Show Me Shorts Film Festival has wowed New Zealand filmgoers for the second year running, despite a banned film debacle.
Australian short The Game was nearly banned from playing in New Zealand by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.
The film was scheduled to play in the Show Me Shorts Film Festival in Auckland on Saturday 10 November and again on Wednesday 14 November, before also traveling to Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington, but was ‘refused’ by the Film and Video Labeling Body (FVLB).
However, in an attempt to ensure the public did not miss out on the chance to see a top quality film, the Show Me Shorts Film Festival Trust sent The Game to the Chief Censor requesting urgent viewing in hope of securing a rating so it can be shown in the other locations.
And successful they were. After all the drama the film has recently been given an R13 rating and will be now be screened for free in Auckland and tour around the country to the remaining festival locations.
Festival Director Gina Dellabarca says, ‘The incident in the film that has caused the problem is not even actually seen on screen, the characters simply refer to the act of urination in a sexual sense. The person who requests the act is heavily mocked and the film is funny and light.’
Meanwhile, the announcement of the possible banning of The Game has deflected some of the attention that should rightfully belong to the winners of this year’s short film awards.
The winners were announced on the 7 November and those are:
Winner – A Very Nice Honeymoon by Jeff & Phill Simmonds (NZ)
Runner-up – Embers by Chris Payne & Marc Laureano (NZ)
Best Student Film
Winner – Embers by Chris Payne & Marc Laureano (NZ)
Runners-up – Paper City Architects by Daniel Agdag (Oz) & ‘The Shomer’ by Anton Blajer (Oz)
ATLAB Best Technical Contribution
Winner – Richard Harling for Cinematography on Embers (NZ)
Runner-up – David Paul for Cinematography on Shadow Over the Sun (NZ)
PANAVISION Special Jury Prize
Winner – John Harding for Art Direction on The King Boys (NZ)
Runner-up Grant Major for Art Direction on Dead Letters (NZ)
The Show Me Shorts Film Festival is New Zealand’s national short film festival. After successful screening in Auckland and Dunedin, the event will screen from 23-25 November at the Regent Cinema in Christchurch and 30 November to 1 December at the Paramount Theatre in Wellington.