Best Shortfilms from New Zealand

Best Shortfilms from New Zealand




Drama
New Zealand | 9min | 2013
Just like a book’s blurb, the written premise of a film gives you an insight into what it will be about. In a short film, they have to further limit what they reveal, as they focus on a succinct event. The premise for 43,000 Feet was well-written and elicited intrigue before it even begins. The story follows John Wilkins, a young-adult male, who is not having a good day. He is logical, he is calm, and he is falling from an airplane at the titled height. The main titling gives us a little bit of an insight into what the story will be about. We see the words ‘43 Thousand Feet’ interspersed between snapshots of someone’s life. Not all of the images are clear or identifiable, but they meant enough to someone to remember and keep. You would imagine it is those moments that comes to John’s mind, but you’d be mistaken. Unlike what you would imagine, we don’t follow him down, instead cutting back to moments in time, including his embarking on the doomed plane. For periods of time the camera is extremely close to his face, connecting us to him and letting us know that the narration we hear comes from him. This gives us direct insight into his mind and feelings. He breaks down the math of the event - time, velocity, impact - and yet while the math seems like it will go on forever, it all ends quickly.

WATCH






Comedy
New Zealand | 16min | 2010
Darryl Exists, may only run for just under 16 minutes, but it is a beautiful story of love, loss, and life. Penelope Island (played by Anna Kennedy) is an award and bespectacled aspiring author who is desperate to find love and acceptance. She goes on dates only to have the men run out, she goes to group meetings searching for answers, and she goes to a therapist to help her sort out the mess that is her life. Will she find what she is looking for, or is her story one that won’t end happily? Immediately you can tell this is a professionally-made film. The titling is clean and the background music doesn’t sound like it’s royalty free and you’ve heard it before. The coloring was also top-grade, with the shadows sometimes feeling oppressive, an element that helped tell the story. Accompanying this were textbook shot selections with minor movements to stop it from becoming static. Overall Darryn Exists is a nice story that uses comedy to address a serious issue. The characters are believable, and while some of it is obviously added for comedic elements - such as the literally ‘shopping for men’ - it is relatable.

WATCH






Comedy
New Zealand | 4min | 2009
Sometimes a good story can be told in only a short amount of time. This is true in Das Tub. Running for only four minutes, you feel content at the end, not as if the story is incomplete. This brilliant New Zealand short film begins with a German submarine crew sweating nervously as they approach an unknown object pinging on their radar. Narrowly escaping a fatal hit, they soon find themselves approaching something larger and more unusual - a foot. The quick cut to the man in the bathtub complaining to his wife about their son leaving his toys behind is hilarious and works very well. Visual effects cost money, and good visual effects can cost a fortune. Without knowing this film’s budget, I can say that the graphics were brilliant. Nothing looked like it was from a game or other fabricated media. While there was something about the captain’s costume the felt a little off, the rest of the outfits and scenery looked authentic. It was dramatic and funny, making me laugh out loud but also sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the submarine to be hit. I really liked it and would watch it again.

WATCH






Drama
New Zealand | 12min | 2011
Titles not only set a film apart from all others, they also give a brief insight or clue about what the work will be about. When you read Hitch Hike, multiple thoughts come into your head, and you are interested to see if you got it right. It is safe to say that this film was not what I expected. Though it could have been so easy to travel the hitch hike horror route, this short film deals with another scary event. It begins out of focus. We don’t know what is coming. Aaron, eighteen years old, exits a truck, and finds himself seemingly in the middle of nowhere. He is small against the wide open space. Finding himself a passenger in a car with an unknown older male covered in threatening tattoos, Aaron finds himself one step closer to meeting his birth mother. Hitch Hike is a sweet tale. Though it is a slow-burner - the action not fast-paced - it still manages to keep your attention. Every shot, camera angle, and creative decision added to the emotion. Everyone should experience, at least one time in their lives, a conversation with someone who changes their whole way of thinking. This short film captures one of these moments.

WATCH






Drama
New Zealand | 15min | 2009
Feature films are meant to dazzle with their effects and depth, but sometimes all it takes is a well-written and well-executed short film to invoke a deep meaning. The Six Dollar Fifty Man is a beautiful character study that keeps your eyes glued to the screen for the full fourteen minutes. The story follows Andy (played by Oscar Vandy-Connor), a young boy struggling to find his place in the world. He imagines he has superpowers, but repeatedly fights off the school bullies and ogre-esque teacher with his own meagre strength and tenacity. When it seems like everything is against him, will Andy wilt, or is it finally his time to shine? There is just something special about kids. They see the world in a totally different way to the rest of us. While some may call it naivety, others call it freedom. Andy is a great leading character. He is flawed, but refuses to stay down. By using close-ups and odd angles, our connection to the boy is instant, and we almost feel trapped inside his head, suffering along with him. The ending leaves us satisfied, but also knowing it is a new beginning.

WATCH