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SWANZ finalists hope to write happy endings

Having whittled away at the entries, the Script Writers Awards have named the finalists for this year`s bash later this month. This year sees three entries selected in the Best Documentary Script category, an award that went begging for lack of entries last year.

Gazza Snell competes in the Best Feature Script category, an announcement that that will be a little tainted, coming on the same day as the announcement of the death of Sarah Watts, wife of the film`s lead William McInnes.

A number of winners and nominees from last year`s awards are again nominated. Last year`s winners, Donna Malane and Paula Boock (for Bloodlines) return with Tangiwai in the One-Off Drama category, alongside two of the other three recent Platinum-funded Sunday Theatre presentations.

Fiona Samuel, writer of one of those Sunday Theatres (Bliss), last year won the Best Play award for Ghost Train. This year`s Best Play category sees Arthur Meek take two nominations, for On the Upside Down of the World and Sheep.

The TV Drama categories also see James Griffin and Rachel Lang return, again nominated for Outrageous Fortune (as they are at this coming weekend`s AFTAs). Lang shares a second nomination with Gavin Strawhan for Nothing Trivial and takes a third (solo) for Go Girls.

Kate McDermott, who last year missed out on the Best Comedy Script award to Gerard Johnstone, is this time nominated for Nights in the Gardens of Spain.

Other multiple nominees are Nick Ward, up for both short and long scripts with Das Tub and Pierre (Lovebirds) respectively; and Stawhan who`s also nominated for his contribution to Michael Bennett`s Matariki.

The bash will take place on 24 November. The full list of finalists is:

Best Feature Film Script
The Orator, Tusi Tamasese
Matariki, Michael Bennett and Gavin Strawhan
Pierre (Lovebirds), Nick Ward
The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell, Brendan Donovan and David Brechin-Smith

Best Short Film Script
Das Tub, Nick Ward
Hauraki, Dianne Taylor
Be Careful, Alan Brash

Best Play
Don’t Mention Casablanca, Michelanne Forster
On the Upside Down of the World, Arthur Meek
Sheep, Arthur Meek

Best Television Drama Episode
Outrageous Fortune, Season 6, Episode 18, James Griffin, Rachel Lang and Tim Balme
Go Girls, Season 3, Episode 9, Rachel Lang
Nothing Trivial, Episode 1, Gavin Strawhan and Rachel Lang

Best One-off Television Drama
Nights in the Gardens of Spain, Kate McDermott
Bliss, Fiona Samuel
Rage, Tom Scott and Grant O’Fee
Tangiwai, Donna Malane and Paula Boock

Best Documentary Script
Wild River Journeys, Episode: Rangitata, Craig Potton
Wild Coasts, Episode: East Coast Gems, Craig Potton
Brother Number One, Annie Goldson

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