11.05.18 - Uni Shorts 2018 – Call for Entries

Student filmmakers and schools from around the world are invited to submit their student made films for the Uni Shorts International Student Film Festival 2018.

This will be the sixth edition of Uni Shorts which was started in 2012 by film students at Auckland’s Unitec to provide a platform for screening their short film work. The festival has since grown into the largest student film festival of its type in Australia and New Zealand.

Short films must be entirely student made and under 20 minutes. Entry categories this year are fiction, documentary, animation and experimental. Early bird entry is only NZD$20 until 29 June 2018. Standard entry fee is NZD$30 by the final entry deadline 3 August 2018.

There is also a secondary schools’ category for New Zealand entrants only, which is free entry.

This year’s festival will again be held at Unitec Institute of Technology’s Mt Albert campus in Auckland, New Zealand on 26-27 October 2018.

An Awards Night will be held at Unitec’s Red Lecture Theatre on Friday, 26 October where the winners will be announced. This will be followed by a full day of screenings of all finalists on Saturday, 27 October. A workshop for high school students and media studies teachers is also planned for Friday, 26 October prior to the awards evening. Entry to events on both days will be free.

The prizes, judging panel and festival programme for Uni Shorts 2018 will be announced following the Call for Entries in August.

To enter your film go to Uni Shorts website www.unitec.ac.nz/unishorts or email festival coordinator Peter Rees unishorts@unitec.ac.nz for more information.

13.02.18 - Uni Shorts – Call for Entries 2018 out soon

Happy New Year student filmmakers! Uni Shorts is taking place again this year. We’ll be putting out a Call for Entries soon with entry deadlines, fees and dates for the 2018 festival so stay tuned and get your student short films ready for submitting. Submissions must be less than 20 minutes long and entirely student made as part of a course of study between Nov 2016 – Feb 2018. Entry categories: fiction, documentary, animation, experimental and secondary schools (New Zealand only).

23.11.17 - Uni Shorts 2017 winners announced – high school entry takes top prize

A Perfect Child; a film by students at Christ’s College and St. Margaret’s College in Christ-church, has been voted the Best New Zealand Film at the annual Uni Shorts student film festival, a celebration of student film-making from around the world curated and hosted by Unitec Institute of Technology.

This year’s Uni Shorts line-up saw thirty finalists across six categories with the winners being named at the opening night of the festival at Unitec in Auckland this evening. The judging panel included award-winning filmmaker Alyx Duncan, renowned actress, writer and direc-tor, Aidee Walker, and internationally acclaimed animator, Katie Naeher. The festival runs from tonight until Sunday, 26 November.

The 18-minute long A Perfect Child is the work of around 60 secondary school students from Christ’s College and St. Margaret’s College in Christchurch and tells the story of Ava, a young girl in an orphanage who comes to realise that fellow orphans are being cloned to create perfect children. The film took a year to make, with students involved in every as-pect of production, including writing, directing, casting, costuming and post-production. Di-rected by William Burns, A Perfect Child features an original film score composed by Year 13 student Jeremy Lidstone.

Peter Hewson, Head of Media Studies at Christ’s College, was delighted with the win. “Our objective has been to aspire to the highest possible production values we can, and our win this evening is a fitting acknowledgement of the many months of hard work, perseverance and grit by all the students across both schools. I applaud each and every one of them, and am very proud of what they’ve achieved.”

A Perfect Child also won the Best Secondary School category with judges praising the Christ-church-based students for their strong premise and depth of talent. Runner-up in the cate-gory was Kapiti College with Black Dog.

The University of Auckland dominated the Best Fiction Postgrad category, taking out both the winner and runner-up prizes. In first place was Parasites which tells the story of a young woman fighting pressures from inside and out, pushing her to have children. Judges praised the film for its hilarious premise and solid acting. Runner-up in the category was The Spec-tacular Imagination of the Pohara Brothers.

International institutions took top honours in the Best Fiction Undergrad category. Out of Reach from the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem was placed first with their “poignantly moving, yet simple concept”. The film is about photo shop assistant, Hagar, who in following up customers who have not returned to collect VHS tapes they left to be digit-ised, uncovers a family with a poignant story. The City College of New York was runner-up with Cloud Kumo.

A Dutch film, Reconstructing Reality, by the Design Academy in Eindhoven won the Best Ex-perimental category. The judges found it “entertaining and intriguing” and commented on the effective use of multi-split screens and the perfect timing of the film. The New Zealand film – Strike Out – from the Southern Institute of Technology was runner-up in the category.

