Toi Whakaari short films amongst ‘New Zealand's Best’

Pitopito Kōrero


July 23, 2023



Toi Whakaari short films ‘Gate Crash’ directed by Paloma Schneideman and ‘Freedom Fighter’ directed by Tusi Tamasese have been selected as some of New Zealand's best short films in 2023. As part of the New Zealand International Film Festival 2023, the two Toi short films were selected from a total of 81 submitted films by guest judge, Niki Caro.

The Toi Film screen programme is a year-long multi-disciplinary production project that partners Aotearoa's best filmmakers with Toi Whakaari students. It is a key component of the acting program for final year students, as well as a learning component for costume and arts management students.

This screen collaboration, now coming into its tenth year, has provided Toi Whakaari students with invaluable experience working on professional film projects and producing high-quality work, many of which have gone on to be screened at international film festivals such as Venice, Berlinale, and Melbourne. 

Both finalist short films ‘Gate Crash’ and ‘Freedom Fighters’, as well ‘Cetology’ directed by Catherine Bisley, can be viewed at numerous screening locations throughout the NZIFF.

This year, our Toi Film program will see three new short films directed by Bala Murali Shingade, Dana Leaming and Mia Blake respectively. The premiere of these films takes place annually at our Toi Film Premiere, which will be held on November 7, 2023 at The Embassy Theatre. 

Applications to study at Toi Whakaari are now open for 2024. Have you considered one of the following career pathways? Set or Scenic Carpenter, Props Maker, Exhibition and Event Display, Costume Maker, Producer, Stage Manager, Production Manager, Venue Technician/Manager.


Toi Whakaari has five full-time undergraduate courses for performing arts students and one postgraduate course. Visit our website to learn more