The Top of the South Film Festival is celebrating its 5th year hosting the event. During this time we have established outselves as one of New Zealand's most promising and up and coming festivals. The Top of the South Film Festival brings together the best and most promising filmmakers and offers them an opportunity to showcase their films on the big screen, as well as witness some of New Zealand's most promising actors and actresses, boasting incredible on-screen performances.
We are regionally focused and only accept film submissions from our own Top of the South region, including Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and Kaikoura. Our long-term goal is to establish a thriving film production industry and provide employment opportunities to local filmmakers. This festival is a fundraiser for our Top of the South Film Production Society with all proceeds used to operate the society, including financially supporting and nurturing filmmaking in the region, enabling filmmakers the opportunity to make even better films!
In 2018, the festival raised a combined today of $9086.35. The 4th annual film festival was held at the ASB Theatre in Blenheim, The Suter Theatre in Nelson. The festival showcased a record-breaking 24 films with record attendances at all screenings. It also saw the inaugural, sell-out screening in Kaikoura. $980 was raised and all proceeds were donated to the rebuild of the Mayfair Theatre, which was damaged in the 2016 earthquakes.
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 there were 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.
2019 Film Selection
Head of Talent Development | New Zealand Film Commission
Executive Officer | The Screen Industry Guild
Councillor, Writer and Former Film Critic | Nelson City Council
Community Manager | New Zealand Film Commission
Mayor | Marlborough District Council
Marketing Executive | New Zealand Film Commission