Tag Archive for: award-winning

An exciting update of DEGANZ member Loren Taylor‘s directorial debut: The Moon is Upside Down won Best First Feature Film at the PÖFF Tallinn Black Night Film Festival! The film screened in the First Feature Competition, a collection of first features by promising global talents.

The jury commented:

The film is a bittersweet, multi-layered combination of three stories intervending in a perfect way about people who try to find their place in the world. Shot magnificiously in the outbacks on a distant land in a very impressive and smart way, especially for a first feature.

Along with the accolade, Taylor won a grant of €5,000 to be shared with the film’s producers Phillipa Campbell and Georgina Conder.

PÖFF is one of 15 festivals with an International Federation of Film Producers Association credential. Other festivals in this A-list group include Cannes, Venice, and Berlin.

Keep an eye out for The Moon is Upside Down when it hits screens in Aotearoa in 2024.

Congratulations, Loren and the team!

Show Me Shorts had a wonderful Awards Night on Sunday 8 October, with multiple members nominated for and receiving awards.

DEGANZ member Julie Zhu‘s Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le swept up three of the eight awards. Julie not only won DEGANZ’s very own Best Director award, but she and fellow producers scooped up the coveted Department of Post Best NZ Film award, one of the festival’s Oscar-qualifying categories.

The jury commented on the film saying,

Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le is the type of film that balances the light and dark of the human experience splendidly. It lays bare the struggles of a young boy tasked with the care of his ailing Lǎo Lao, who is losing her mind to Alzhemiers. It’s a short film that is full of struggle and fight, connection and loneliness, love and hate. It is many things but, above all, it is undeniably moving and a film that will stay with the jury for some time to come.

Eight-year-old lead actor, Yan Lin, also earned the film the Toi Whakaari Best Actor award. However, this category was exceptionally difficult to choose this year, causing the judges to share the award between Lin and Prabha Ravi for her performance in Anu, written and directed by Pulkit Arora (DEGANZ).

They commented,

After much deliberation with so many wonderful performances to choose from, the jury felt that we couldn’t choose just one winner for the Toi Whakaari Best Actor award and decided to share this award between two equally outstanding performances and exceptional actors.

Keeping the success going, fellow member Maza White won Best Screenplay for her film, Daughter of God.

Other members were also honoured at the awards with nominations. Alongside Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le, Anu written and directed by Pulkit and Buttons & Dumplings co-directed by Calvin Sang (DEGANZ) were up for the Department of Post Best NZ Film Award. DEGANZ members dominated the Best Director nominations, with Pulkit and Michelle Ang (Incubator 2020) nominated alongside Julie for Anu and Nai/Milk respectively.

Michelle was also nominated for Best Actor for her role in Nai/Milk, while the film’s editors Jack Brown (DEGANZ) and Kevin Schlanser were up for Best Editor. Fellow member Jonno Woodford-Robinson was also nominated for Best Editor for The Ballad of Maddog Quinn.

Meanwhile, Anna Rose Duckworth (Incubator 2019) was nominated for Best Screenplay for Just Kidding, I Actually Love You and Kingmaker directed by Alyx Duncan (DEGANZ) was nominated for the NZ on Air Best Music Video.

Full List of Award Winners

Department of Post Best NZ Film

Jazz dos Santos, Puteri Raja Ariff, and Julie Zhu for Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le

Cause and FX Best International Film

Khozy Rizal, John Badalu, Sue Turley for Basri & Salma in a Never Ending Comedy

DEGANZ Best Director

Julie Zhu for Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le

DEGANZ Best Editor

Jeremy Leatinu’u and Ian Powell for Te Wakawhitinga

Best Screenplay

Maza White for Daughter of God

Best Cinematographer

Marty Williams for The Ballad of Maddog Quinn

Toi Whakaari Best Actor

Prabha Ravi for Anu

Yan Lin for Lǎo Lao Lǎo Le

NZ on Air Best Music Video

Ian Sweeny and Johnny Gilbert for When You Went Away – The Transits


If you’ve seen any of this year’s screenings, don’t forget to vote for your favourite film for the People’s Choice Award!

Congratulations Rebecca Tansley (DEGANZ) for winning the Special Mention Award for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement at the Golden Prague International Television Festival for her film The Strangest of Angels.

The Strangest of Angels is a chamber opera inspired by the life of author Janet Frame, which Rebecca directed and produced for the New Zealand Opera. It premiered earlier this year at NZIFF and received praise for its moving depiction of the imagined relationship between Janet and her fictional nurse, caught between duty and empathy.

The judges provided the following justification for the film’s win:

New Zealand film director Rebecca Tansley successfully transforms the chamber opera The Strangest of Angels into a film on location, raising doubts about who is sane and who isn‘t.

The festival showcases productions centered around music, dance, and theatre. Each year they award the Grand Prix Golden Prague, the Czech Crystal award for three categories, and the Special Mention for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement. Competition was tough this year, with 30-odd films in the running for the single Special Mention award of the night.

Rebecca shared with DEGANZ how excited she was to be part of the awards show, which was broadcast live in Czech. She said it was even more exciting when her name was called out!

Congratulations to DEGANZ members Joe Murdie, Sophie Black, and James Fink-Jensen for their success at the 2023 Vision Feast awards!

Joe won big with the Rubber Monkey Best Aotearoa Project Award for WALK. Along with the accolade, he received $3000 worth of rentals from Rubber Monkey and the festival’s iconic Golden Chompy trophy. Written and directed by Joe, the short follows Amelia on a seemingly casual stroll in the wilderness. However, the innocent and carefree nature of the walk grows increasingly at odds with the protagonist’s actions.

Sophie’s animation-hybrid Believing is Seeing earned her Best Documentary. Joined by Dr. Robert Bartholomew, the world’s leading expert on mass psychogenic illnesses, the film investigates the mysterious outbreak of tic disorders on TikTok. You can watch Believing is Seeing on Youtube and Vimeo now!

James took home the Emerging NZ Filmmaking Talent Award for Strangers, which he wrote, directed, produced, and edited. The film dwells on the nervous pressure of first impressions on a date. With a cast of zany characters, a simple cafe date goes awry on an emotional roller coaster.

Well done to the winners and all the nominated directors. It’s always exciting to see our members recognised for their hard work!

Dame Valerie Adams: MORE THAN GOLD, edited by Margot Francis (DEGANZ) and produced by Leanne Pooley (DEGANZ), made its mark at the International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival (FIFO) in Tahiti earlier this month. The feature documentary won the 1st Special Jury and the Youth Jury Awards, winning a total of 700,000 XPF (about NZ$10,000).

When commenting on this year’s Youth Jury Award, the jury said,

Dame Valérie Adams: MORE THAN GOLD was the [last film we saw] and it was the big slap. We had shivers when we left. The choice was not easy but in the end it was obvious because Valérie Adams is a source of inspiration, an example for us young people to follow. It motivates us to have a more positive outlook on the future obstacles that we will encounter in our lives.

Emotions were high when director Briar March received the award during the festival’s closing ceremony. She was moved by how much Valerie and the film touched the jury.

The award-winning documentary is also now available to watch online here.

Congratulations to Margot, Leanne, and the rest of the team!