Want to make prize-winning television drama in New Zealand? First find yourself a story involving a teenage girl. That's one interpretation of the major winners of the New Zealand Television Awards.
Being Eve - the quirky series centred on the life of 15 year-old high schooler Eve Baxter - won best drama series among its three wins at the TV Guide-sponsored awards announced in Auckland this evening.
Meanwhile, the one-off programme Staunch, a based-on-fact story about a 17-year-old South Auckland woman who defends herself in court, won in five of the seven categories it was nominated for, including best actress for Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell ("Grace" in Once Were Warriors), best actor for Tamati Te Nohotu, as well as the drama category's best script, best director and best editing awards.
However, the best drama programme prize went to Fish Skin Suit, which also won the best drama camera award.
Among the most disappointed on the night were undoubtedly the makers of small-town drama Mercy Peak, which with its 12 nods had led the nomination list but only came away with three wins for supporting actor Tim Balme, supporting actress Alison Bruce, and best script for a series.
Also perplexed might have been the makers of comedies Spin Doctors and Willy Nilly. The former, a topical satire based in a public relations agency, was judged the best comedy programme. However the latter down-on-the-farm sitcom won the remainder of the comedy categories - best comedy performance for Sean Duffy, best script, and best director.
In the documentary categories, Captain's Log, the Peter Elliott-presented series tracing James Cook's travels around the New Zealand coast, won best series. Meanwhile 1951 - an account of that year's watersider's strike and its attendant civil and political upheaveals - won best one-off documentary and a best director award for John Bates.
In the publicly voted awards, TVNZ newsreader Judy Bailey was judged best presenter by viewers and Mitre 10 DIY Rescue was voted best new programme.
This year the awards covered programmes screened between July 1 2000 and the end of last year due to no awards being held in 2001. Other than the two popular vote awards, the judging was carried out by a panel of industry professionals.
THE FULL WINNERS LIST:
Programme: Fish Skin Suit (Larry Parr, Julian Arahanga, Kahukura Productions).
Series or Serial: Being Eve (Vanessa Alexander, South Pacific Pictures).
Actress: Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell (Staunch).
Actor: Tamati Te Nohotu (Staunch).
Supporting Actress: Alison Bruce (Mercy Peak).
Supporting Actor: Tim Balme (Mercy Peak).
Juvenile Actor/Actress: Rose McIvor (Xena: Warrior Princess - Little Problems).
Script (one-off): Toa Fraser and Keith Hunter (Staunch).
Script (series): Gavin Strawhan (Mercy Peak).
Director: Keith Hunter (Staunch).
Camera: James Cowley (Fish Skin Suit).
Editing: Tim Woodhouse (Staunch).
Programme: Spin Doctors (Tony Holden, Comedia Pictures).
Entertainment/Comedy Performance: Sean Duffy (Willy Nilly).
Script: Ken Duncum, Mike Smith, Cal Wilson, Paul Yates (Willy Nilly).
Director: Mike Smith (Willy Nilly).
Entertainment Programme: What Now? 20th Anniversary Special (Tony Palmer, TVNZ).
Entertainment Series: Polyfest 2001 (Claudette Hauiti, Front Of The Box Productions).
Director, Factual/Entertainment: Bryan Bruce (Wild About New Zealand).
Documentary: 1951 (John Bates, Bates Productions).
Series: Captain's Log (Gresham Bradley and John A. Givins, Livingstone Productions)
Director: John Bates (1951).
Factual Series: Country Calendar (Frank Torley, TVNZ).
Programme: cokesmokefreerockquest (Richard Hansen, Screentime-Communicado).
Series: Travel.co.nz (Tash Christie, Screentime-Communicado).
Programme: Fight For Life (John McDonald, TV3).
Programme: Whanau (Tumanako Productions and Greenstone Pictures).
Language Programme: He Tohunga Whakairo (Toby Mills and Moana Maniapoto, Tawera Productions and Black Pearl Productions).
Camera, Non-Drama: Peter Young (Country Calendar).
Editing Non-Drama: Peter Roberts (God, Sreenu and Me).
Original Music: Carl Doy (Buzz and Poppy).
Contribution to a Soundtrack: Suite 16, Carl Smith (Being Eve).
Production Design: Robert Gillies (Jack of All Trades - Shark Bait).
Costume Design: Janet Dunn (Clare).
Contribution to Design: Zane Holmes (Being Eve).
Best presenter: Judy Bailey.
Best new programme: Mitre 10 DIY Rescue (Julie Christie, Touchdown).