Q&A With Show Me Shorts' Gina Dellabarca

Posted Tuesday 01 Nov 2011

  With Show Me Shorts opening later this week, we did a quick Q&A with Gina Dellabarca.  

How has the festival changed since its inception in 2006?
Show Me Shorts has grown and evolved immensely from a 3-day event in one location back in 2006, to a month-long travelling festival that screens in 12 cinemas nationwide. We have added short film-making seminars and a writers' lab, plus this year for the first time we have a selection of the best international short films.

What one thing excites you most about this year's festival?
It's always the films and the audience reaction to the films. We have some fantastic shorts in our programme this year, many of which have already racked up awards and screenings at prestigious international film festivals such as Stephen Kang's 'Blue' (Cannes) and Tammy Davis' 'Ebony Society' (Sundance & Berlin). Eavesdropping on audience members as they leave the cinema after our screenings to find out which films were their favourite is my favourite festival pastime.
Who are the women film directors/writers represented at this year's festival? Any who you particularly think we should take note of, and why (without giving anything away about your awards, of course).
There are five Kiwi women directors who are represented in our programme for at least the second time and consistently make outstanding world-class short films. They are Jackie van Beek, Katie Wolfe, Michelle Savill, Kylie Plunkett and Zia Mandviwalla. These women are at the top of their game, and we are huge fans of their work. Another woman to watch is Regan Hall, whose mesmerizing tense drama '3 Hours' is a feat of no small measure. Shot in Jordan with a cast of Iraqi refugees, the film is a triumph of organisation and craft.
Were there any trends in content or genre in the submissions you received this year?
This year there is a real uplifting sense of togetherness and community in many of the films. There is also a bravery evident in the choices the filmmakers to explore taboos and push the boundaries. One of the judges, Paul Grinder, said the common things he noticed most were bikes, bandits and belching!
How do you see the festival's role in the NZ cinema-going marketplace?
Show Me Shorts fills a unique niche for audiences wanting to see the latest and best short films from New Zealand and around the world, up on cinema screens as the filmmakers intended. The films are packaged together into themed sessions to make them as accessible as possible to the everyday New Zealander. There's still plenty of room for us to grow in our market, so we're always working to tell more people about our festival and evolve to meet market demands.


Gina Dellabarca

Show Me Shorts opens on 3 November at the Academy in Auckland, and 10 November at the Paramount in Wellington. For full info and a list of the awards nominees, see the website.