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Veteran NZ Film & Television Producer Robin ScholesTo Be Honoured As 2023 SPADA / The Data Book Industry Champion

(9 November 2023 - Auckland)  SPADA, New Zealand’s screen producers’ guild, today announces veteran screen producer Robin Scholes as recipient of 2023’s SPADA / The Data Book Industry Champion Award.

Recipients of the Industry Champion Award have demonstrated passion and professionalism in making a significant contribution to Aotearoa's screen production industry. 

Scholes has been a creative collaborator and producer for some of this country’s most well-known filmmakers, producing acclaimed films such as Lee Tamahori’s Once Were Warriors (1994) and Andrew Adamson’s Mister Pip (2012). 

Once Were Warriors was Scholes’ first feature, and it achieved international acclaim as well as earning blockbuster box office status and state-of-the-nation debate in New Zealand. Scholes’ has collaborated twice more with Tamahori on Mahana (2016) and The Convert, which had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September this year and will release in New Zealand cinemas in 2024. 

Her other feature films include Broken English (1996), Rain (as executive producer, 2001), Crooked Earth (2001) and The Tattooist (2007), while her television drama includes The Bad Seed (2018), Black Hands (2020), and both series of The New Legends of Monkey (2018-20) for Netflix, ABC and TVNZ 2.

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Scholes is a pioneer in creating a sustainable career in the screen industry. She was a founding partner of the independent television company Communicado in 1983, and produced a formidable body of television work, including the series Magic Kiwis and Heroes, the TV drama Greenstone and info series Business World. Communicado became one of New Zealand’s most successful independent production companies, at one point employing more than 100 people.

After overseeing Communicado's merger with Australian company Screentime, Robin took a senior role at Julie Christie’s New Zealand production company Touchdown  in 2004 (now Warner Bros. International Television Production New Zealand).

As an independent producer, Scholes has continued to be a driving force in the New Zealand film and television industry and is a sought-after mentor to a new generation of filmmakers. She is a collaborative practitioner who’s renowned for championing the directors she works with as much as possible as they seek to realise their creative vision. She was awarded an OBE in 1997 for her services to Film.

Scholes will be presented with her award next Thursday evening as part of the 2023 SPADA Conference which is taking place at the Harbourside Function Centre in Wellington on November 16 and 17.

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