Show Me Shorts Goes Hybrid in 2020

New Zealand’s largest international short film festival set to open in cinemas across Aotearoa – and online – from 2 October. Show Me Shorts Film Festival has revealed the 2020 programme, which will screen at more than 25 cinema locations nationwide from 2 October.

The 2020 Festival is by far the largest programme ever, with 75 short films and three music videos selected. For the first time, three of the eleven collections of films will also be available for online audiences across New Zealand for the duration of the festival (2-22 October).

Festival Director Gina Dellabarca says, “In a time of great upheaval, as a pandemic rages around the world, we need the magic of cinema to distract and entertain us, to connect us with others, and take us places we can’t travel to right now. These films have been selected very much with those ideas in mind.
“By making some of the films available online, our team hopes to reach more Kiwis in far-flung parts of Aotearoa, as well as those who are stuck at home. We are committed to supporting our cinemas, so, wherever possible we prioritise the superior experience of in-cinema screenings and events,” Dellabarca says.

New Zealand audiences will be the first in the world to see many of the films in the 2020 line-up; nine short films will make their world premiere. They are Hāngī Pants directed by Jake Mokomoko (NZ, at right), The Trick directed by Natalie Medlock and Harry McNaughton (NZ, pictured below), Being There directed by Helen Komini Knudsen (Norway), Her Beneath Her directed by Connor Slattery and Samantha Crews (NZ), Foods for Coping directed by Zoey Zhao (NZ), As You Like directed by Maya Yadlin (Israel), Bambirak directed by Zamarin Wahdat (Germany), Working Class directed by Kyan Krumdieck (NZ), and Frankie Jean and the Morning Star, written and directed by Hannah Marshall (NZ).

Well-known international directors are not immune to the charm of the short film format, as demonstrated by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) showcasing his new short film Nimic (US) starring Matt Dillon.

Comedian/actor super-star Will Ferrell features in David (US, pictured above), a comedy directed by Zach Woods that comes to New Zealand direct from Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival. While New Zealand actor and star-on-the-rise Matt Whelan features in Daniel (NZ, pictured at the top), an award-winning drama directed by Claire van Beek.

The 2020 films represent 24 different countries: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, USA, UK and Ukraine. A wide variety of genres, styles and topics are explored. These include comedy, documentary, fantasy, animation, drama, science fiction, horror and mockumentary.

Filmmakers from the UK are in the spotlight this year, with two collections of British short films curated in collaboration with the team from London Short Film Festival. One of these programmes will screen in cinemas, while the other will be exclusively available online.

The eleven themed sections of the programme are:

  1. The Sampler features shorts of wide general appeal.
  2. Whānau Friendly has shorts that have been selected with children and families in mind.
  3. Love Lines has stories about characters who have a deep desire for human connection.
  4. Tangled Worlds shows how easy it is to become tangled in the lives and moralities of the people we meet along our journeys.
  5. Food Fights demonstrates the way sharing a meal can bring us together as well as cause tension.
  6. Let’s Get Physical provides a vibrant group of short films, pulsating with the energy of music, dance and sporting prowess.
  7. Moments of Truth captures stories about characters who are at a crossroads in life.
  8. UK Focus is a bold collection of top new short films from the UK.
  9. Aotearoa Online includes the world of rising stars of the New Zealand screen industry.
  10. International Time Zone Online allows for some armchair (and time) travel.
  11. UK Focus Online is a vibrant collection of short exploring the lives and inner worlds of modern British people.

Regarding trends, there are a large number of high-quality LBGTQI+ films on offer this year. Festival organisers say, “We are pleased to see there has been an increase in stories from New Zealand’s rainbow community. These have often been noticeably absent in the past. This appears to be an international trend, which we’re glad to support.”

Show Me Shorts Film Festival will launch with an opening night event on Saturday 2 October at Auckland’s ASB Waterfront Theatre. Many of the world premieres will take place at this event, which is always touted as a fun and glamorous celebration for the local screen industry. Wellington Opening Night will follow on Thursday 11 October at Light House Cuba.

The 2020 festival awards night – at which the eight coveted major prizes will be presented – will take place at on Sunday 4 October at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket.

Show Me Shorts is an Oscar-accredited film festival, meaning the winners of the top two awards, Department of Post Best New Zealand Film and Best International Film, will become qualified to enter the Academy Awards.

Full dates, locations and booking information for Show Me Shorts Film Festival 2020 is now available at

About Show Me Shorts Film Festival Trust

Show Me Shorts Film Festival Trust exists to connect New Zealanders with short films and share New Zealand short films with the world. The Trust also creates opportunities for aspiring filmmakers. The resources needed to achieve this are provided by a small staff, supported by dedicated volunteers, industry partners and corporate sponsors. The core of the Trusts work is the annual Show Me Shorts Film Festival. However, the Trust also creates wider opportunities for New Zealand short films to be viewed by audiences outside the festival.