Submissions for 2018 have now closed and we are pleased to announce that we’ve received our largest number of submissions EVER! Currently the films are being judged by our 8 person, independent judging panel and will then be sent away for classification so we can show those films on the big screen. We’ll keep you updated on our film selections in the coming months.


The Top of the South Film Festival brings together the best and most promising filmmakers from Nelson, Marlborough and Tasman regions, as well as some of New Zealand’s most promising actors and actresses, boasting some incredible on-screen performances.
All proceeds from the festival go back into the Top of the South Film Production Society so that members have an opportunity to produce more films right here in our region. In 2017 the Top of the South Film Festival raised an astounding $7135.57

The Top of the South Film Festival was established in 2015 by Phil McKinnon and Aaron Falvey of Blenheim. Both Phil and Aaron are passionate filmmakers, having made several short films they realised their was no opportunities to showcase their work. The festival was created to give local filmmakers from the Top of the South region a festival they can aspire to make films for. Aaron is the Festival Director and President of the Top of the South Film Production Society who are the recipients of all proceeds.

Co-Founders Phil McKinnon (Left) and Aaron Falvey (Right)

Phil and Aaron presenting at the Top of the South Film Festival 2016


Dale Corlett

Head of Talent Development | New Zealand Film Commission

Karla Rodgers

Executive Officer | The Screen Industry Guild

Matt Lawrey

Councillor, Writer and Former Film Critic | Nelson City Council

“‘What a great night celebrating local film-making talent. From comedy to drama, music videos to mockumentary, it had something for everyone. I can’t wait till next year”

” The Programme provided me with a great range of locally made films with genres that had me laughing, crying and catching my breath in between”

It was a night of film-making passion and strong visual storytelling with some memorable twists and turns. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!


Nick Garrett

Community Manager | New Zealand Film Commission

John Leggett

Mayor | Marlborough District Council

Kate Larkindale

Marketing Executive | New Zealand Film Commission

“The people behind the Top of the South Film Festival know how to get things done. What amazed me was the overall sense of community that I felt when I spoke to everybody involved”

“The Festival certainly promotes a good connection among film makers and cinema goers. It was great to see the Top of the South showcased with such diversity in sixteen locally made short films”

“What a fun evening. It was great to see local talent showcased and supported. And there really was something for everyone in the mixt of films screened.”

Film Selection 2017

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