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Asking for Acceptance - NZ Film Awards Unpicked

The Napkin Diaries
By Paula Pistol - First published in the Capital
Times

Asking for Acceptance

It was a weekend with the luvvies, as Wellington again hosted the annual Film Awards.

Fashion-wise, the ‘understated’ trend of the Emmys infected our awards. Most of the lasses were in trousers, and the lads in dark suits. There were a few impressive outfits (notably the tight white suit with bikini top and cowgirl hat) but, typically, they were worn by the wardrobe girls.

There's always a bit of a theme at awards – this year, it was a resounding "It could have been any of us" as the casts and crews of Snakeskin, Rain & Stickmen trooped on-stage and accepted awards on behalf of each other.

Poor ol' Irrefutable Truth about Demons was left out in the cold, even though it returned most of the Film Commission’s profit last year. And there was an odd sort of half-silence when a flick called "Her Majesty" won three awards in a row. Seen it yet? Me neither. But apparently all you need to be nominated is three public screenings....

The Napkin Diaries Acceptance Speech of the Year goes to Scott Wills, who picked up Best Actor for his role in Stickmen. He strolled on stage and laconically ran through every cast and crew member on his list, reviewing them as he went: "The catering ladies - thanks for the great spread,” “Dave from the lighting department – you rock,”etc.

Afterwards, Wanda Martini tottered off to the Snakeskin party at Brava and me & Gita Mann followed a couple of cast members of The Strip into Motel ...

The next day (or, later that morning) Wanda took us back there for yum-cha. Actually we went to Chow, the new noodle joint out the other side of Motel, where we got to eat like hogs and hand out our own awards based on what we thought was tasty, and what we were prepared to pay for each dish when they open officially. As previews go, it was an excellent occasion, though we did conclude that in order to differentiate their noodle menu from other Asian joints, the special blue-cheese wontons could have made the jump from Castros to Motel.

With so many film people still hanging around in dark glasses, the topic turned to another form of acceptance. Artists – and film makers, actors, lighting designers, script writers and, I hope, humble columnists – can now put “art” as their first career choice next time they’re signing up for the benefit. (And face it – we don’t want to but sometimes we have to).

This was happily cheered by all and sundry as the realisation sank in that art is finally being accepted as a legitimate job choice. No longer will we have to sneakily dodge those job interviews for things we really don’t want to do. Scott Wills, between jobs, can now put “Best Actor” on his job seeker form. But my money is on him getting a call from “Celebrity Speakers New Zealand” before the week is over.

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