Asian Television Awards: Kiwis sling their hats in the ring

Three Kiwi-made shows have made the cut at this year's Asian Television Awards in Singapore, with a couple of projects also selected for the accompanying Asia Television Forum's SuperPitch.
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Three Kiwi-made shows have made the cut at this year’s Asian Television Awards, with a couple of projects also selected for the accompanying Asia Television Forum’s SuperPitch.

Last year, SPADA Conference speakers Marcus Gillezeau and Ellenor Cox’s Storm Surfers – New Zealand won a couple of categories from a handful of nominations, picking up the Best Reality Programme and Best Cinematography Awards.

This time around shows from South Pacific Pictures and NHNZ (and a wholly-owned subsidiary) are nominated for awards, while Ronel Schodt has two very different projects selected for the pitch competition.

SPP has been to the awards before, with Outrageous Fortune’s Robyn Malcolm nominated for Best Actress and Antony Starr winning Best Actor. This year Stolen is up for two awards.

In the Best Single Drama or Telemovie Programme category, it will compete against shows from Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan, including the intriguingl-titled The Goddess of the Toilet, Princess Hwapyeong’s Diet-or-Die and Find a Hubby for Lady Boss, the latter a Taiwanese show with more than a passing reference to HAN Hyeong-mo’s 1959 Korean romcom A Female Boss.

Miriama Smith is one of six nominated for Best Actress for her role in Stolen. The only other contender whose show is also nominated for Best Single Drama or Telemovie is Malaysia’s Erra Fazira for Sanggul Beracun.

In the factual categories, NHNZ has shares in two nominations. It’s up for Best Natural History or Wildlife Programme with Life Force: Madagascar, a co-production between Japan’s NHK, NHNZ and France Television. NHK has another show nominated in the same category, Wild Japan: The Wonders of Abundant Waters.

NHNZ’s second nomination is for the whole series of Life Force, with the same partners, in the Best Documentary Series category.

NHNZ-owned Singapore-based Beach House Pictures has three nominations. It is nominated against NHNZ’s show in the Best Natural History or Wildlife Programme category with Asia’s Deadliest Snake, made for National Geographic Channel Asia.

It also has nominations in the Best General Entertainment and Best Lifestyle Programme categories, for the History Channel’s Hidden Cities and Channel NewsAsia’s Stressbuster (Episode 1) – Learn Something New respectively.

The Asian Television Awards are the glitzy end to the two-day Asian Television Forum, where more weighty matters are discussed and some production deals done. Sitting between the two is the SuperPitch Competition, which takes advantage of the surprisingly high number of English-speaking commissioners attending the event.

The pitch competition runs in three strands, Documentary, Preschool/Kids and Formats. Ronel Schodt, wearing a couple of hats, has been selected to pitch in two of them.

The Sylvie and Arabella kids’ show, pitched recently at the SPADA and APN conferences, will go up against projects from Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, most of them animated pre-school shows.

Wearing the Shotz Productions hat, Schodt will pitch JetBlack – The Race for Speed in the doco strand, up against four projects from around Asia and Australians BBI Media with their Seychelles Global Citizen – The Life and Times of Sir James Mancham proposal.

The Asia Television Forum runs in Singapore today and tomorrow (7 and 8 December), with the Pitch event taking place tomorrow. The Asian Television Awards are given out tomorrow night.

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