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NZ Film and Television Celebrates Its Finest

Wednesday 27 July

It’s A Wrap! NZ Film and Television Celebrates Its Finest.

The boys behind Bro' Town

It was a big night for the ‘In’ crowd as In My Father’s Den and The Insiders Guide to Happiness swept the first annual New Zealand Screen Awards 2005.

The cast and crew of the critically acclaimed In My Father’s Den had 10 very good reasons to celebrate tonight (Wed 27th) after making an almost-clean sweep of the Feature Film section of New Zealand’s premier Film and Television Awards, a haul that included the coveted title of Air New Zealand Best Picture.

In the television section it was another dominant performance, this time from the popular drama series The Insiders Guide to Happiness. The Gibson Group-produced series laid claim to seven awards overall ranging from Best Drama Series to Achievement in Original Music.

The new awards, sanctioned by the industry and led by the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand (SDGNZ) had received more than 450 entries in more than 40 categories. After an industry-wide judging process winners in 40 categories were announced at tonight’s (Wed 27th) awards ceremony, hosted by the multi-talented actor and presenter Oliver Driver and dished up by a raft of well-known guest presenters including Keisha Castle-Hughes, Don Selwyn, Karyn Hay and Andrew Fagan, and Temuera Morrison.

FILM SECTION In the Feature Film section, Charlie McClellan & Larry Parr’s Fracture took two of the 12 awards on offer tonight (Wed 27th). Victoria Kelly was awarded for Achievement in Original Music and Amanda Neale was rewarded for her work, walking away with the gong for Achievement in Costume Design.

However, the night belonged to In My Father’s Den, scooping the remaining 10 categories.
On top of Trevor Haysom and Dixie Linder’s Air New Zealand Best Picture title, the film earned Brad McGann his first Achievement in Directing award and the trophy for Screenplay – a feat made more impressive by the fact it was his first full-length feature.

British born In My Father’s Den lead Matthew Macfadyen took the award for Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role holding out 14 year-old Andrew Paterson (50 Ways of Saying Fabulous) and, arguably New Zealand’s biggest star, Sam Neill (Perfect Strangers) for top honours.

While Paterson may have missed out this year, another young sensation, Emily Barclay was crowned with the title of best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. The star was unfortunately unable to attend the ceremony due to rehearsal commitments in Australia.

Colin Moy and Jodie Rimmer took line honours in the Performance by an Actor and Actress in Supporting Role categories respectively, while a fitting tribute was also paid to Supporting Actress finalist, the late Liddy Holloway (Fracture).

The other three awards taken out by In My Father’s Den went to Stuart Dryburgh for Kodak Achievement in Cinematography, Chris Plummer for Images Achievement in Editing, and Richard Flynn, Chris Burt and Gethin Creagh for Sound Post Contribution to a Soundtrack.

Sony Best Digital Feature went to the instant cult classic Kaikohe Demolition, a film that has already made director and producer Florian Habicht hot property in the industry. Cristobal Araus Lobos took the Images Technical Contribution to a Digital Feature for his work on 1 Nite which will be formally released to DVD later this week.

Three short films were recognised with New Zealand Screen awards tonight (Wed 27th). Sky City Best Short Film went to David Rittey’s Closer and keeping in the teen theme, 15 year-old deaf actor Toby Agnew took the award Performance in a Short Film for his role in the same film. The Script for a Short Film award went to Zia Mandviwalla for Eating Sausage and Ashley Turner took honours for Technical Contribution to a Short Film for his work as production designer and art director on Jonathan Brough’s Antarctic-set No Ordinary Sun.

In total, seven film productions were honoured with awards and SDGNZ President Dan Salmon says the winners deserve the industry’s praise and respect.

“This is a stunning performance by the entire cast and crew of In My Father’s Den, to take so many awards is a testament to them all,” he says.

“In saying that, it is also very pleasing to see so many newcomers rewarded for their effort – Brad McGann has had an unbelievable night as have finalists in the acting, digital and short film categories. Hopefully winners will now move on to even greater success and raise the bar for all of us. This is after all why we wanted to resurrect a premier industry awards.

“While not everyone can be a winner on the night, all entrants and finalists should feel proud of themselves. They are all adding to our nation’s cultural capital and driving us all too bigger and better things.”

TELEVISION SECTION

Production house The Gibson Group was quite aptly all smiles tonight (Wed 27th) with The Insiders Guide to Happiness collecting a total of seven New Zealand Screen Awards in the television section. The feat is a great result for the company, many of whom were unable to attend as they are currently in the process of producing a prequel series The Insiders Guide to Love.

