The Awards

At this year’s 10th Anniversary Gala event on Sunday 6 October, a total of 22 awards will be bestowed on filmmakers from around the Top of the South region. 7 awards will be given for the Aotearoa films after the screening on Saturday 5th October. These awards will be determined by a panel of judges, both national and international, with professional film industry experience.

Gold/Silver Screening Awards (22)

  • Best Film (overall)
  • Best Film Silver Reel
  • People’s Choice Gold Reel
  • People’s Choice Silver Reel
  • Best Narrative Film (fictional)
  • Best Documentary
  • Best Music Video
  • Best Animated Film
  • Best Secondary Student Film (yr 9 -13)
  • Best “48-hour” Film
  • Best Director
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress
  • Best Editing
  • Best Sound
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Visual FX
  • Best Production Design
nelson film festival awards

Aotearoa Awards (7)

  • Best Film
  • People’s Choice
  • Best Director
  • Best Screenplay
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress

Judging Criteria For Films

Story is told in a cohesive, clear, distinctive style and tone. Acting is natural and believable. Combined elements of story, acting, visuals and music make for a rewarding experience.

Story is original, creative, fresh, interesting and masterfully woven. Characters are compelling and distinctive. Dialogue is real and engaging. Has artistic merit. Story has a beginning, middle and end, a story arc, and a clear goal. The story resolves itself and pays off the premise it sets up.

Visually excellent; appropriate use of camera movement; lighting, composition and shot selection serve the story; colour grading enhances overall look and feel.

The organisation/pacing/structure/continuity of pictures and sound is rhythmic, moving, engaging and clear.

Acting performances are authentic, compelling, interesting and personify the story. Relational dynamics are strong and have emotional impact.

There is consistently clear dialogue recording; believable and creative use of sound effects; quality transitions between words and music. The music complements and enhances the story, tone and overall message.

Original Score
The originally scored music is creative, unique and suited to the film and helps tell the story as a character of its own.

Production Design
The look and feel of the locations and settings transports us to the world of the characters. Lighting, sets, scenery, wardrobe and props are used effectively and appropriately.

Visual Effects
The Visual Effects are so realistic the viewer accepts what they are seeing, and their disbelief is momentarily suspended. Or the effects illustrate the vision and artistry of the Visual FX artist. In either case, the VFX support the narrative and capture the viewer.