The Women in Film and Television New Zealand Awards group has announced finalists for this year’s ceremony.
To take place on Thursday, February 29 at Auckland’s St Matthew-in-the-City, the award show has honoured women in the industry since 2004 including the likes of Robyn Malcom, Rose Matafeo and Stacey Morrison, now they’re ready to celebrate and encourage even more women in the industry with this year’s award show.
With 10 award categories, including the South Pacific Pictures Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film, SAE Award for Outstanding Newcomer and the Hinterland Woman to Watch Award, there is an array of talented Kiwi wāhine who have been named as finalists including Chelsea Winstanley.
Winstanley is a New Zealand film producer who has produced many short films and documentaries celebrating Indigenous peoples. She has worked on many popular titles including Jojo Rabbit and What We Do in the Shadows with her ex-husband and Hollywood director Taika Waititi.
Award-winning Kiwi journalist, television presenter and radio broadcaster Mihingarangi Forbes has also been named as a finalist in the Te Māngai Pāho Te Reo Māori Champion Award for her work in te reo Māori.
Forbes has worked as a journalist for over 20 years reporting in both te reo and English. She told the Herald in 2017, “Without te reo, God knows if I’d ever have been in journalism. It has opened so many doors for me and given me an understanding of the people whose stories I was doing.”
The judging panel includes Jill Macnab (chairwoman), Alyx Duncan, Nicole Horan, Amanda Davison, Kathleen Anderson, Jasmin McSweeney, Vea Mafile’o and Kath Graham, with input from Sally Campbell and the various category sponsors.
Also known as the WIFT NZ Awards, the Women in Film and Television NZ Awards were established in 2004 to recognise, celebrate and encourage the achievements of women in film, television and digital media.
The awards are a part of the WIFT group which was founded in Wellington in 1993, followed by WIFT Auckland in 1995 and WIFT Christchurch in 1996 before the regional chapters fully merged in 2009.
WIFT was created to ensure women are welcomed, supported and thriving in an equitable screen industry, WIFT NZ is a not-for-profit organisation that combined with their more than 50 WIFT and WIFT-partners worldwide, represents more than 20,000 members.
Here is the full list of finalists:
South Pacific Pictures Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film:
- Alex Reed for Mister Organ
- Desray Armstrong for Juniper
- Paula Whetu Jones for Whina
Imagezone Entrepreneurship Award:
- Chelsea Winstanley – Matewa Media, Ahi Collective, This Too Shall Pass
- Nanette Miles – Toybox
- Sharlene George – The Sweetshop
Images & Sound Award for Outstanding Achievement in Television and Digital:
- Bronwynn Bakker – producer – for her body of work, first broadcast between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023
- Carly Turner – editor – for her body of work first broadcast between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023
- Fiona Copland – producer – for Kiri and Lou
Professional Lighting Services Award for Unsung Heroine of the NZ Screen Industry:
- Alice Shearman
- Billie Lusk
- Jane Anderson
SAE Award for Outstanding Newcomer:
- Luana Barnes
- Marianne Infante
- Stephanie Damm-Logan
- Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne
Hinterland Woman to Watch Award:
- Abba-Rose Vaiaoga-Ioasa
- Angela Cudd
- Mia-Marama Henry-Teirney
- Morgan Leigh Stewart
Queenstown Camera Company Craft Award:
- Ashlee Fidow – stunt performer
- Kirsty Griffin – stills photographer
- Maria Ines Manchego NZCS – director of photography
Wētā FX Creative Technology Award:
- Beck Veitch – compositing supervisor
- Cushla Dillon – editor
- Kara Vandeleur – vfx producer
Te Māngai Pāho Te Reo Māori Champion Award:
- Libby Hakaraia
- Mihingarangi Forbes
- Miriama Kamo
Warner Bros. Discovery Award for Moana Excellence in the Screen Industry:
- Karin Williams
- Lisa Taouma
- Ngaire Fuata
The judges determined that there should be only one finalist and winner to be announced at the awards ceremony for the following category:
Great Southern Film & Television Award for Outstanding Contribution to the NZ Screen Industry