Winners of three prestigious SPADA (Screen Production & Development Association) Screen Industry Awards were announced at the SPADA Screen Industry Summit in Wellington on Friday 28 November 2014.
SPADA Industry Champion 2014 was awarded to Matt Emery
Matt Emery is a long-time advocate of the domestic screen industry, having worked in the industry for the past 15 years. He supports and acts as a confidant to emerging as well as more experienced filmmakers providing practical and sound advice, aiding them to build sustainable and successful careers.
Emery has been a past president of SPADA as well as serving one of the longest terms on the SPADA Executive. In his role as a SPADA Executive member he has taken the lead legal counsel over a three and a half year period on the SPADA and NZ Actors’ Equity New Zealand negotiations, which culminated in a standard Individual Performance Agreement for New Zealand based and funded film and TV drama programs. As well as being integral to the smooth running and conclusion of the negotiations, Emery also helped build and strengthen a collaborative and productive working relationship between the organisations, which in turn has benefited the wider screen production industry.
Crombie Lockwood Independent Producer of the Year was awarded to Chelsea Winstanley and Taika Waititi (Defender Films).
Chelsea Winstanley and Taika Waititi of Defender Films were awarded the Independent Producer of the Year Award in 2014 for their success in producing their feature WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. They devised and implemented a financing model for the film without the need for significant NZFC funding, and released the film themselves with an innovative campaign that grossed nearly $2.6m at the box office and will most likely be the highest grossing local film of 2014. This achievement is even more significant given Waititi also acted in a principal role and co-directed and co-wrote the film with Jemaine Clement.
Defender Films were also recognised for the inspiration they give to young filmmakers and their support for the local industry.
New Filmmaker of the Year was awarded to James Napier Robertson – Principal Sponsor: Park Road Post Production.
James Napier Robertson was awarded the New Filmmaker of the Year award in 2014 due to his special talent and creativity to the work he has done on the two feature films he has made to date, and the response those films have received in the industry. James directed I’M NOT HARRY JENSON for a micro-budget of $175,000, but managed to create a film that played at festivals world-wide and was released in over thirty theatres nation-wide in NZ – receiving strong reviews both locally and internationally.
His next film, teaming up with Producer Tom Hern again, James wrote and directed THE DARK HORSE, which was chosen as the Opening Night film at the NZIFF 2014, received 5-star reviews from the NZ Herald, TV3, Yahoo and Indiewire, earned just under $2millino at the NZ Box office and sold for a 2015 theatrical release to territories all around the world including North America, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Middle East and Australia off the back of its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014.
SPADA: Formed in 1982, the Screen Production and Development Association of New Zealand (SPADA) represents the collective interests of independent producers and production companies on all issues affecting the business and creative aspects of screen production in New Zealand.