Simi - I too agree. I watched that film and thought - Dayum that didn't make the shortlist?? (and it seems any nominations for Auckland too? From last nights nominees released...)
I would say that would be a shoe-in for the top 25 in most centers... however AND IT'S A BIG however. It says one of two things... there are either 25 better films (subjectively chosen yes) from Auckland (very feasible since they have ALOT of teams...) or the judging missed a beat this year! But until we watch all the films, we won't know...
From what I understand (Ness/Ruth - correct me if I'm wrong here...) the judges rank all the films (and categories) from favourite to least favourite...- the lists/results are collated and then the judges have a get-together to discuss/argue/finalise them all and the rest is history! (or something kinda like that...).
Seems pretty upfront, open and fair to me. I mean, I've never been a judge or fly on the wall etc, so I'm guessing... however, with that set-up, every Judge gets their say - it's democratic (i.e. blind voting) and they can argue anything they disagree with in the get-together as a judging team (like they do in the bigger film festivals).
What more can you ask? I mean if anything is contentious they can talk it through and if a judge or two are outliers in their opinion, it can be understood and a decision reached together.
And most of the Judges I've seen listed, know their shit or specialist area, so you know... We are pretty lucky to have this competition with the caliber of judges involved... so can't really complain!
2018: Glitch - [Ultra] - Wellington Finalist; Nominated: Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound Design, Best VFX/Animation, Best Production Design, Best use of Silhouette
2017: Indelible - [Ultra]- Wellington Finalist; Nominated: Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Music, Best Make-up
2016: The Tender Grace - National Winner: Best Cinematography & Best Actor
2015: Cabin Fever - DQ'd - Tech issue - Did not submit in time
2014: Irrevocable - National PJ Wild Card; 1st Runner-up Wellington; Wellington Winner: Best Cinematography, Best Script, Sexiest short; Nominated: Best Director, Best Editing, Best Music.
2013: Mother's day
2011: Plover - DQ'd - Tech issue - Did not submit in time