Air New Zealand strengthens commitment to NZ Film and Television industry with three year sponsorship

Air New Zealand has extended its naming rights sponsorship of New Zealand’s most prestigious film and television industry awards for a further three year.

New Zealand’s premier film and television industry awards will continue to be known as the Air New Zealand Screen Awards.

“We are really excited to announce our continuing partnership with Air New Zealand. It is great to have such a venerable company supporting the local screen industry both here and internationally,” said Screen Directors’ Guild of New Zealand (SDGNZ) President Annie Goldson.

Air New Zealand supported the Awards as naming rights sponsor in 2006 and believes this extended sponsorship is a fantastic platform to support the creative talents of the New Zealand film and television industry.

“We are delighted to support and align ourselves with a premier event that helps to propel creativity and growth within the NZ Film and Television industry,” says Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing, Steve Bayliss.

Air New Zealand joins funding partner The NZ Film Commission, strategic partner Auckland City and a number of premium business sponsors including SkyCity, UKTV, Rialto Channel, and ImagesPost, along with media partners The Listener, Radio LIVE and the NZ Woman’s Weekly, in ensuring the event retains its premier position within the industry calendar.

Entries for the Air New Zealand Screen Awards 2007 closed last week. This year’s awards have attracted a record number of entries. Close to 300 entries have been received across 32 categories.

Goldson says the number of entries this year is outstanding considering there has been a reduction in the number of categories. Several categories have been merged including Best Drama and Best Drama Series to form a new category Best Drama, and Script Drama and Script Drama Series are now Best Script Drama.

Following requests from the Industry the SDGNZ has added a new ‘Best Sports Programme’ category. “This new category is in recognition of the high quality and talents of our local television sports’ producers and entertainers,” says Goldson.

There will be no Feature Film component this year due to a lack of films being released in New Zealand during the eligibility period. However films that are released in 2007 will be eligible for the 2008 Awards.

“New Zealand continues to produce outstanding feature films which are innovative, dynamic and world class, however to be eligible a film has to have been released within 12 months of the Awards taking place. Unfortunately these numbers are down this year and there were not sufficient to warrant a robust competition. As such the Best Feature Film component will be run over a two year period from now on,” said Goldson.

This year the judging panel has been streamlined to provide a more efficient process. A panel of three judges will preside over all independent categories bar one; the ‘Best Of’ categories will continue to be judged by a panel of five judges.

Finalists for the nation’s best short film, digital feature and television productions will be announced at a special event in Auckland on July 3, 2007 and the Air New Zealand Screen Awards 2007 ceremony will take place at Auckland’s SkyCity Theatre on Wednesday August 1st.

As well as the Finalist Announcement and Awards Ceremony, SkyCity will also host two special screenings of New Zealand Short Films as part of build up to The Air New Zealand Screen Awards 2007. These will be held at SkyCity’s Bar3 in July.

For all the latest news and information on The Air New Zealand Screen Awards 2007, visit www.sdgnz.co.nz (click on the Awards tab from the home page).

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