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Special Edition DOCNZ Festival

Special Edition DOCNZ Festival

DOCNZ Festival trustees Alex Lee, Dan Shanan and Annie Goldson announced the winners of the inaugural Best Documentary awards at the 1st DOCNZ New Zealand international documentary film festival.

The top award for Best Feature Documentary was unanimously presented to Jim Marbrook for Dark Horse. Marbrook’s film tells the inspiring tribute to a local hero, Genesis Potini, the trash-talking speed chess maestro as he learns to balance his severe bipolar disorder with his genius.

Best Medium Documentary was awarded to Roseanne Liang, who directed the funny and touching Banana in a Nutshell. The judges praised Liang who took the tired video-diary format and turned it into something that was quirky, funny and poignant.

Best Short Documentary went to Richard Sidey, for his landscape documentary portraying perspectives and experiences of time within Wellington City, Aeon. The judges were bowled over by the filmmaker's visual technical skill and his sure handling of a non-narrative film taking a format that has been done many times before, but making it fresh and exciting.

The winners will receive cash prizes from sponsor St Laurence of $3,000, $1,500 and $500 respectively as well as prizes in kind from Panavision New Zealand Limited and hip street-wear label, Moneyshot.

Special mention went to two other films in each category. Those were Children of the Migration (Lala Rolls) and The Promise (Leanne Pooley) for feature length documentary, Tanim and Pacific Solution (both James Frankham) for medium length documentary and Another Man’s Treasure (Sandor Lau) and Alexander (Janna Sicely) for short documentary.

The DOCNZ festival has been delighted by the response in its first year. The trustees would like to extend their thanks to judges, sponsors, volunteers and audiences for such a warm reception.

Business Director, Ewa Bigio, says, “The interest and enthusiasm from the business sector has created a viable environment from which this festival can continue to develop to its full potential. It is the vision of the board that DOCNZ will eventually become the pre-eminent documentary film festival of the Southern Hemisphere, attracting the best of international documentary filmmakers and highlighting our own talent to the rest of the world. We look forward to building towards 2006 and the future with our current and potential festival partners who share a similar vision to turn this festival into a world class event”

Festival Chairman Alex Lee says, “30 New Zealand documentaries competed for the top awards in the national documentary film contest, and we salute these film-makers all for their hard work and dedication to the craft of documentary filmmaking. They have certainly set a benchmark for excellence and we now wait excitedly albeit impatiently to receive next year’s crop of entries!”

The DOCNZ festival launches in Wellington tomorrow (Sept 29) with one-week ‘best of’ season at the Paramount with the winning films screening in a Showcase in Wellington on Sunday 2 October.

See or for the schedule.

© Scoop Media

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