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The NZ television awards are back, baby, and the nominees are….

After five years in which our local TV successes went largely uncelebrated, New Zealand once again has a national television awards. The full list of nominees has just been announced, along with the winners of the technical craft awards which are doled out early. Duncan Greive analyses the list and picks some winners.

Incredibly strange but entirely true: New Zealand has spent five long years without any television awards. The last go round was the Qantas Awards in 2012, which were preceded by the Screen Awards, which were preceded by the AFTAs, which were preceded by the GOFTAs, at which everyone got so staggeringly wasted that all memory from before that time has been erased.

The QANTAS award ended for reasons which are the stuff of TV cliché: they were televised and the networks could not agree over which should air it, so Kevin Kenrick pulled his troops. Now they’re shrunk to being more a guild thing: tables in a room, with the only cameras on phones. This is how a very good and boozy award ceremony is run, just FYI.

The full list of nominees is below, along with some notations in italics below categories where there seems something noteworthy about them. The main thing to note is that the relevant period runs back to 2015, making it an extra-competitive round. And that the winners will be revealed at ‘a gala event at SKYCITY Theatre on November 30’. Read on for the nominees; the nominees by channel and the winners of the craft awards.

Best Drama Series

Westside 2
Mark Beesley, Kelly Martin, Chris Bailey & James Griffin
South Pacific Pictures (Three)

800 Words 2
Chris Bailey, Kelly Martin, James Griffin, John Holmes & Julie McGauran
South Pacific Pictures & Seven Productions (TVNZ1)

Cleverman
Angela Littlejohn, Rosemary Blight, Ryan Griffen & Lauren Edwards
Pukeko Pictures & Goalpost Pictures (TVNZ On Demand, TVNZ Duke)

It is perhaps instructive about the fate of some big budget dramas over the past couple of years that two of the three were not funded by NZ on Air: 800 Words, made for Australia’s 7 network, and Duke’s Cleverman. The biggest absentee? Shortland Street, which celebrated 25 incredible years with a magic feature-length episode, yet has been inexplicably snubbed.

The Spinoff prediction: Westside

Jean (TVNZ)

Best Feature Drama

Jean
Paula Boock & Donna Malane
Lippy Pictures (TVNZ1)

Bombshell
Screentime NZ (TVNZ1)

Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses
David Stubbs & Thomas Robins
KHF Media (TVNZ1)

The pricey movie-length drama format has its detractors, principally those who think it’s poor value for money. But they have consistently produced amongst the best television made in this country.

The Spinoff prediction: Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses

Best Factual Series

Our Big Blue Backyard Series 2
Judith Curran & Kina Scollay
NHNZ (TVNZ1)

Great War Stories Series 4
Anna Cottrell
AC Productions (Three)

Te Radar’s Chequered Past
Alexander Behse
Monsoon Pictures International (TVNZ1)

Why Am I? – The Science of Us
Paul Casserly, Mark McNeill & Irena Dol
Razor Films (TVNZ1)

Forensics NZ
Belinda McLeod & Rachel Jean
South Pacific Pictures (Prime TV)

The docu-series has been a growth format internationally, and become one New Zealand has become extremely adept at manufacturing – hence more nominees than in any other category.

The Spinoff prediction: none due to staff having judged.

The Women of Pike River (TVNZ)

Best Documentary

The Women of Pike River
Tash Christie, Alex Reed & Mary Durham
Greenstone TV (TVNZ1)

Born This Way: Awa’s Story
Arwen O’Connor
Ruckus (TVNZ1)

Making Good Men
Te Amokura Productions (Prime TV)

The inverse of docu-series: a once mighty format that struggles for primetime placement, and therefore funding. RNZ+ under Labour may yet change that.

The Spinoff Prediction: The Women of Pike River

Best Reality Series

Dare to Dream
Neil Stichbury, Patrick McAteer, Perry Bradley & Tim Sisarich
Film Construction (TVNZ1)

Songs from the Inside III Christchurch
Julian Arahanga & Michael Havas
Awa Films (Maori Television)

Sidewalk Karaoke
Bailey Mackey & Jonathon Ulrich
Pango Productions (Maori Television)

There is a distinct lack of one of the most popular formats in NZ TV here: imported reality shows like The Block and The Bachelor. This seems fucked, in the author’s opinion, given how well-executed some of these have been. It’s also been noticed: the organisers provided this statement: “Following the judges’ ruling in the 2017 Best Reality Programme category, it has become evident to the TV Awards organisers that it would be prudent to consider expanding the scope of the Best Reality category in future years.” The Spinoff is pleased to hear this.

