The Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards (nicknamed Moas) were presented on Saturday 18 February in a glittering yet irreverent ceremony at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds.
At times it was a roller-coaster of emotions for nominees as popular favourites cemented wins while other leading contenders were pipped at the post, but in the end a charmer about a boy in the bush took home the most Moas.
Topping off a stellar year of blockbuster box office and critical acclaim, Taika Waititi’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople took a total of 7 awards: Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor (Julian Dennison), Supporting actor (Sam Neill), Supporting Actress (Rima Te Wiata) and Visual Effects.
Waititi says, "I never get tired of acknowledgement. Knowing there’s an audience and an appreciation for my work motivates me to do more, to push myself further. It’s a huge honor to be in the same category with Lee (Tamahori) and Alison (Maclean). I’ve always looked up to them and to now stand alongside them is very cool. Obviously filmmaking is a collaborative affair so I share this honour with the cast, crew, and producers of the film, especially Carthew (Neal), who has now established himself as one of New Zealand’s greatest producers. Seeing how many great films are included in the awards this year is very positive, it’s an exciting time to be making movies. Our stories have a unique point of view that is now being appreciated around the world, and that makes me very proud to be a New Zealand filmmaker."
Sam Neill was also there to present the Services to Cinema Award to old friend and collaborator Gaylene Preston for her outstanding contributions to New Zealand film.
The Ground We Won, a beautifully observed study of provincial rugby, for which Miriam Smith and Chris Pryor took home Best Documentary and Documentary Cinematography in the most contested category of this year’s awards.
Best actress was awarded to Miriama McDowell for her role in the Best Self-Funded film winner The Great Maiden’s Blush, while Angela Bloomfield took home Best Short Film Actress in the self-directed short Linda's List. Madam Black, the globally acclaimed short continued its historic awards run by scooping up Best Short.
Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, T2: Trainspotting), was on hand to celebrate kiwi film and was the special guest presenter in a line-up that included Sam Neill, Zac Wallace, James Rolleston, Zoe Bell and many others.
Rialto Channel Best Film
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Carthew Neal, Leanne Saunders,Taika Waititi, Matt Noonan)
Flying Fish Best Director
Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
flicks.co.nz Best Screenplay
Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Man O' War Vineyards Best Actress
Miriama McDowell (The Great Maiden's Blush)
Steinlager Tokyo Dry Best Actor
Julian Dennison (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Manukau Urban Maori Authority Best Supporting Actress
Rima Te Wiata (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Te Whanau O Waipareira Best Supporting Actor
Sam Neill (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Park Road Post Best Self Funded Film
The Great Maiden's Blush (Jeremy Macey, Andrea Bosshard, Isobel Mebus, Shane Loader)
Imagezone Best Cinematography
Robbie Ryan (Slow West)
Letterboxd Best Production Design
Kim Sinclair (Slow West)
Mandy VFX Best Editor
Michael Horton with Jonathan Woodford-Robinson (Mahana)
Bigpop Studios Best Score
Jed Kurzel (Slow West)
Bigpop Studios Best Sound
Phil Burton (Chronosthesia)
Images and Sound Best Visual Effects
Curious Film, Weta Digital, Pixel Juice (Hunt for the Wilderpeople)
Daniel Le Brun Best Costume Design
Kirsty Cameron (Slow West)
MAC Best Makeup Design
Vanessa Hurley, Roger Murray, Andrew Beattie (Deathgasm)
Services to Cinema Award
New Zealand Film Commission Best Documentary
The Ground We Won (Miriam Smith)
Directors & Editors Guild of NZ Best Documentary Director
David Stubbs (Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses)
PLS Best Documentary Cinematography
Christopher Pryor (The Ground We Won)
Lotech Media Best Documentary Editor
Simon Coldrick (Tickled)
Little Island Best Short Film
Madam Black (Ivan Barge, Matt Harris)
Halcyon Digital Best Self Funded Short Film
Not Like Her (Hash Perambalam, Lucy Stonex, Brendon Donovan)
Actors Agents Association of New Zealand Best Short Film Actress
Angela Bloomfield (Linda's List)
Actors Agents Association of New Zealand Best Short Film Actor
Cohen Holloway (Feeder)
NZOnAir Best Television Feature
Abandoned (James Heyward, Liz DiFiore)
Winners were decided by a judging committee that is totally off-shore based, taking into consideration a total of 19 drama features, 9 documentary features and 12 short films in various categories.
The Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards 2017 are sponsored by: Rialto Channel, NZ Film Commission, National Urban Maori Authority, NZ On Air, Imagezone, Man O' War Vineyards, Images & Sound, flicks.co.nz, Actors Agents Association of New Zealand, Park Road Post, Flying Fish, BigPop Studios, Steinlager Tokyo Dry, Daniel Le Brun, Professional Lighting Services Ltd, Letterboxd, Mandy VFX, MAC Cosmetics, Directors & Editors Guild NZ, Dominion Law, Lotech.media, Halcyon Digital, Little Island and Kiriata Publicity.