The seven awards went to Dave Gibson, Donna Malane and Jan Haynes for Best Drama Programme, Mark Beesley for Achievement in Directing Drama/Comedy; Will Hall and Jason Whyte for Performance by an Actor and Performance by a Supporting Actor respectively; Denise O’Connell for Performance by a Supporting Actress; David Brechin-Smith for Script Single Episode of a Drama Series or Serial (Episode 6); and David Long for Achievement in Original Music.

Meanwhile, popular comedy show bro’ Town may have been a hard sell originally but the first ever locally produced animated series has now finally silenced any sceptics by taking out the coveted title of Best Comedy Programme. Producer Elizabeth Mitchell will be buoyed by the result, which comes as the team put the finishing touches on series two.

bro’ Town writers Oscar Kightley, Mario Gaoa, David Fane and Shimpal Lelisi were rewarded for their comedic insight into the nature of New Zealand’s Maori/Polynesian culture, receiving top honours for Best Comedy Script for Episode 6 of the show titled The Weakest Link.

In total, 11 local television productions received awards, and the sheer depth and breadth of style and subject matter is further proof that the local industry deserves its global reputation of creativity and innovation.

In other categories, industry icon Keith Hunter’s look at the famous Scott Watson murder case titled Murder on the Blade? earned the long-standing producer/director the Best Documentary title, while successful travel series Intrepid Journeys took out the award for Best Documentary/ Factual Series. The show, which allows viewers to see locations around the world through the eyes of well-known Kiwis, has quickly become a favourite among the industry and public alike.

Another show with a travel theme, Explorers, picked up two New Zealand Screen awards – one for Presenter Entertainment/Factual which went to Peter Elliott, the other for Sony Achievement in Camerawork, taken out by Peter Young.

She’s now on our screens as the embattled mother of a down and out crime family but it was Robyn Malcolm’s lead role in the comedy satire Serial Killers that earned her the adoration of the audience and the night’s award for Performance by an Actress.

In the lifestyle or entertainment categories it was double success for The Living Room Series II. The show took top honours for Best Lifestyle/Entertainment Programme and also landed Mark Albiston a further individual award Achievement in Directing, Factual Programming/ Entertainment. Mark shares the former award with Amelia Bardsley.

Matai Smith and Reikura Morgan are well known in the Maori language community and their educational youth entertainment programme, Pükana, earned them the Korero Maori Best Maori Language Programme award.

Best Children’s Programme was presented to Vanessa Alexander and Anne Williams for Being Eve, and the show picked up a further honour courtesy of Carl Smith and Travis Hefferen’s Contribution to a Soundtrack award.

Canadian-born but very much a kiwi, Leanne Pooley is widely regarded as one of the country’s best directors. That showed once again tonight (Wed 27th) as she collected the Achievement in Directing-Documentary for Haunting Douglas, a journey through the mind of famous New Zealand dancer Douglas Wright. The documentary’s editor Tim Woodhouse took out the Images Achievement in Editing, Documentary award.

Design is an integral part of any great production and recognising this, the Urbis Contribution to Design Award was presented to Euan Frizzell for his work on the arts documentary From Len Lye to Gollum.

SDGNZ President Dan Salmon says the standard of winners and in fact all entries into the Television section of The New Zealand Screen Awards 2005 is truly world-class and bodes well for the continued growth of the industry here.

“It is fantastic to see the standards being set by all our winners here from documentary to animated comedy; drama to entertainment. When we look at the list of winners we know that people are making television for a huge range of tastes and interests and that’s what it’s all about.

“Once again all entrants deserve to be praised for the work they do that tonight unfortunately has gone unrewarded. The beauty of these awards is that they will challenge us all to come back next year with bigger, better and even more successful productions.”

Salmon is positive that if these inaugural awards are anything to go by, the future once again holds a sustainable and credible vehicle to recognise the talents of the film and television sector.

“We wanted an awards structure that gave meaning to the sheer effort all of us in the industry put into our work. If the reaction of those here is anything to go by – especially the winners – then we look forward to The New Zealand Screen Awards 2006 with renewed passion and a desire to all be better at what we do.”

A full list of all NZ Screen Awards winners (Television & Film) is also available as a downloadable file on http:// http:// www.sdgnz.co.nz and click on the AWARDS tab.

ENDS

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