The Spinoff prediction: Sidewalk Karaoke

Best Lifestyle Programme

Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty
Bettina Hollings
Imagination Television (TVNZ1)

Te Araroa: Tales From the Trails – Series 2
Megan Douglas & Anna Marbrook
Scottie Productions (Maori Television)

Karena & Kasey’s Kitchen Diplomacy
Darryl McEwen
Imagination Television (TVNZ1)

Best Current Affairs Programme

The Hui
Annabelle Lee, Adrian Stevanon & Mihingarangi Forbes
Great Southern Film and Television (Three)

The Politician, The Police and The Payout, 20 June 2017
Melanie Reid, Mark Jennings, Paul Enticott & Tim Murphy
newsroom.co.nz

Private Business, Public Failure: Inside Our Prisons
Paula Penfold, Eugene Bingham, Toby Longbottom, Phil Johnson & Suyeon Son
stuff.co.nz

Two of the three nominees here are from online platforms, illustrative of the profound swing away from primetime current affairs on the major networks – both were victims of Mark Weldon’s reign of terror at TV3. This shows how much online news sites have picked up the slack in that space, despite finding it far harder to receive similar funding to that which once made the network shows happen.

The Spinoff prediction: The Hui

Friday Night Bites

Best Web Series

Amy Street
Viv Kernick, Kirsty Griffin & Gaylene Preston
Bella Pacific Media (amystreet.net, online)

Friday Night Bites
Maha Albadrawi, Roseanne Liang, JJ Fong, Perlina Lau, Ally Xue & Kerry Warkia
Flat3 Productions (TVNZ On Demand, YouTube)

Loading Docs Notable Pictures (loadingdocs.net, TVNZ On Demand, Vimeo)

An explosively growing area that simply could not have existed when the awards were last held, bet on categories expanding in future. All the nominees are strong in their own right, but the absence of the likes of Aroha Bridge, So this Happened and Psusy shows how deep this category is.

The Spinoff prediction: none due to staff having judged.

Planet Fun Best Children’s Programme

Terry Teo
Luke Sharpe & Gerard Johnstone
Semi-Professional Pictures (TVNZ2)

Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life 2
Kerry Warkia, Kiel McNaughton & Jared Kahi
Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions (Maori Television)

Smokefree Rockquest 2016
Mikee Carpinter & Warren Green
Commotion (Three)

The Hui (Three)

Best Māori Programme

Waka Huia
Megan Douglas, Ngahuia Wade & Mana Epiha
Scottie Productions (TVNZ1)

Kiingitanga – Behind the Throne
Enter the Dragon (Maori Television)

The Hui
Annabelle Lee, Adrian Stevanon & Mihingarangi Forbes
Great Southern Film and Television (Three)

Three great nominations – but all current affairs or documentary. Given the scale of production flowing through Māori TV there is probably scope for splitting out into multiple categories.

The Spinoff prediction: none due to staff having judged.

Best Pasifika Programme

Fresh
Tikilounge Productions (TVNZ2)

#TalesOfTime – The Coconet TV
Tuki Laumea & Lisa Taouma
Tikilounge Productions (thecoconet.tv)

Tagata Pasifika
Stephen Stehlin, Ngaire Fuata & John Utanga
Sunpix (TVNZ1)

The opposite is true here: there is very little Pasifika programming on television. A lot of talent, everywhere. But little specific programming. Which sucks.

The Spinoff prediction: none due to staff having judged.

Best News Coverage

Port Hills Fires
Newshub Team, Three

NZ Herald
Te Kāea News, Māori Television

US Election Night
Newshub Team, Three

Kaikoura Earthquake
Newshub Team, Three

The Crowd Goes Wild (Prime TV)

Best Sports Programme

The Crowd Goes Wild
Ric Salizzo, Huw Beynon & James Copland
Prime TV

Shaun Johnson: Across The Mekong
Gareth Thorne, Kerry Russell, Mark Malaki-Williams, Dean Pooley & Brian Hitchcock
SKY TV

John Campbell: All Blacks in Apia
John Campbell, Kerry Russell, Gareth Thorne, Mark Malaki-Williams & Dean Pooley
SKY TV

All of these were or are joys in their own way: John Campbell has rarely been happier than wandering through Apia, Johnson was revelatory in a different environment, and The Crowd Goes Wild is a hall of fame show. These are oases in what is often a desert for sports programming.

Best Live Event Coverage

International Rugby: All Blacks vs British & Irish Lions 1st Test
Brian Hitchcock, Dean Pooley, Marcus Kennedy & Gavin Service
SKY TV (Sky Sports)

Dancing With The Stars – Grand Final 2015
Hayley Cunningham, John McDonald
MediaWorks (Three)

Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2016
Matiu Sadd, J&A Productions, John McDonald
MediaWorks (Three)

It is amazing to me that the outrageously weird Dancing with the Stars is nominated in any category. But I am very happy about it.

Funny Girls (Three)

Best Comedy or Comedy Entertainment Programme

Jono & Ben
Bronwynn Bakker, Ben Boyce, John McDonald
MediaWorks (Three)

Funny Girls
Bronwynn Bakker, John McDonald
MediaWorks (Three)

7 Days
Rob Brown, thedownlowconcept, Jon Bridges
MediaWorks (Three)

An absolute triumph for Three: all of these shows came out of its Friday night lineup, showing the ecosystem of comic talent flowing from one project into the next.

