Some of the local filmmakers who are featuring in this year’s Top of the South Film Festival. Photo: Supplied.

Local film festival showcases Nelson talent


Now in its fourth year, the home-grown Top of the South Film Festival continues to expand in quantity and quality.

Over 20 short films are in competition this year with four screenings scheduled over September 14 and 15 at the Suter Theatre.

Justin Eade, from the festival team, says Top of the South Film Festival celebrates the best locally-produced films.

“From comedy to drama, horror to science fiction, documentary and music video.

“The event also features an evening of red carpet arrivals, food, drink, and socialising, followed by an opportunity for local filmmakers to showcase their short films on the big screen.”

The Nelson screenings will begin on Friday, September 14 at the Suter Theatre, with a 6pm screening of American filmmaker Mike Ortiz’s “Dragoon Anthology” – featuring a series of short sci-fi films shot in the region using local crew, actors, directors and writers.

At 8pm there will be a screening of the best short films shot in the region over the past year as selected by a panel of eight expert judges – the ‘Gold Reel’ films.

On the Saturday there will be a 5pm ‘Silver Reel’ screening of local short films which didn’t quite make the Gold Reel selection, followed by a special Red Carpet event at 6pm, leading into the second and premiere ‘Gold Reel’, showing at 7pm.

The film festival is open to submissions from Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and Golden Bay.

All festival proceeds are donated to the Top of the South Film Production Society which provides financial support to its members who pursue the art of filmmaking in our Top of the South.

Many of the films were shot in the Nelson and Tasman regions, with one, ‘Opal Valley’, having a four-day shoot in Wakefield in January, involving the local community.

Tickets are available at the State Cinema box office or online at