Double Happy for WIFT members at SPADA

Posted Sunday 04 Dec 2016

We are delighted to congratulate two WIFT members who picked up awards at the recent SPADA conference.

New Filmmaker of the Year went to director, writer and producer Yamin Tun.  Yamin won a scholarship prize in the 48 hour film competition to study film at Unitec. Since 2012, she has made three short films with Wait, winning the Best Short Film at the 2016 New Zealand International Film Festival. Yamin has three feature films in development. She has been shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. This award honours emerging filmmakers who have displayed excellence, special talent and creativity in their filmmaking.

As Principal Sponsor of the Award, Park Road Post Production will provide Yamin with post-production services worth $20,000.

Gaylene Preston was awarded SPADA / Data Book / SCREENZ Industry Champion for her significant lifetime commitment to New Zealand film and television.

In a career spanning almost 40 years as a director, writer and producer Gaylene has made major film and television productions encompassing most genres. Her feature films include Mr. Wrong (1984), Ruby and Rata (1990), Bread & Roses (1994), Perfect Strangers (2003) and Home by Christmas (2010). Gaylene's many documentaries include War Stories (1995) and Strongman: The Tragedy (2012). She is currently working on My Year with Helen, a film about Helen Clark due for release next year. Recent television work includes the mini-series, Hope and Wire.

Gaylene has served on most industry boards including the New Zealand Film Commission, New Zealand On Air, and has chaired Creative New Zealand's Film Innovation Fund and the New Zealand Film and Television Awards Society. She has received many honours including the NZ Arts Foundation filmmaker Laureate, an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit and the Women in Film and Television (WIFT) Lifetime achievement award. Her involvement in the New Zealand film community since working with John O'Shea's Pacific Films, has seen her collaborate with some of New Zealand's most celebrated film makers including cinematographers Waka Attewell and Alun Bollinger, director Geoff Murphy, producer Robin Laing, writer Graeme Tetley, and actor Sam Neill.

Robin Laing presented the award and spoke about Gaylene's long and distinguished career. She finished by saying:

"Gaylene has received many awards and honours for her onscreen work and for her work in the industry. She was the first NZ Arts Foundation filmmaker Laureate and in 2002 was made an officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the film industry. But I'm sure today's recognition as an Industry Champion by her peers, will have a special meaning.

Gaylene has blazed endless trails, cracked through many ceilings glass and otherwise, and lead many charges but she has never lost her focus on NZ stories and NZ audiences - and despite its attribution to several others Gaylene Preston is the originator of the touchstone phrase for all of us committed to working on this little patch of shaky ground - "if we don't make New Zealand films who else will."

We couldn't agree more and on behalf of all WIFT members we congratulate Yamin and Gaylene on their fantastic awards.