European entries came to the fore in the Best Animation category with Child from the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Germany taking first place, and Musicide (Musicidio) from ECIB Escola de Cinema de Barcelona in Spain runner-up. Child drew praise from the judges for its visual style and beautiful construction, as well as its natural animation and effective sound design. Child tells the life story of a child who goes in search of firewood, seeking ev-er more fuel for his fire as he grows into a man.

Wolfe, a personal story about a man’s pursuit of peace and respite from a mental disorder, won the Best Documentary category. The film is from the Griffith Film School in Australia and was praised by the judges for its honesty, rawness and simplicity in covering a complex subject. About art, my family & me, from Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland, was runner-up in the category.

Dr Vanessa Byrnes, Uni Shorts festival chairperson and head of Creative Industries at Unitec, praised the quality and diversity of this year’s submissions, saying “Uni Shorts is one of the only film festivals in the world to celebrate student filmmaking and we’re very proud to be curating and hosting this event.

“The range of films we’ve seen this year was particularly strong, and we look forward to following the success of our winners, particularly those from the younger age categories who are debuting their film-making talents at Uni Shorts.”


Best Secondary School
Runner up: Black Dog / Kapiti College
Winner: A Perfect Child / Christ’s College & St Margaret’s College

Best Experimental
Runner up: Strike Out / Southern Institute of Technology (NZ)
Winner: Reconstructing Reality / Design Academy Eindhoven (Netherlands)

Best Animation
Runner up: Musicide (Musicidio) / ECIB Escola de Cinema de Barcelona (Spain)
Winner: Child / Film Academy Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Best Documentary
Runner up: About art, my family & me / Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland)
Winner: Wolfe / Griffith Film School (Australia)

Best Fiction undergrad
Runner up: Cloud Kumo / The City College of New York (USA)
Winner: Out of Reach / The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School (Israel)

Best Fiction postgrad
Runner up: The Spectacular Imagination of the Pohara Brothers/University of Auckland (NZ)
Winner: Parasites / University of Auckland (NZ)

Best New Zealand Film
Winner: A Perfect Child/Christ’s College & St Margaret’s College

21.11.17 - Free entry to Uni Shorts 2017

Uni Shorts 2017 promo video from Unitec Creative Industries on Vimeo.

Uni Shorts 2017 promo video from Unitec Creative Industries on Vimeo.

Entry to Uni Shorts 2017 is FREE. Just turn up!

Awards night is this Thu, 23 Nov at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus in Auckland in The Chapel in Building One, Entry 1, off Carrington Rd.

Check out this year’s exciting lineup of student short films https://vimeo.com/243586403.

Email unishorts@unitec.ac.nz for more info or visit https://www.unitec.ac.nz/unishorts for a full program.

20.11.17 - Programme confirmed for Uni Shorts 2017



6:30pm – Welcome/Intro
6:35pm – Guest Speaker
6:45pm – Announce winners (presentation order below)

Best Secondary School
Best Experimental
Best Animation
Best Documentary
Best Fiction undergrad
Best Fiction postgrad
Best New Zealand Film

7:00pm – Screening of all winning short films (Total Running time – 86 minutes)
8:30pm – Ends


9:30am – 2pm – All 30 films selected will screen in this order each day
(run time: 4.5 hours)

False Memories Waiuku College 4.54
Blank Canvas Pakuranga College 5.48
Charlie’s Psychosis Kaiapoi High School 4:25
Black Dog Kapiti College 5:00
A Perfect Child Christs & St Margaret’s College 18:35

Return Ithaca College (USA) 3:26
Strike Out Southern Institute of Technology (NZ) 3:00
The Swallows Istanbul University (Turkey) 15:58
Reconstructing Reality Design Academy Eindhoven (Netherlands) 11:19
Gem Unitec (NZ) 3:50

Child Film Academy Baden-Württemberg (Germany) 9:12
Fres Boi University of Vigo – Bellas Artes (Spain) 7:42
The Toll Griffith Film School (Australia) 5:13
Pug of War Media Design School (NZ) 2:30
Musicide (Musicidio) ECIB Escola de Cinema de Barcelona (Spain) 6:14

