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Finalists Announced In The 2020 New Zealand Television Awards

The New Zealand Television Awards are delighted to announce this year’s finalists, with a total of 114 nominations from more than 570 entries across 38 judged categories.

Southern Light Films and Working Title TV’s The Luminaries, an epic drama set in 19th century New Zealand, has struck nomination gold with a total of 14 nods - a record number for any production in recent years due to the introduction of Best Supporting Actress and Actor categories to the Television Awards in 2020. Adapted by Eleanor Catton from her Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Luminaries screened on TVNZ 1 earlier this year and is up for NZ On Air Best Drama Series, Best Director - Drama (Claire McCarthy), Best Actress (Eve Hewson), Best Actor (Himesh Patel), Best Supporting Actor (Ewen Leslie), Best Editing - Drama (Alistair Reid), Best Cinematography (Denson Baker ACS, NZCS), Best Contribution to a Soundtrack (Images & Sound team), Images and Sound Best Original Score (David Long), Best Post Production Design (Alana Cotton), Best Production Design (Felicity Abbott and Daniel Birt), Best Costume Design (Edward K. Gibbon), Best Make-Up Design (Jane O’Kane) and Best Script: Drama (Eleanor Catton).

The Gulf, produced by Lippy Pictures and Screentime New Zealand along with Letterbox Filmproduktion (Germany), receives six nominations. The crime drama series aired on Three in New Zealand and is a finalist in Best Director: Drama (Charlie Haskell), Best Actor (Ido Drent), Best Editing: Drama (Jochen Fitzherbert), Best Costume Design (Tracey Sharman) and has two nominations in the Best Cinematography: Drama category (Ginny Loane and Dave Cameron NZCS, ACS).

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GFC Film’s supernatural fantasy series The Dead Lands, which premiered in New Zealand on TVNZ OnDemand; Great Southern Television’s Queenstown-based crime series One Lane Bridge (TVNZ 1); and the penultimate season of South Pacific Pictures’ West family saga Westside (Three) each receive five nods (details listed in full below). Wellington Paranormal, produced by the New Zealand Documentary Board for TVNZ 2, has a total of four nominations: Best Comedy/Entertainment Programme, Best Makeup Design (Don Brooker) and double nods for Best Script: Comedy (Nick Ward and Paul Yates).

In the news and current affairs categories, The Hui, produced by Great Southern Television for Three, is a finalist in three categories including Best Current Affairs Programme, Best Presenter: News & Current Affairs (Mihingarangi Forbes) and Te Māngai Paho Best Reo Māori Programme. Elsewhere, TVNZ 1’s Seven Sharp receives two nominations across Best Presenter: News & Current Affairs for Hilary Barry as well as Best Presenter: Entertainment for Hilary Barry & Jeremy Wells, while Three’s Newshub is a finalist in both the Reporter of the Year (Michael Morrah) and Best News Coverage categories. TVNZ’s 1 News and Māori Television’s Te Ao Māori round out the Best News Coverage field with TVNZ 1 Marae’s Hikurangi Jackson and Sunday’s Jehan Casinader also garnering Reporter of the Year nominations.

Cannabis, rugby and the Christchurch earthquake comprise the subject matter for this year’s Best Documentary finalists with Three’s Patrick Gower: On Weed receiving three nominations overall for Best Documentary, Best Director: Documentary/Factual (Justin Hawkes) and Best Presenter: Entertainment (Patrick Gower), while Rogue Productions’ TVNZ 1 documentary By the Balls and Whisky Tango Foxtrot’s Help Is On The Way documentary feature for Prime each receive two nods.

Tikilounge Productions made a clean sweep of the Best Pasifika Programme category with nominations for Fresh (TVNZ 2), Marks of Mana (The Coconet TV & Māori Television) and Tales of Taonga (The Coconet TV). The finalists for Te Māngai Paho Best Māori Programme are Great Southern Television’s NZ Wars - Stories of Waitara for RNZ, Te Tiriti o Waitangi series The Negotiators, produced by Tawera Productions for Māori Television and Living By The Stars: Whakamoe Tau with Professor Rangi Matamua which screened on Facebook and is also nominated for Te Māngai Paho Best Reo Māori Programme.

“We feel privileged that - at this stage - the New Zealand Television Awards will be one of the only live screen awards ceremonies to be held this season, globally,” say New Zealand Television Awards owners and producers Justine McKay and Andy Dowding of janda Productions. “Like many industries, the New Zealand television and screen production communities were among those hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdowns. It’s great to see the local screen sector has rallied and we are thrilled that our television industry can get together to celebrate its achievements after a very tough year.”

Finalists in the publicly voted Television Personality of the Year category will be announced later this month, and the 2020 Television Legend honouree will be revealed in early November.

The 2020 New Zealand Television Awards winners will be announced on Wednesday 18 November at a red carpet gala event held at Auckland’s Shed 10. The ceremony will be hosted by actor-writer-comedian and last year’s New Zealand Television Awards “Trophy Boy”, Tom Sainsbury.

© Scoop Media

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