The Wahine Disaster documentary wins Best in Festival Award

11 06 2008

Sharon Barbour wins Award
Peter Morris, Chairman BAFTA / LA presents Sharon Barbour, Producer with the award
THE WAHINE DISASTER which screened earlier this year on Maori TV has taken out the coveted top prize – “Best in Festival” at the Swansea Life International Film Festival in Wales on Saturday – the largest film festival in the UK. 236 films were screened – The Wahine Disaster was voted by judges to be the best.

The Wahine Disaster is an extraordinary documentary in which many of the survivors and rescuers speak for the first time.

On that day in April, 1968 – the country’s newest inter-island ferry Wahine set sail on her overnight journey from Lyttleton. She was also setting sail into the heart of the most violent storm in New Zealand’s history. Over 730 people were on board.

The hour long documentary, made by Storm UK Productions, follows passengers as they boarded the ferry on that “beautiful calm night” – right through to the end of the journey. One that would change all their lives.


Anzac Short films feature on Maori TV

22 04 2008

Short film makers from the Hokianga, Auckland, Gisborne, Wanganui and Otago are the inaugural winners of Maori Television’s ANZAC short film competition screening as part of the all-day broadcast, A TATOU TAONGA: ANZAC DAY 2008, this Friday April 25 at 9.00 PM.

The winners will have a unique opportunity to talk live on air about their successful entry during the ANZAC SHORT FILM FESTIVAL – a new segment of the broadcast hosted by acclaimed filmmakers Ainsley Gardiner and Tearepa Kahi and showcasing some stellar Kiwi-made short films with an ANZAC theme.

The competition – in part sponsored by Te Puni Kokiri – encouraged all New Zealanders, at home or abroad, to re-tell their own ANZAC stories on film.

Successful individuals or teams in three categories are being brought to Maori Television’s Auckland studio to receive their awards and prize packs – which include professional camera kits, literature and movie tickets – and to be interviewed about their winning work before its first official screening.

The winners are:

TAMARIKI OR CHILDREN (up to and including Year 8): Winner – Rawene Primary (South Hokianga) with Te Ra o ANZAC; runner-up – Redoubt North Primary (Manukau) with To My Dear Mother; and special mention – Green Bay Primary School (Auckland) for The Working War.

RANGATAHI OR YOUTH (Year 9-13): Joint winners – Otago Girls’ High School with Women’s War and Mentoring Maori Youth Through Film (Gisborne) with Tumatauenga: Te Hokinga Mai; and special mention – Corier ‘Ginge’ Mardell, Ben MacKay and Corben Taylor (Auckland) with No Man’s Land.

ALL AGES (18 and over): Winner – David Gunson and Richard Harling (Auckland) with Boots; runner-up – Justin Gush (Wanganui) with Maori Vietnam Veterans; and special mention – Michael Bajko (Auckland) with Hentryk Bajko DCM.

The ANZAC SHORT FILM FESTIVAL concludes with an exclusive broadcast of World War I short film Crossing The Line by Peter Jackson.

Viewers can e-mail their feedback to during the 18-hour broadcast A TATOU TAONGA: ANZAC DAY 2008 this Friday April 25 or watch the coverage live on the website Text ANZAC to 3553 (text messages cost 20c each) to book your 5.45 AM wake-up text on ANZAC Day.

Saatchi New Directors Showcase call for entries

14 03 2008

The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors Showcase, the very successful creative event held each year at Cannes (outside the main event), has issued its call for entries. “This is a brilliant opportunity for NZ directors to get onto the global stage and be seen by some of the world’s top creatives,” says Saatchi NZ’s Mike O’Sullivan. “Anybody who can submit an entry should.”

To enter, new directors (less than two years’ experience) should submit a DVD showreel including (any or all) commercials, short films, music videos, animation, titles or new filmic tequniques. All reels should be labelled ‘New Directors Showcase 2008’ and sent to Mike O’Sullivan at Saatchi Auckland. For the detail in the entry procedure, prospects should first contact him at

International Indigenous Broadcast Award Announced

27 12 2007

New Zealand’s national indigenous broadcaster, Maori Television, is launching a Lifetime Achievement Award for Indigenous Television Broadcasting – Te Rerenga Tahi.

