The annual Writers Guild’s awards bash announces the starting line-up for the dash to the 25 September awards evening.
Much has been made of the bumper crop of NZ features to see the light of day this year. SWANZ is the first NZ award event which has the opportunity to acknowledge some of the talent behind those titles. It is, therefore, little surprise to see Escalator titles take three of the four nominations for Best Feature Script.
Another much-aired topic this year has been the dearth of women directors on various festival and awards lists. Although it’s probably true there are more male NZ writer-directors than female among the SWANZ nominees, women account for 17 of the 28 titles nominated for SWANZ gongs.
Among this year’s crop of revenants are Agent Anna, which last year won Best TV Comedy Episode for an episode by Maxine Fleming & Vanessa Alexander. This year Agent Anna gets nods for two episodes: one for Fiona Samuel, one for Samuel & Natalie Medlock. This year Samuel also gets a third nod (for Nothing Trivial) and a fourth (for Consent), making her the most-nominated writer this year.
Samuel is a serial SWANZer, having won Best Play at the inaugural 2010 bash with Ghost Train and Best One-off Television Drama the following year with Bliss.
Samuels’ Agent Anna co-writer Medlock was also nominated last year, for an episode of The Almighty Johnsons which she co-wrote with James Griffin.
Griffin has two nods this year, one for another AJs episode, one for Step Dave. Also returning is Flat 3, written by Roseanne Liang, again nominated in the Best TV Comedy category.
The ever-entertaining John Leigh and Greg Johnson, most recently seen in Doug Dillamon’s indie feature Jake, will do the honours as hosts for the event.
The SWANZ bash runs at the Civic on Auckland’s Queen Street on Thursday 25 September, the day before the Writers Showcase at the Pullman and two days before the Big Screen Symposium at the University of Auckland.
The finalists for the 2014 SWANZ are:
Best Feature Film Script
Max Currie, Everything We Loved
James Napier Robertson, Dark Horse
Gerard Johnstone, Housebound
Sophie Henderson, Fantail
Best Short Film Script
Aroha Awarau, Home
Hamish Bennett, Ross And Beth
Charlie Bleakley and Cohen Holloway, Coconut
Gregory King, UFO
Simon Ward, Thumper
Aroha Awarau, Luncheon
Rochelle Bright, Daffodils
Pip Hall, Ache
Best Television Comedy Episode
Fiona Samuel, Agent Anna: Series 2 Episode 10.
Fiona Samuel & Natalie Medlock, Agent Anna: Series 2 Episode 7
Roseanne Liang, Flat 3: Episode 11
Millen Baird, Auckland Daze: Episode 1
Best Television Drama Episode
Fiona Samuel, Nothing Trivial: Season 3 Episode 2.
James Griffin, The Almighty Johnsons: Series 3 Episode 13
James Griffin, Step Dave: Episode 6
Gaylene Preston And Dave Armstrong, Hope And Wire: Episode 5
Best Television One-Off Drama
Fiona Samuel, Consent: The Louise Nicholas Story
Donna Malane & Paula Boock, Field Punishment No.1
Donna Malane & Paula Boock, Pirates Of The Airwaves
Unproduced Feature Film Script Competition
Gillian Ashurst, Gnats
Dianne Taylor, The Last Hippie Trail
Tania Wheeler, Umbrella Man
Richard Goodwin, Immortal Diamond
Jackie Owens, Three Gardens