Contact Details:


PO Box 221
New Zealand






Like every great human endeavour, the Big Mountain Short Film Festival began with a friendly chat between a couple of mates.

After attending a short film festival with a group of friends in early 2004, Bret Gibson and Jeff Bollow got to talking.

Bret, a writer and short film
maker had long held a desire to launch a short film festival in this
picturesque ski town, by creating an awareness to the film making
history that the region is well known for.

Jeff, an L.A.-born award-winning filmmaker, author and speaker, and 25-year film industry veteran, saw in the concept a way to build something truly extraordinary. It would be his way of contributing to the future of the New Zealand film industry.

"Wouldn't that be fun?"

What began as a friendly dinner conversation about something that sounded like fun, quickly became very serious, as the two began offering their unique skills and experience to the venture, and started planning the logistics.

During their initial scouting mission, the Sydney-based team visited Ohakune in March 2005, during which they secured the Ohakune Cinema for the venue, and produced a video promo.

The one major requirement for the festival was that it be fun! As they are both passionate about films and filmmaking, and wanted to do this for pure enjoyment, it was no wonder their enthusiasm caught the attention of local residents.


Originally conceived as a small, community event, the vision for the Big Mountain Short Film Festival has evolved into something considerably more substantial and far-reaching.

By specifically targeting younger filmmakers and the new technology that allows them to make films on lower budgets, Big Mountain has become synonymous with "next generation".

As a respected author and teacher of screenwriting, Jeff has a long history of promoting and encouraging emerging talent. He believes that by building a solid foundation of skill and knowledge, we lay the groundwork for a thriving industry well into the future.

Through the Big Mountain Short Film Festival, his goal is to create an event that will educate, inspire, and encourage up-and-coming Kiwi and international talents, whilst embracing the digital revolution. Tomorrow's filmmakers will be working in a very different distribution landscape -- one where low budget films can reach audiences as easily as big-budget films.



The first two years of the Big Mountain Short Film Festival saw entries from over 45 countries, as well as entries from New Zealand schools and screenings of short films from other festivals.

With far-reaching programs currently being developed (many of which have not yet been announced on this website), Big Mountain is poised to become very big indeed.

New Zealand has long been a fantastic place to make films, and has a thriving creative community. Watch this space, as Big Mountain snowballs into a great event!

We hope to see you there!