The award will be presented at the gala dinner of the inaugural World Indigenous Television Broadcasting Conference to be held in Auckland from March 26-28 2008.

Media accreditation has now opened for the three-day hui which will be the first ever gathering of indigenous television leaders from throughout the world. A World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network will also be launched as part of the event.

Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather says the new award seeks to recognise the work of a person or persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the indigenous television broadcasting industry in New Zealand.

The award submission form as well as the application for media accreditation can be downloaded from the event website –

Mr Mather says the selection of the award winner will be a confidential process undertaken by a panel of independent judges, and based on the highest merits of fairness, honesty and respect to the deserving nominees.

Nominations for Te Rerenga Tahi close on January 31 2008.

Leaders, producers and planners involved in indigenous and public television can register their interest to attend WITBC ‘08 at

NZ film in running for World’s Best 60 sec film

19 09 2007

A new Zealand made film – ‘GRAHAM’ has made the 2007 Filminute Shortlist! 25 films have been chosen from 800 submissions from 45 countries to be presented from September 1-30. ‘GRAHAM’ is the only NZ submission to be selected which is pretty cool.

The film is a kooky mix of a animation and sound design conceived by sibling designers Paul and Kahra Scott-James. Paul’s past life in sculpture and visual design is personifed in the not so perfectly formed GRAHAM with Kahra’s sound design accentuating his anarchic yet comic world. Her 2-piece band O.D.D (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) complete the soundtrack with a cut from their aptly titled tune ‘quit’.

2006 attracted audiences from over 50 countries with 1.7 millions hits during the festival month of September and Head of Jury and Filminute co-founder John Ketchum has gathered an eclectic, contemporary, and international mix of luminaries from the filmmaking, literature, arts and communications industries. “I’m thrilled with the group we’ve assembled for 2007 and can’t wait to see how they judge what is bound to be an even stronger shortlist of
international films and filmmakers.”

Jury members include
Kevin Roberts – CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world’s leading creative organizations, employing over 7000 people in 83 countries. Also the author of Sisomo:The Future on Screen, a book that looks at the central role of sight, sound and motion and the impact these element have in accelerating emotional connections in the digital age.

Michael Ondaatje – Award winning novelist and poet whose Booker Prize winning work The English Patient was adapted into an Academy Award and Bafta-winning film by Anthony Minghella. Ondaatje is also the author of The Conversations: Walter Murch & The Art Of Editing Film, an invaluable non-fiction work that explores the uniquely powerful role of the editor within the creative process of filmmaking.

Samira Makhmalbaf – Award-winning Iranian filmmaker whose 1998 film Sib (aka The Apple) was accepted to the official selection at Cannes Film Festival making her the youngest director (18 years old) to achieve that feat.

Kenichi Kondo, The Mori Art Museum Tokyo – as a curator with a specialty in video art, Kenichi Kondo has been responsible for strengthening the Mori’s focus on contemporary art and culture through his various initiatives.

Klaus Eder – General Secretary of FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique), the international body of professional film critics and film journalists based in Munich. FIPRESCI awards carry great distinction and are given out at the world’s leading film festivals to films that advance the art of cinema.

Vot now on

Outrageous Fortune Dominated NZ Screen Awards

3 08 2007

Outrageous Fortune
Outrageous Fortune

How the West’s won! Outrageous Fortune dominated the Air New Zealand Screen Awards last night taking out six awards. bro’Town reminded us it’s ‘Morningside 4 Life’ with top honours for UKTV Best Comedy and newcomer ‘Run’ is our Rialto Channel Best Short Film.

The winners of the Air New Zealand Screen Awards, the country’s most prestigious film and television industry awards were announced last night (01 August, 2007) at a star-studded event at Auckland’s SKYCITY theatre.

The Awards, now in their third year, celebrate craft and creativity in our local film and television industry. Founded by the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand (SDGNZ), the Air New Zealand Screen Awards is a night that highlights how healthy our local film and television industry is.

