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SWANZ names 2017 finalists

The New Zealand Writers Guild has named the finalists for the eighth edition of the Script Writer Awards New Zealand (SWANZ) and Unproduced Script Competition.

Returning 2016 finalists include James Griffin (pictured, top), who won the award for Best Episode TV Series – Drama with Westside Series 2, Episode 1 last year. This time around he’s nominated for the final episode of the same season.

Two of last year’s Unproduced Script (TV Pilot) finalists are nominated again this year. Rene Le Bas picks up two nominations in the same catgeory this year, for Saviour and The Wrong Side of the Grass. Shoshana McCallum (who was also nominated last year in the Best Episode TV Series – Comedy category for Step Dave Series 2 Episode 3) has a nod in this year’s Unproduced Script (Feature) category with Daisy Chain.

Sneaking in under the deadline wire this year is Web Episode nominee Auckward Love, which premiered the same day the SWANZ nominees were announced. The episode’s writer Jess Sayer also picked up a nod in the New Writer category alongside another Web Episode nominee Mike Minogue (The Watercooler).

No nominees were announced in the categories for Radio Play, Episode TV Series (Comedy), and Documentary.



The SWANZ Awards shifts from its recent home of The Classic this year, moving to Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen on Sale Street. The ceremony runs on Thursday 28 September. Tickets are on sale here.

The 2017 SWANZ finalists are:

South Pacific Pictures – Best Feature Film
The Inland Road, Jackie van Beek
Waru, Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Cohen, Renae Maihi, Paula Jones, Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu

Best Short Film
Mr Bernstein, Guy Hamling
My Brother Mitchell, Todd Karehana
Shout at the Ground, Joe Lonie
The Pissy Tits Street Gang, Rosie Howells

Best Play
Magdalena of Mangere, Louise Tu’u
Te Puhi, Cian Elyse Waiti
Top This, Emilia Marriott

ATEED Best Episode TV Series – Drama
Dirty Laundry Episode 12, Jess Sayer
The Brokenwood Mysteries Series 3, Episode 4, Tim Balme
The Cul de Sac Series 2, Episode 6, Stephen J Campbell
Shortland Street 25th Anniversary Special, Nick Malmholt, Harry McNaughton
Westside Series 2, Episode 10, James Griffin

Best Web Episode
Auckward Love Season 3, Episode 1, Jess Sayer
Darryl. An Outward Bound Story Episode 2, Millen Baird, John Argall
Guess I’m Coming to Dinner, Roseanne Liang
The Cricket Bat, Mike Minogue

Best One-off TV Drama
Jean, Paula Boock, Donna Malane
Why Does Love?, Pip Hall, Philip Smith

Best New Writer
Cian Elyse Waiti
Jess Sayer
Mike Minogue
Rosie Howells
Todd Karehana

2017 Unproduced Script Competition – Finalists
TV Pilot

Mountain View, Carl Smith
Saviour, Rene LeBas
The Wrong Side of the Grass, Rene LeBas

Feature Film
Daisy Chain, Shoshana McCallum
Blind Eye, April Phillips
Bootblack, Richard Goodwin

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