The Big Mountain Short Film Festival celebrates two phases of filmmaking -- the "No-Budget" phase (where a filmmaker's creativity and imagination extend beyond their financial means) and the "Budget" phase (where their skills and talents meet the means of powerful storytelling).

We welcome, encourage, and promote both -- they're integral to the development of skilled storytellers!


Big Mountain begas as a three-day festival starting on Labour Weekend's Friday evening, and running through to Sunday night, and was built around the idea that filmmakers evolve through phases -- starting first with "No Budget" films, and eventually working their way up to "Budget" Films.

Included on the programmes in the early years were educational presentations, filmmaking tips and techniques, and participation from film industry professionals from New Zealand and internationally. Clear delineations were made between Program A (short films with budgets over $1000) and Program B (short films with budgets under $1000).

In 2008, the festival evolved into a single-night event. By compressing a three-day event into a single night, we have blurred the line between different "levels" of filmmaking, and embraced the concept that regardless of a filmmaker's budget or resources, the objective is the same: To tell a story, express a vision, or entertain an audience.

As a single-night event, the Big Mountain Short Film Festival is a dynamic and festive atmosphere that keeps the tradition of short film alive in an exciting and powerful way. And the cross-pollenation of talents leads to an unforgettable experience.


The Big Mountain Short Film Festival was created to promote filmmaking in New Zealand, and bring together the next generation of talent.

To that end, we offer the festival at no cost to filmmakers OR festival-goers. The entire event is FREE!

Please note that due to space limiations, seating is entirely first-in, first-served.

The aim of the festival is threefold:

  • To Showcase the filmmakers of tomorrow
  • To Teach the skills you need to participate
  • To Expand the community by reaching out and sharing

We hope you'll join us! And keep an eye on this expanding website.


Sign up for the Big Mountain Newsletter (see the box in the left column) to be kept up to date with the latest news and info from the festival and surrounding activities.

(Your privacy is very important, and your details will not be used for any other reason than direct contact regarding Big Mountain information and updates.)

Or why not go a step further an make a short film to submit to the festival!