“These Awards are the culmination of four months of work to recognise and honour the finest people and productions in the New Zealand TV and film industry,” says SDGNZ president Annie Goldson.

“We have received an incredibly healthy number of submissions from every part of the industry and it’s great to see newcomers being honored alongside seasoned professionals.”

“The Judging was conducted by a group of top industry specialists all with extensive experience and recognition in their chosen fields. The competition has been fierce this year and according to our judges, choosing a winner for each category was really tough. The standard of winners further reflects the growing strength of local productions and the depth of talent in New Zealand’s film and television industries. It is always an honour to stand out from the pack and to be recognised by a jury of your peers.”

And the winners are…

The Air NZ Screen Awards 2007 – digital and short film winners

In the Digital Film categories Stefan Lewis’ story The Waimate Conspiracy takes the title of Images and Sound Best Digital Feature. An award well earned as Lewis turned to film production and directing for the sole purpose of bringing his critically acclaimed 1999 novel “The Waikikamukau Conspiracy” to the screen.

The Last Magic Show, the story of an out of work escape artist who believes he possesses magical powers, earned Duncan Cole the of Images and Sound Technical Contribution to a Digital Film award.

Three short films were honoured at tonight’s Award’s ceremony. Run, a short film about the resilience and growth of a brother and sister relationship, provided director Mark Albiston with the Rialto Channel Best Short Film Award, and script writer Louis Sutherland with Rialto Channel Script for a Short Film.

20 year old Chelsie Preston Crayford took the title for Rialto Channel Performance in a Short Film for her role in Fog, a coming of age tale of a young boy hindered by his father’s expectations who escapes into the thick fog with a girl and emerges a man.

The Rialto Channel Technical Contribution to a Short Film award went to John Harding for his work on The King Boys, a short film set in 1946 where the popular sport of wrestling gives a boy’s life purpose.

“There was a strong presence of digital features in this year’s competition, many of which were highly innovative, indicating a shift in the field with greater numbers being able to access the funding and resources to produce feature length work.
New Zealand has a strong tradition in short film and this years crop of finalists and winners indicates that this strength is building,” says Goldson.

The Air New Zealand Screen Awards 2007 – Television

Everyone loves the West family and they had plenty of reason to celebrate throughout the evening taking home six trophies. The South Pacific Pictures series Outrageous Fortune took out top honours being recognised as Sony Best Drama. Director Simon Bennett was awarded the SDGNZ Achievement in Directing, Drama/ Comedy programme, with Robyn Malcolm picking up the Performance by an Actress award for her role as Cheryl West. Antony Star was honoured for his dual role as Jethro and Van with the Performance by an Actor award and his co-star Frank Whitten took home the Performance by a Supporting Actor gong. James Griffin scooped the award for Script, Drama for his Outrageous Fortune Xmas Special.

Other drama programmes to be honoured last night were Maddigan’s Quest and Shortland Street.

Maddigan’s Quest (South Pacific Pictures) took out three categories claimed Best Children’s Programme; Images and Sounds Contribution to a Soundtrack for Carl Smith, Rodney Larsen and Steve Finnigan; Achievement in Original Music for Victoria Kelly; and Contribution to Design for Tracey Collins.

Anna Jullienne picked up the Performance by a Supporting Actress gong for her role in Shortland Street.

Proving Morningside is alive and well in Auckland, Elizabeth Mitchell won the UKTV Best Comedy Programme for bro’Town.

Visionary Films Love, Speed and Loss took home three awards including New Zealand On Air Best Documentary, Achievement in Directing, Documentary for Justin Pemberton, and Images and Sound Achievement in Editing for Bryan Shaw.

Peter Young and Tracy Roe (Hunger for the Wild) were honoured for Best Factual Series. Young also received recognition for Achievement in Camerawork Documentary for his work on Country Calendar.

Dancing with the Stars received double honours with Debra Kelleher awarded Best Lifestyle/Entertainment Programme and Presenter Entertainment/Factual for Jason Gunn. Ondrej Havas (Henderson to Hollywood) was honoured for Best Reality Series, Rupert MacKenzie (Hidden in the Numbers) for Achievement in Directing, Factual Programming / Entertainment.