The Spinoff prediction: Funny Girls

Best Director: Documentary or Factual

Amanda Evans
Gloriavale – Life and Death
Pacific Screen (TVNZ2)

Mitchell Hawkes
Born This Way: Awa’s Story
Ruckus (TVNZ1)

Peter Young
The Art of Recovery
Fisheye Films (TVNZ1)

Yvonne Mackay
Doubt: The Scott Watson Case
Production Shed TV (TVNZ1)

The Brokenwood Mysteries (Prime TV)

Best Director: Drama

Josh Frizzell
The Brokenwood Mysteries 2
South Pacific Pictures (Prime TV)

David Stubbs
Belief: The Possession Of Janet Moses
KHF Media (TVNZ1)

Robert Sarkies
Jean
Lippy Pictures (TVNZ1)

Best Director: Multi Camera

Nigel Carpenter
Dancing With The Stars – Grand Final 2015
MediaWorks (Three)

Mitchell Hawkes
Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards 2016
MediaWorks (Three)

Kingsley Hockley
What Now
WhitebaitMedia (TVNZ2)

Darryl. An Outward Bound Story (TVNZ OnDemand)

Best Script: Comedy

Roseanne Liang
Friday Night Bites
Flat3 Productions (TVNZ On Demand/YouTube)

Rose Matafeo, Nic Sampson & Laura Daniel
Funny Girls
MediaWorks (Three)

Millen Baird & John Argall
Darryl. An Outward Bound Story
Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions (TVNZ On Demand)

Best Script: Drama

John Banas
Bombshell
Screentime NZ (TVNZ1)

Tom Scott
Hillary
Great Southern Film and Television (TVNZ1)

Paula Boock & Donna Malane
Jean
Lippy Pictures (TVNZ1)

Antonia Prebble, Westside (Three)

Best Actress

Esther Stephens
Westside 2
South Pacific Pictures (Three)

Kate Elliott
Jean
Lippy Pictures (TVNZ1)

Antonia Prebble
Westside 2
South Pacific Pictures (Three)

Best Actor

Andrew Munro
Hillary
Great Southern Film and Television (TVNZ1)

Kahn West
Terry Teo
Semi-Professional Pictures (TVNZ2)

Dean O’Gorman
Hillary
Great Southern Film and Television (TVNZ1)

Te Radar’s Chequered Past (TVNZ)

Best Presenter: Entertainment

The Topp Twins – Jools & Lynda Topp
Topp Country Season Two
Diva Productions (TVNZ1)

Rachel Hunter
Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty
Imagination Television (TVNZ1)

Te Radar
Te Radar’s Chequered Past
Monsoon Pictures International (TVNZ1)

Television Personality Of The Year

Pua Magasiva

Jack Tame

Miriama Kamo

Rachel Hunter

Hilary Barry

Toni Street

Kanoa Lloyd

Dai Henwood

Anika Moa

Jono Pryor

Finally some actual bloody glamour! Aside from the grind and craft of TV, this kind of thing is what the people actually want from their TV awards – all the stars, as voted in by Woman’s Day readers. I am right here for it.

The Spinoff prediction: Hilary Barry

Jesse Mulligan, The Project (Three)

Best Presenter: News and Current Affairs

Kanoa Lloyd
The Project
MediaWorks (Three)

Mike McRoberts
Newshub Live at 6pm
MediaWorks (Three)

Jesse Mulligan
The Project
MediaWorks (Three)

Notice something suspicious about the above? No TVNZ hosts. They essentially decided that the awards should not assess news or journalism, which deprived many of their best journalists the recognition they deserve. Hopefully next time they’ll have got some medication for those dry balls and got involved.

The Spinoff prediction: Mike McRoberts

*

The nominees by channel:

  • 18 programmes nominated aired on TVNZ1
  • 10 programmes nominated aired on Three
  • 6 programmes nominated aired on Māori Television
  • 4 programmes nominated aired on Prime TV
  • 4 programmes nominated aired on TVNZ2
  • 3 programmes nominated aired on Sky TV
  • 1 programme nominated aired on TVNZDuke

*

And the winners of the 2017 New Zealand Television Craft Awards are:

Best Editing: Documentary or Factual

Justin Hawkes
Born This Way: Awa’s Story
Ruckus

Best Editing: Drama

Peter Roberts
Jean
Lippy Pictures

Best Camerawork: Documentary or Factual

Bevan Crothers
Born This Way: Awa’s Story
Ruckus

Imagezone Best Cinematography: Drama

Ginny Loane
Jean
Lippy Pictures

Best Contribution to a Soundtrack

Chris Burt
Jean
Lippy Pictures

Images & Sound Best Original Score

Peter Hobbs
Jean
Lippy Pictures

Best Post Production Design

Peter McCully
Jean
Lippy Pictures

Best Art Direction or Production Design

Mark Robins
Jean
Lippy Pictures

Best Costume Design

Kirsty Cameron
Jean
Lippy Pictures

Best Makeup Design

Susie Glass
Jean
Lippy Pictures


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