Short films win big

Yan Lin in the film Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le. Photo: Supplied.

The Bay of Plenty will be able to enjoy all of the award-winning films from this year's Show Me Shorts Film Festival at screenings in Katikati during October.

The winners of New Zealand’s largest and most important short film awards were announced at a prize ceremony on Sunday October 8.

Eight Show Me Shorts awards were presented to the filmmakers behind six short films, with Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le taking home three trophies.

Director Julie Zhu took home the DEGANZ Best Director award for Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le, while her producing team Jazz dos Santos, Puteri Raja Ariff, and herself were also awarded the coveted Department of Post Best NZ Film, which is an Oscar-qualifying category.

This gentle and heart-felt short film also jointly claimed the Toi Whakaari Best Actor award with young eight-year-old actor Yan Lin from Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le sharing this category with Prabha Ravi from Anu.

“After much deliberation with so many wonderful performances to choose from, the jury felt that we couldn't choose just one winner for the Toi Whakaari Best Actor award and decided to share this award between two equally outstanding performances and exceptional actors," say the judges.

“Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le is the type of film that balances the light and dark of the human experience splendidly. It lays bare the struggles of a young boy tasked with the care of his ailing Lǎo Lao, who is losing her mind to Alzhemiers. It’s a short film that is full of struggle and fight, connection and loneliness, love and hate. It is many things but, above all, it is undeniably moving and a film that will stay with the jury for some time to come.”

Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le screens in Aotearoa Te Ōhākī section of the programme, screening in cinemas across New Zealand during the next three weeks as well as at Show Me Shorts On Demand. All of the award winning short films will screen together as a package called Award Winners with upcoming sessions in Matakana, Wellington, Katikati and Christchurch.

Basri and Salma in a Never-Ending Comedy. Photo: Supplied.

Te Reo Māori language film Te Whakawhitinga took home the DEGANZ Best Editor award, thrilling audiences with its strong blend of metaphorical visuals and personal narration.

The Best Cinematographer award was presented to Marty Williams for The Ballad of Maddog Quinn. It was the second year in a row that Williams has won this award at Show Me Shorts, taking it home in 2022 for Datsun.

Full list of winners:

  1. Department of Post Best NZ Film: Jazz dos Santos, Puteri Raja Ariff, Julie Zhu for Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le
  2. Cause and FX Best International Film: Khozy Rizal, John Badalu, Sue Turley for Basri & Salma In A Never Ending Comedy
  3. DEGANZ Best Director: Julie Zhu for Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le
  4. Best Screenplay: Maza White for Daughter of God
  5. DEGANZ Best Editor: Jeremy Leatinu’u & Ian Powell for Te Whakawhitinga
  6. Best Cinematographer: Marty Williams for The Ballad of Maddog Quinn
  7. Toi Whakaari Best Actor: Shared between Prabha Ravi for Anu and Yan Lin for Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le
  8. NZ on Air Best Music Video: Ian Sweeney & Johnny Gilbert for When You Went Away - The Transits

As Show Me Shorts is an Academy Awards-qualifying festival, the winners of the Department of Post Best NZ Film and Cause and FX Best International Film awards are now qualified to enter the Oscars.

Other prizes include $8,500 cash, $12,000 worth of post-production services from Department of Post, $5,000 of gear rental from Rubber Monkey, memberships to DEGANZ, flowers from Enchanted Rose, engraved winner’s badge and certificates.

The total prize pool is valued at more than $40,000.

In addition to the awards listed above, audience members can vote for the People’s Choice Award during the festival, by completing the survey in cinemas or at

The jury panels assembled for the 2023 Show Me Shorts awards included highly regarded screen industry practitioners:

  • Angela Cudd: Producer
  • Bronwyn Kidd: Programmer at Flickerfest (Australia)
  • Dion Nash: Ex-Black Cap, entrepreneur and arts fan
  • Fransiska Prihadi: Programmer at Minikino Film Festival Short Film Week (Indonesia)
  • Simona Meriggi: Founder and Artistic Director of Amarcort Film Festival (Italy)
  • Steve Newall: Editor at
  • Tui Ruwhiu: Executive Director at the Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand
  • Katie Bignell: Film Festival Strategist at Festival Formula
  • Nick Ward: Award winning screenwriter

Show Me Shorts Film Festival 2023 includes 86 short films and music videos in the full programme. The films are now screening at cinemas nationwide until October 29, and On Demand from October 14 to 29. Full screening dates, locations and booking information is available here.

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