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Accolades For University Film-Makers

14 August 2008

Accolades For University Film-Makers

The film-making prowess of staff and graduates at The University of Auckland is receiving multiple recognition.

Associate Professor Annie Goldson from the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies (FTVMS) has earned a raft of accolades for her documentary film, An Island Calling, on a double gay murder in Fiji.

She was presented with the South Pacific Pictures Award for Achievement in Film at the Women in Film and Television (WIFT) Awards held in Auckland on Monday night. The award recognises short or feature film success in the last 12 months, locally and internationally.

Then on Tuesday night in Wellington the same film, which she produced and directed, was announced as a finalist in the Qantas Film and Television Awards. It has been nominated for Best Documentary, Achievement in Directing and Achievement in Camerawork.

Roseanne Liang, a BA graduate in FTVMS, was successful in the same two sets of awards. She gained the Woman to Watch Award in the WIFT Awards. In the Qantas Awards she has been nominated for Best Screenplay for a Short Film for Take 3, about three Asian actresses auditioning for parts.

Leo Woodhead, another graduate in FTVMS, has been nominated for Best Short Film in the Qantas awards. This is for Cargo, on a young boy caught in the world of child trafficking, which Leo wrote and directed. He produced the film with Vanessa Alexander, herself a FTVMS graduate and now a Senior Lecturer in the department, as part of his thesis in the postgraduate Screen Production programme. Cargo was also nominated in the Performance in a Short Film and in the Outstanding Technical Contribution to a Short Film categories.

Another Senior Lecturer in FTVMS, Dr Shuchi Kothari, has had the unique honour of having two films selected by the prestigious 39th Toronto International Film Festival, representing two different countries: Apron Strings (co-written with Dianne Taylor) from New Zealand and Firaaq, an Indian film which Dr Kothari co-wrote with the director Nandita Das.

Apron Strings is a parallel story of two families and two cultures set in suburban Otahuhu. Firaaq traces the emotional journeys of five families caught up in the religious clashes that took place in the Indian state of Gujarat in early 2002.

"These successes are very pleasing," says Professor Annamarie Jagose, head of the FTVMS Department. "They are bringing national and international attention to the quality of our staff and our graduates - which is adding greatly to their strength and reputation."


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