Wolfe Griffith Film School (Australia) 15.50
About art, my family & me Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland) 15:09
Butterfly Stanford University (USA) 4.00
Inked in Tradition University of Auckland/Beijing Normal (NZ/China) 10:17
Internet Explorer Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) 10:49

FICTION (Undergraduate)
Two The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School (Israel) 12.20
Ra Menada Braunschweig University of Art (Germany) 8.06
Cloud Kumo The City College of New York (USA) 14.49
Lost in Hope IFS Cologne (Germany) 16:30
Out of Reach The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School (Israel) 19:56

FICTION (Postgraduate)
Parasites University of Auckland (NZ) 12.11
Happiness University of Waikato (NZ) 6.30
Veil Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) 7:39
The Spectacular Imagination of the Pohara Brothers University of Auckland (NZ) 8:01
HITEK Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) 9:27


02.11.17 - Finalists and judges announced for Uni Shorts 2017

Award-winning filmmaker Alyx Duncan, renowned actress/writer and director, Aidee Walker and internationally acclaimed animator, Katie Naeher, have been announced as the judges for this year’s lineup of international student short films for Uni Shorts 2017.

Thirty films from New Zealand and around the world will vie for six awards which will be presented at this year’s festival held at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland from 23-26 November. A seventh award will be awarded to the best NZ film.

This year’s lineup is the most diverse in the festival’s five year history. European entries again feature prominently in the finalists but there are also submissions from student filmmakers in the Middle East and North America making the shortlist.

Not to be outdone, there is good representation from the host nation with New Zealand tertiary institutions shutting out the international film schools in the postgraduate fiction category.  The competition is evenly spread in the animation and experimental categories with NZ and international finalists. The finalists for the New Zealand Secondary Schools category also come from all over the country, from Auckland to Christchurch.

Uni Shorts festival chairperson, Dr Vanessa Byrnes says the quality and diversity of this year’s submissions shows that Uni Shorts is gaining an international profile and one of the only festivals celebrating student filmmaking from around the world. Unitec was proud to be curating and hosting this event. “Uni Shorts is an important forum where Unitec can recognise and catapult international student film making talent. Our exceptional line up of judges are perfectly placed to spot the up-and-coming storytellers in this diverse and exciting medium,” says Dr Byrnes.

Entry to Uni Shorts is FREE. To RSVP for the opening awards night at Unitec where the winning films will be screened on Thu 23 Nov @6:30pm email Festival Coordinator Peter Rees at unishorts@unitec.ac.nz. For a full schedule of screenings of all finalists from 24-26 November go to www.unitec.ac.nz/unishorts.





Return                                     Ithaca College (USA)

Strike Out                                Southern Institute of Technology (New Zealand)

The Swallows                          Istanbul University (Turkey)

Reconstructing Reality            Design Academy Eindhoven (Netherlands)

Gem                                        Unitec (New Zealand)



Child                                        Film Academy Baden-Württemberg (Germany)

Fres Boi                                   University of Vigo – Bellas Artes (Spain)

The Toll                                   Griffith Film School (Australia)

Pug of War                              Media Design School (New Zealand)

Musicide (Musicidio)              ECIB Escola de Cinema de Barcelona (Spain)



False Memories                      Waiuku College

Blank Canvas                           Pakuranga College

Charlie’s Psychosis                  Kaiapoi High School

Black Dog                                Kapiti College

A Perfect Child                        Christs College & St Margaret’s College



Wolfe                                      Griffith Film School (Australia)

About art, my family & me     Zurich University of the Arts (Switzerland)

Butterfly                                  Stanford University (USA)

Inked in Tradition                    University of Auckland/Beijing Normal University (NZ/China)

Internet Explorer                    Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)


FICTION (Undergraduate)

Two                                         The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School (Israel)

Ra Menada                              Braunschweig University of Art (Germany)

Cloud Kumo                             The City College of New York (USA)

Lost in Hope                            IFS Cologne (Germany)

Out of Reach                           The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School (Israel)


FICTION (Postgraduate)

Parasites                                 University of Auckland (NZ)

Happiness                                University of Waikato (NZ)

Veil                                          Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)

The Spectacular Imagination  University of Auckland (NZ)

of the Pohara Brothers

HITEK                                       Victoria University of Wellington (NZ)




Alyx Duncan

Alyx is an award winning filmmaker and choreographer in genres spanning live performance, installation, video-dance, music video, documentary, television commercials, and experimental filmmaking. She has made award winning films – her feature The Red House, screened at NZIFF and won the Best Self-Funded Film at the New Zealand Film Awards in 2012; and her short The Tide Keeper, won The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at NZIFF 2015. Alongside her industry work she has taught papers in dance, digital video, and theatre studies at various tertiary institutions in New Zealand and China.