Waka Huia TVNZ took Best Maori Language Programme, for their show Te Tau Whakamahara i a Tumatauenga, Best Event Broadcast went to Screentime/Maori Television team for Nā Rātou Mō Tātou – They Did It For Us, and Code/ Maori Television were honoured for Best Sports Programme with Code.

This year saw a total of 13 productions honoured across 24 television categories which is a fantastic outcome for the industry and the Air New Zealand Screen Awards.

“It’s really exciting to see the high calibre of winners and finalists from our local television industry. There is an incredible depth of talent which reinforces the strength of our industry and we hope they will use this recognition to achieve greater success both here and overseas,” says Goldson.

A full list of all Television & Film winners are included behind and also available as downloadable pdf files (click on the Awards tab from the home page).

New Zealand Film Commission Short Films win prizes

19 07 2007

New Zealand Short Film Run
New Zealand Short Film – “Run”

New Zealand short films Taua, Run and Nature’s Way have all won major awards internationally and domestically in the last few months.

Director Jane Shearer’s NZFC financed short film Nature’s Way has been awarded Best Short Film by the Jury of the 5th Paris Cinema International Film Festival. Paris Cinema was initiated and supported by the Paris City Hall, is chaired by actress Charlotte Rampling, and the festival has become a major film event of the early summer in Paris (more than 70,000 attendees in 2006). Honoured guests this year include actresses Robin Wright Penn and Sandra Bonnaire, and acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

Leading up to the award, Nature’s Way has been touring France with “Les nuits en or du court métrage”, a festival organised by Les César Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma. They select 10 of the best short films from around the world and screen them in 21 cities throughout France. Among the short films screening with Nature’s Way are Oscar winners The Danish Poet and West Bank Story. Nature’s Way, written by Steve Ayson and Jane Shearer, directed by Shearer and produced by Leanne Saunders, is a supernatural thriller about a young girl murdered deep in native forest. Unfortunately for the murderer, nature aids revenge.

For the second year in a row, director Tearepa Kahi has been awarded the Friends of the Civic Best Short Film at the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festival. This year, the award went to his short film Taua, a film about a young boy’s compassion amidst the rivalry of Māori tribes at war, which was written and directed by Kahi and produced by Quinton Hita.

“Filmmaking’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. You can have the best ideas but it does come down to support. Obviously really really stoked about the level of support we received for Taua and the fact that it’s doing well on the local scene and is about to go on to Edinburgh and America,” Mr Kahi says.

Last year, Kahi and Hita won the award for their short film The Speaker. The Friends of the Civic started the Best Short Film award as a way to encourage up and coming filmmakers.

Director Mark Albiston’s NZFC financed short film Run was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Short Film Competition of the Cannes Film Festival in France in May. The last time a NZ short film won a prize in the Cannes Film Festival Competition was Lemming Aid in 1994.

“The competition was really close,” admitted director Mark Albiston. “It was a real honour to have been selected for the Cannes Film Festival as the standard was so high. Run was up against five or six really great films. It was amazing to see the film with an international audience and have them understand everything. Members of the Jury came up to us afterward and said the film made them laugh and cry. We learnt a lot from our experience in Cannes and can’t wait to make our next film.”

Written by Louis Sutherland (who plays the father in the film), directed by Mark Albiston and produced by Robin Murphy, Run is a film about a Samoan brother and sister who live in fear of their over protective widowed father.

Run and Taua are screening throughout NZ as part of the MIC Homegrown: Works on Film section of the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festival.

Wellington Saturday 21 July at 5.15 PM at the Paramount Theatre
Wellington Monday 23 July at 11.00 AM at the Paramount Theatre
Dunedin Saturday 28 July at 6.00 PM at the Rialto Theatre
Christchurch Thursday 2 August at 6.30 PM at the Rialto Theatre
Christchurch Saturday 4 August at 6:15 PM at the Rialto Theatre

Last year, Nature’s Way and The Speaker screened as part of this programme.

Run, Taua, Nature’s Way and The Speaker were produced with finance from the Short Film Fund of the New Zealand Film Commission.

For more information about the MIC Homegrown: Works on Film programme of the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festival visit