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SWANZ writes 2016 winners

Jackie van Beek and Jesse Griffin did the hosting honours, keeping the pace up and the mood light as the NZWG’s SWANZ bash at Auckland’s Classic kept to its tradition of being the industry’s “shortest and drunkest awards”. Whether the newly-arriving Cinematographers Awards or Maori Screen Gala and Awards will have a crack at that status when they run next month remains to be seen.

Offering some practical advice for writers, van Beek recommended cleaning in preference to staring at a blank screen, saying, “My house is never cleaner than it is just after I’ve received seed funding.”

Cleaning up the TV categories was SPP, whose shows took all the finalist slots in the TV Comedy and TV Drama categories.

While the hosts were keen to point out that all judging was done on the quality of scripts, without regard to budget or reception of completed works, it was no surprise when Hunt for the Wilderpeople took the award for script for a feature. With Waititi out of the country shooting Thor’s Anorak producer Matt Noonan did the accepting, trying unsuccessfully to call Waititi from the stage and sharing that his own father was one of a number of people to have tried to adapt Crump’s Wild Pork & Watercress before Waititi got his hands on it.

The two awards presented for which finalists weren’t named were the Mentorship and New Writer honours. Neither winner was present, so Toby Manhire accepted the Mentorship Award on behalf of his father, Bill. Steve Barr accepted on behalf of the winner of the New Writer award, Casey Whelan.

The SWANZ Awards were supported by the NZFC, NZ On Air, SPP and Filthy Productions. The winners were (marked ***):

Best Feature Film
*** Born To Dance, Steve Barr, Casey Whelan & Hone Kouka
Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Taika Waititi

Best Short Film
*** Every Moment, Gabriel Reid & Maile Daugherty
Judgement Tavern, Dean Hewison

Best Play
*** The Quiet Room, Renee Liang
Officer 27, Aroha Awarau

Best Episode TV Series – Comedy
*** Step Dave Series 2 Episode 3, Shoshana McCallum
Step Dave Series 2, Episode 5, Kate McDermott

Best Episode TV Series – Drama
800 Words, Episode 5, Tim Balme
The Brokenwood Mysteries Series 2, Episode 4, Tim Balme
Shortland Street, episode 5967, Libby Bird
*** Westside Series 2, Episode 1, James Griffin (pictured, top)
Westside Series 2, Episode 8, Kate McDermott

Best Factual Script – Film or TV Documentary
*** 25 April, Leanne Pooley and Tim Woodhouse
Forensics: Operation Edgewater, Belinda McLeod and Damon Fepulea’i

Unproduced Script Competition
TV Pilot

Highly Commended:
Best Friend Ever, Allan George
Burnt Spur, Shoshana McCallum
*** Firebug, David Mamea
True Blue, René Le Bas
Highly Commended: Wanted Men, Fiona Samuel

Feature Film
The Board, Kristi Barnett
Domebusters of Waihopai, Rex Nicholson
*** The Floating World, Jacqueline Owens
Hongi, Simone Nathan
Where Babies Come From, Steven Gannaway

New Writer
Casey Whelan

Mentorship Award
Bill Manhire

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