Film School graduates clean up at the Cinematographers Society Awards

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Four films produced by student crews from the New Zealand Film School won awards at the inaugural New Zealand Cinematographers Society (NZCS) Awards on Saturday night.​

In the Student Film category, Pound and Suck it up, both produced by the Film School’s Crew 29, won Gold and Silver respectively, while Crew 27’s ‘Unnatural Selection’ also won Silver, and Crew 30’s Pissy Tits Street Gang won Bronze. On an individual note, Christian Hipolito from Crew 29 took out the Al Guilford Emerging Cinematographer Award and received the NZCS Pan Glass Trophy.

Film School Crew29

Film School Crew 29 won Gold in the Student Film category at the inaugural NZCS Awards. Christian Hipolito (far left) also won the Emerging Cinematographer Award.

The NZCS awards are an exciting new development established as a way to encourage, recognise and honour world-class cinematography in New Zealand. A dozen judges, moderated by Dave Cameron and Peter Parnham, assessed over 150 entries.

NZCS President Richard Bluck said they had been overwhelmed by the response from the industry.

"We [had] fantastic entries across 14 categories ranging from students, news and current affairs, through documentaries, teleseries, and feature films," he said.

Mr Cameron noted that it was no easy feat reaching award standard given the judging criteria had been set extremely high. "I’m delighted to say our judging panel of seasoned pros were astonished at the quality of the cinematography coming through," he said.

New Zealand Film School Executive Director Sashi Meanger says the awards are recognition that the school offers an environment where committed individuals can develop their creative and technical skills to a very high level.

"Learning to be a filmmaker isn't something that be can be taught from a book," says Mr Meanger. "Here at the Film School students learn by doing, through a combination of hands-on experience and training with visiting tutors who are experts in their fields. This allows us to bring the best out in our students both creatively and practically."

"It’s all about creating New Zealand’s future filmmakers – graduates who are able to immediately contribute to the country’s thriving film industry," says Mr Meanger, "and the success of our graduates at the NZCS Awards is a fantastic endorsement."