly original take on small town claustrophobia and violence.


Set in gritty downtown Auckland’s backstreets, this short follows the vicissitudes of Evan, a teenager who skips school and meets a beautiful, troubled stranger. Capturing a teen mix of curiosity and desperation, Truant screened at a number of festivals including London and Clermont Ferrand.

It's our shout

It's our shout

Barney McDonald surveys the short filmscape: “it’s our shorts that truly capture our confusion surrounding Aotearoa as either dystopia or paradise”. Read more >

Bonsai Epics

Bonsai Epics

NZFC short film manager Juliette Veber on the legacy — career spawning and works of art in their own right — of NZ short films. Read more >

Watch more shorts!

Watch more shorts!

More classic shorts on NZ On Screen: Jane Campion’s Peel; Grant Lahood’s Singing Trophy; Taika Waititi’s Tama Tū; Rob Sarkies’ Signing Off. View >