The Dark Horse

is officially New Zealand's movie of the year.

It swept most of the the major categories at this evening's NZ Film Awards, winning the best picture, director and screenplay prizes for James Napier-Robertson, as well as taking away best actor for Cliff Curtis and best supporting actor for James Rolleston

The acclaimed film, a dramatisation of an episode in the life of bipolar Gisborne chess champ Genesis Potini, took out six categories - including best score - from its 13 nominations.


With 14 nods, the night's biggest nominee had been te reo action movie The Dead Lands but it only managed a showing in the technical categories of best visual effects, costume and makeup.

The year's biggest local box office hit. the Taika Waititi-Jemaine Clement horror-comedy What We Do In the Shadows won the best self-funded movie category having missed out on best film consideration.

Though the status of the film as "self-funded" was under question with New Zealand Film Commission boss Dave Gibson later joking during a presentation speech he would like "a quarter of a million dollars back".

Clement and Waititi proved entertaining awardees with Clement attempting a loose translation of producer Chelsea Winstanley's te reo acceptance speech.

Later, Clement's stint as best director presenter provided the biggest laughs of a night not short of them care of MC Jesse Mulligan.

What We Did in the Shadows took away the production design and sound prizes, and Jackie Beek won the supporting actress prize of her performance in the film who thanked co-directors Waitit and Clement "who never let me read a script and gave me contradictory directions".

Dominating the documentary categories was Hip Hop-eration, the film about a group of break-dancing senior citizens, which won three out of its four categories including best doco.

The best television feature was Consent: The Louise Nicholas Story.

Nicholas received a standing ovation when she appeared on stage with producer Steven O'Meagher. She told the crowd: "Thank you for letting my truth to be told."

Accepting the best picture award, Dark Horse producer Tom Hern said there had been a cultural shift in the past year with local audiences more open to local movies after 2014's strong crop of features.


Best Film

The Dark Horse

Everything We Loved
The Dead Lands
The Last Saint

Best Director
James Napier-Robertson (The Dark Horse)

Max Currie (Everything We Loved)
Gerard Johnstone (Housebound)
Toa Fraser (The Dead Lands)
Rene Naufahu (The Last Saint)

Best Actor
Cliff Curtis (The Dark Horse)

Matt Whelan (3 Mile Limit)
Nathan Meister (Realiti)
James Rolleston (The Dead Lands)
Beulah Koale (The Last Saint)

Best Actress
Sia Trokenheim (Everything We Loved)

Morgana O'Reilly (Housebound)
Michelle Langstone (Realiti)
Joy Vaele (The Last Saint)
Antonia Prebble (The Cure)

Best Supporting Actor
James Rolleston (The Dark Horse)

Wayne Hapi (The Dark Horse)
Leighton Cardno (Jake)
Lawrence Makoare (The Dead Lands)
Jonathan Brugh (What We Do in the Shadows)

Best Supporting Actress
Jackie van Beek (What We Do in the Shadows)

Raukura Turei (The Dead Lands)
Sophia Huybens (The Last Saint)
Vanessa Rare (The Z-Nail Gang)
Rima Te Wiata (Housebound)

Best Screenplay
James Napier-Robertson (The Dark Horse)

Max Currie (Everything We Loved)
Chad Taylor (Realiti)
Glenn Standring (The Dead Lands)
Rene Naufahu (The Last Saint)

Best Self Funded Film
What We Do in the Shadows (Jemaine Clement, Chelsea
Winstanley, Taika Waititi, Emanuel Michael)

3 Mile Limit
The Z-Nail Gang

Best Television Feature
Consent: The Louise Nicholas Story (Steven O'Meagher)

Erebus: Operation Overdue12-12-2014 14:59:46
The Kick
Field Punishment No 1
Pirates of the Airwaves

Best Costume Design
Barbara Darragh (The Dead Lands)

Lissy Patterson (Housebound)
Gabrielle Stevenson (The Cure)
Kristin Seth (The Dark Horse)
Amanda Neale (What We Do in the Shadows)

Best Makeup Design
Davina Lamont (The Dead Lands)

Jacinta Driver (Housebound)
Brae Toia and Julie Clark (I Survived a Zombie Holocaust)
Jane O'Kane (The Dark Horse)
Dannelle Satherly (What We Do in the Shadows)

Best Visual Effects
George Zwier (The Dead Lands)

Peter McCully (3 Mile Limit)
Matthew Westbrooke (Housebound)
Sam Scott (I Survived a Zombie Holocaust)
Stan Alley (What We Do in the Shadows)