Aidee Walker

Aidee Walker is a renowned actress, writer, and director in the New Zealand film and television industry. In 2014 she joined the writing team for South Pacific Picture’s Step Dave Series 1 & 2, and now has multiple TV series ideas in development with Greenstone TV. Her debut short, The F.E.U.C. (The Four Eyes United Club), was officially selected for the Palm Springs Film Festival in the United States, and Show Me Shorts Film Festival in New Zealand. Her second short, Friday Tigers, was funded in the New Zealand Film Commission’s Fresh Shorts scheme, and upon its release was officially selected for the MIFF, where Aidee was also handpicked to attend the Accelerator Program. Friday Tigers won Best Short Film and the Audience Award at the 2013 NZ International Film Festival, and was a finalist for best short film script at the NZ Writers Awards. Aidee was a finalist in the Woman to Watch category at the 2014 WIFT Awards.


Katie Naeher

Katie Naeher is part of Auckland production company Assembly’s internationally acclaimed character animation team. Her time at Assembly, Oktobor, Blockhead and GameLoft has seen her, and the team awarded at every major show around the world from Cannes, D&AD and most recently with a Webby in New York. Her work on the Penguins of Madagascar TV series, and Kung Fu Panda (Legends of awesomeness) at Oktobor, both received Emmys. Outside of her day job, Katie has been a guest lecturer, served on numerous animation panels and juries around NZ and is also a mentor to interns starting out in animation. Her career highlights include: Heinz “Geoff”, ASB “Clever Kash” and character animation for the ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ game.

12.10.17 - New date for Uni Shorts 2017

UPDATE: Uni Shorts 2017 will now be held on 23-26 November at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. An announcement of the short films selected to screen in competition next month coming soon. Stay tuned. Email unishorts@unitec.ac.nz for more info.

Follow us @unishorts on twitter and facebook.

18.05.17 - Entry deadline extended to 15 June 2017

The entry deadline has been extended to 15 June 2017. This is to give film schools, universities and secondary schools more time to submit their student made short films for the Uni Shorts International Student Film Festival 2017 which will take place at Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand on the weekend of 28-29 October 2017.

Enter your films here.

13.03.17 - Dates for Uni Shorts 2017 confirmed

Don’t forget to enter your student films for Uni Shorts 2017. Next deadline 15 April. Enter here: http://www.unitec.ac.nz/unishorts/. Uni Shorts will be held on 28-29 October at Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand. Festival programme will be released soon.


EARLY BIRD ENTRY FEE – NZD$20 (NZD$60 for three or more entries) received by 15 Feb 2017
STANDARD ENTRY FEE – NZD$30 (NZD$80 for three or more entries) received by 15 April 2017
LATE ENTRY FREE – NZD$40 (NZD $100 for three or more entries) received by 15 May 2017
FREE ENTRY for New Zealand Secondary Schools only

We are now calling for entries for this year’s Uni Shorts International Student Film Festival which will be held in Auckland in October 2017 (Date TBC). Great prizes to be announced.

• All films entered must be entirely student-made from Nov 2015 – Jan 2017.
• All films entered must be no longer than 20 minutes running time
• Film ratio must be 16×9, resolution: 1080 or 720HD
• All non-English films must have English subtitles embedded.
• Submitting individuals/institutions must obtain necessary clearances for any copyrighted material or music used in their films.
• Entry categories: Fiction (undergraduate), Fiction (postgraduate), Documentary, Experimental, Animation, Secondary Schools (NZ only).

1. Complete the online entry form here.
2. Send us your film via a secure downloadable Dropbox, VIMEO or WeTransfer link to unishorts@unitec.ac.nz.
3. Alternatively, you can post us your DVD screener to: Uni Shorts, Unitec Performing & Screen Arts, Private Bag 92025, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. Mark all packages ‘No Commercial Value’ and ensure postmarked date is on or before entry date deadline.
4. All submissions must be accompanied by a short synopsis/logline (50 words max), production credits, director’s bio (100 words max) & headshot photo (JPEG format approx. 1MB size), plus two (2) still images of your film. Email all files to unishorts@unitec.ac.nz with the name of your film in the subject line.

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