Samoan-New Zealand movie The Orator has dominated the inaugural Sorta Unofficial New Zealand Film Awards, taking away eight trophies - or Moas - from its 11 nominations.

The film was equal with Two Little Boys in the number of categories it was a finalist in.

But The Orator held its Duncan Sarkies-directed rival to two awards at the ceremony held in Auckland tonight.

As well as best film, The Orator won its writer-director Tusi Tamasese the screenplay and directing prizes.


Its cast also took away best actor, actress, and supporting actress Moas, along with awards for sound and costume design.

Most of the actors on the film - about a bullied dwarf in an isolated Samoan village standing up for himself and family - were non-professionals.

It was Tamasese's debut feature.

Other winners included rock documentary Shihad: Beautiful Machine (best doco director and editing), and drama The Most Fun You Can Dying (soundtrack, cinematography and production design).

The awards, organised by Hugh Sundae of and Ant Timpson and presented by The New Zealand Herald and Rialto Channel, were put in place after the national television awards dropped film categories from its annual prize-giving.

The awards were judged by a panel of more than overseas film-makers, festival programmers and journalists.

The winners:
Best film

The Orator

Best Self-Funded Film

The Red House

Best Director

The Orator - Tusi Tamasese

Best Cinematography

The Most Fun You Can Have Dying - Crighton Bone

Best Editing

Two Little Boys - Annie Collins

Best Actor

The Orator - Fa'afiaula Sagote

Best Actress

The Orator - Tausili Pushparaj

Best Supporting Actor

Netherwood - Will Hall

Best Supporting Actress

The Orator - Salamasina Mataia

Best Screenplay

The Orator - Tusi Tamasese

Best Score

The Most Fun You Can Have Dying - Grayson Gilmour

Best Sound

The Orator - Tim Prebble, Chris Todd, Richard Flynn, Mike Hedges and Gilbert Lake

Best Production Design

The Most Fun You Can Have Dying - Bruce Everard

Best Makeup Design

The Devil's Rock - Davina Lamont, Sean Foot and Richard Taylor

Best Costume Design

The Orator - Kirsty Cameron

Best Visual Effects

Two Little Boys - Jon Baxter and Puck Murphy

Best Short Film

Honk If You're Horny

Best Short Film Actor

Honk If You're Horny - Andy Anderson

Best Short Film Actress

Whakatiki - Mabelle Dennison

Best Documentary

Maori Boy Genius

Best Documentary Director

Shihad: Beautiful Machine - Sam Peacocke

Best Documentary Cinematography

How Far is Heaven - Christopher Pryor

Best Documentary Editing

Shihad: Beautiful Machine - Cushla Dillon

Best Self-Funded Short Film

In Safe Hands

Best Short Film Cinematography

I'm the One - Bonnie Elliott

Best Short Film Script

Honk If You're Horny - Joe Lonie