Best Sound
Simon Riley, Mike Hedges and Tim Chaproniere (What We Do in the Shadows)

Ben Sinclair, Chris Todd (Erewhon)
Franklin Road Sound Post Production (Housebound)
Chris Todd, Nick Buckton, Pete Smith, Tim Chaproniere, Fred Enholmer (The Dark Horse)
James Hayday, Lee Herrick, Sven Taits and Adam Martin (The Dead Lands)

Best Score
Dana Lund (The Dark Horse)

Tom Mcleod (3 Mile Limit)
Rachel Shearer (Erewhon)
Victoria Kelly (Realiti)
Don McGlashan (The Dead Lands)

Best Editor
Cushla Dillon (Orphans & Kingdoms)

Dan Kircher (Everything We Loved)
Peter Roberts (The Dark Horse)
Dan Kircher (The Dead Lands)
Eric de Beus (The Last Saint)

Best Production Design
Ra Vincent (What We Do in the Shadows)

Jane Bucknell & Anya Whitlock (Housebound)
Kim Sinclair (The Dark Horse)
Grant Major (The Dead Lands)
Brant Fraser (The Last Saint)

Best Cinematography
Dave Garbett (Everything We Loved)

Simon Riera (Housebound)
DJ Stipsen (3 Mile Limit)
Simon Raby (Orphans & Kingdoms)
Denson Baker (The Dark Horse)

Best Poster Design
Andrejs Skuja, Johnny Lyon (Housebound)

Kirk Bremner, Luke Bremner (A Motel and a Hard Place)
Rene Naufahu & Farani Jnr (The Last Saint)
Alastair Tye Samson, Doug Dillaman & Lucas Brooking (Jake)
Jeremy Saunders (The Dead Lands)


Best Documentary

Hip Hop-eration (Paula Jones & Alex Lee)

Erebus: Operation Overdue

Voices of the Land Nga Reo o te Whenua

Cap Bocage

Hot Air

Best Documentary Director
Bryn Evans (Hip Hop-eration)

Peter Burger, & Charlotte Purdy (Erebus: Operation Overdue)
Paul Wolffram (Voices of the Land - Nga Reo o te Whenua)
Jim Marbrook (Cap Bocage)
Gerard Smyth (Aunty and the Star People)

Best Documentary Editor
Simon Coldrick (Erebus: Operation Overdue)

Annie Collins (Voices of the Land - Nga Reo o te Whenua) Peter Roberts (Hip Hop-eration)
Jim Marbrook and Prisca Bouchet (Cap Bocage)
Abi King-Jones (Hot Air)

Best Documentary Cinematography
Bevan Crothers (Hip Hop-eration)

Toby Ricketts (Manila - No Limitations)
Alun Bollinger and Luke Frater (Voices of the Land - Nga Reo o te Whenua)
James Ellis, Dave Perry (Into the Void)
Gerard Smyth & Jacob Bryant (Aunty and the Star People)

Best Documentary Editor
Simon Coldrick (Erebus: Operation Overdue)

Annie Collins (Voices of the Land - Nga Reo o te Whenua)
Peter Roberts (Hip Hop-eration)
Jim Marbrook and Prisca Bouchet (Cap Bocage)
Abi King-Jones (Hot Air)


Best Short Film

Eleven (Abigail Greenwood)

Ross & Beth
The Tide Keeper
The Keeper

Best Self-Funded Short Film
Skin (Tom Gould)

Mi Amigo Mandarina
The Last Night
Over the Moon
A Lesson On Probability

Best Best Short Film Actor
John Clarke (Ross & Beth)

Charlie Bleakley (Coconut)
Alan James Drum-Garcia (Mi Amigo Mandarina)
Cohen Holloway (The Last Night)
Elliot Travers (Mis-Drop)

Best Best Short Film Actress
Tahei Simpson (Home)

Anna Jullienne (Over The Moon)
Phoebe McLeod (Snip)
Morgan Albrecht (After Wonderland)
Hayley Sproull (School Night)

Best Cinematography in a Short Film
Grant McKinnon (Ross & Beth)

Ben Montgomery, Chris Pryor (The Tide Keeper)
Germain McMicking (The Keeper)
Ian McCarroll (Whisker)
Mathew Knight (The Last Night)

Best Short Film Script
Kate Prior (Eleven)

Alyx Duncan (The Tide Keeper)
Charlie Bleakley & Cohen Holloway (Coconut)
Tom Furniss (Mi Amigo Mandarina)
Hamish Bennett (Ross & Beth)

Services to Cinema Award: Leon Narbey.