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Wellington Film Wins New Zealand's Best Awards

Wellington Film Wins New Zealand's Best Awards
Wellington filmmaker Sam Kelly has won the inaugural NZIFF New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition announced tonight.
The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize, a cash prize of $5000 for the Best New Zealand Short Film at the 2012 New Zealand International Film Festival, is awarded to Lambs, written and directed by Sam Kelly, produced by Tom Hern.
Announcing the prize at Auckland’s Civic Theatre tonight, juror and Madman Entertainment representative Michael Eldred read from the jury’s citation:
Lambs had the biggest heartbeat, a rawness, honesty and a wonderful humanity.”
The Audience Award, 25% of the net box office takings from the screenings in the four main centres, is also awarded to Lambs. The votes were collated from four screenings held in Auckland and Wellington as part of the 2012 NZIFF. The cash value of this prize derived from ticket sales is likely to be around $5000.
The Friends of the Civic Short Film Award for distinctive creative achievement, a cash prize of $3000, was awarded to Home, directed by Dunedin filmmaker Thomas Gleeson, produced by Thomas Gleeson and Pip Walls. 
Home is an original, surprising, even humorous, experimental documentary. The house was an engaging character in peril, and you really wanted to know how the journey would end." 
The following comments were provided by the judges for the NZ’s Best short film competition:
“All of the films were of very high quality & fully engaged the audience. I’m really looking forward to seeing more work from these talented filmmakers.” – Michael Eldred, Madman Entertainment
"I found this year’s entries incredibly difficult to make singular choices from. The confidence, skill and artistry in all 6 stories gives proof to an enormously exciting future for the next generation of feature film makers. Most importantly they felt uniquely Kiwi and beautifully original as a consequence." – Robyn Malcolm
Filmmaker Sima Urale was the third juror. Festival programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell viewed 109 short film submissions to prepare the competition shortlist. Guest selector and international filmmaker Roger Donaldson selected the six finalists from a shortlist of twelve. The finalists were:
43,000 Feet
NZ 2012. Director: Campbell Hooper Producers: Heather Lee, Amber Easby Screenplay: Matthew Harris. 9 mins
With several minutes before he hits the ground, a falling man reflects on his past and his immediate future.
“Great photography. Very original framing and concept.” – Roger Donaldson
Ellen Is Leaving
NZ 2012. Director: Michelle Savill Producers: Michelle Savill, Desray Armstrong Screenplay: Martha Hardy-Ward. 15 mins
Ellen is cool. She is recycling stuff before she heads overseas.
“I love how original it feels. The details of the travel pack put a real smile on my face. ” – Roger Donaldson
NZ 2012. Director: Thomas Gleeson Producers: Thomas Gleeson, Pip Walls. 11 mins
We watch a house take a road trip.
“A beautifully photographed minimalist documentary.” – Roger Donaldson
NZ 2012. Director/Screenplay: Sam Kelly Producer: Tom Hern. 15 mins
“Really captures a tough uncompromising world in a very compelling way. I loved the central character’s heroism. It reminded me of Once Were Warriors in the best possible way.” – Roger Donaldson
Milk & Honey
NZ 2012. Director/Screenplay: Marina Alofagia McCartney Producers: Angela Hicks, Marina Alofagia McCartney. 14 mins
This brief drama recalls the notorious dawn raids on Pasifika families.
“I lived in Ponsonby in the 70s and remember the events portrayed in this film. Very poignant.” – Roger Donaldson
Night Shift
NZ 2012. Director/Screenplay: Zia Mandviwalla Producers: Chelsea Winstanley, Matt Noonan. 14 mins
An airport cleaner has reason to keep to herself.
“I love this story – it feels so real and packs a real wallop.” – Roger Donaldson
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