Posted Monday 29 May 2017
WIFT member Gaylene Preston will be the Guest Selector for the New Zealand International Film Festival's (NZIFF) only competition strand, the New Zealand's Best short film competition.
The announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that Gaylene's documentary My Year with Helen was included in the first announcement of films for NZIFF 2017.
Five to six selected New Zealand shorts will premiere in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch, where audiences are encouraged to vote for their favourite short from Preston's shortlist. Previous Guest Selectors have included Lee Tamahori (2016), Christine Jeffs (2015), Andrew Adamson (2014), Alison Maclean (2013) and Roger Donaldson (2012).
Gaylene Preston is one of New Zealand's most recognised and valued filmmakers, with a screen career spanning four decades and writer, director and producer credits covering feature films, documentaries and TV drama series. In 2001 she was honoured by the New Zealand Arts Foundation, becoming New Zealand's first Filmmaker Laureate. In 2002 she was appointed an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for her services to filmmaking. Preston is the recipient of a WIFT NZ Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2016 New Zealand Women of Influence Award for Arts and Culture, the SPADA Industry Champion Award and the Services to Cinema award in the 2017 NZ Film Awards (the "Moas"). Her work includes Mr Wrong (1985), War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us (1995) and television series Bread and Roses (1993) and Hope and Wire (2014).
"We're delighted to have Gaylene join as this year's Guest Selector for the New Zealand's Best Short Film competition. She is a pioneering filmmaker and is renowned for being generous with her time and wisdom, having served on the boards of New Zealand's main screen organisations as well as mentoring many NZ filmmakers. We look forward to receiving her selection of shorts for the competition. We received 83 submissions which my programming colleague Michael McDonnell and I have shortlisted to 12 for Preston to consider," says NZIFF Director Bill Gosden.