Out of the
Blue, a movie dramatisation of the 1990 Aramoana tragedy,
has scooped the inaugural Film and Television Awards
announced in Auckland on Saturday night.
The awards are an amalgamation of the New Zealand Screen
Awards and the New Zealand Television Awards, which have been
run for the past three years.
The movie won best picture with a budget over $1 million,
best performance by an actor in a leading role (Matthew
Sunderland as gunman David Gray) and best screenplay in film
(Graeme Tetley and Robert Sarkies).
The award validated Dunedin director Sarkies' decision to
proceed with the controversial film.
The account of Aramoana resident Gray's 22-hour armed rampage
was fiercely opposed by local residents when it was
originally proposed in November, 2005.
Thirteen people, aged from 6 years old to 71, were shot dead
by Gray in the township on Tuesday, November 13, 1990.
The film-makers subsequently agreed not to use the name
Aramoana in the film title and the majority of the 100-minute
movie was subsequently filmed at Long Beach, between February
and April in 2006.
Dunedin director Sarkies was also disappointed when the New
Zealand Film Censor's Office gave the film an R-Rating.
"To me, this puts a good full-stop on the project," Sarkies
told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.
"It was great to have the film recognised, after all the hard
work that went into it. It's always nice to be acknowledged
by your peers, which is what these awards are about, and it's
also great to see the cast and crew acknowledged for their
work," he said.
"It was also impossible not to think of the people of
Aramoana at the awards."
Sarkies said the film was not meant to be a documentary about
the tragedy, but "a drama which relives the human tragedy and
heroic feats of bravery and survival on November 13, 1990".
The awards continue a successful run of Dunedin-based films
for the former-Kaikorai Valley College pupil, after his 1999
hit Scarfies, about a flat of Otago University
"I haven't proven yet that I'm capable of making a successful
film out of Dunedin," Sarkies joked.
"But, the reality is, we couldn't have made Out of the
Blue anywhere else but Dunedin for the budget.
"There's something very special about making films in
Dunedin. There's a lot of goodwill there."
Sarkies said he was already working on future Dunedin film
"It's all a bit hush-hush at the moment, but we've definitely
got a few things in mind."
Elsewhere, Outrageous Fortune was the big winner, with
the show's star, and best actress winner Robyn Malcolm
revealing work has already begun on a fifth season.
• Award highlights:
Film: Best picture - budget over $1 million, Out of
the Blue; budget under $1 million, A Song of Good;
directing - budget under and over $1 million, Taika Waititi,
Eagle vs Shark; leading actress - Geraldine Brophy,
Second-Hand Wedding;leading actor - Matthew
Sunderland, Out of the Blue; best screenplay - Graeme
Tetley and Robert Sarkies, Out of the Blue.
Television: Best news - One News; best news or
current affairs presenter - Mark Sainsbury; investigation of
the year - Mike Valintine and Hunter Wells, Sunday; TV
journalist of the year - Mike Valintine and Hunter Wells,
Sunday; best actress - Robyn Malcolm, Outrageous
Fortune; best actor - Antony Starr, Outrageous
Fortune; images and sound best drama programme -
Outrageous Fortune; best documentary - An Island