Dean Spanley was a big winner at the 2009 Qantas Film and Television Awards, taking out the gongs for Best Feature Film (budget over $1m), Best Screenplay and Best Director for Toa Fraser, who couldn’t make it to the ceremony as he was on Maui doing yoga. In his thank you speech, producer Matthew Metcalfe initiated a round of applause for Lucy Lawless for “paying for his second short film".
The Topp Twins Untouchable Girls won Best Feature Film (budget under $1m) and Best Original Music in a Feature Film. The irrepressible Linda and Jools Topp performed Untouchable Girls at the ceremony, and closed the night with a “song for the supercity” and announced they would like to run for mayor.
TVNZ scooped the news and current affairs categories, winning 11 of the 12 trophies up for grabs. Winning shows included One News, Q+A, Sunday and Close Up. After 25 years in service Best News/Current Affairs Presenter Kevin Milne announced, “This is the first time a benign tumour has won an award.” He beat Paul Henry, who had declared he was the best in the business last week.
StopPress is pleased as punch that two ex bFM alumni made the stage. TheJaquie Brown Diaries won Best Comedy Programme and Ms Brown won Longest Lashes and Most Hairspray in a Do for her permanently sideswept fringe. And Paul Casserly from Eating Media Lunch won Best Director of Factual/Entertainment Programme. EML was pipped in the Best Entertainment Programme by Dancing with the Stars. So we’re not surprised that Jason Gunn won Best Presenter Entertainment/Factual Programme. Gunn made some corny jokes, but at least he wasn’t busting out a too-tight gold-tassled flapper dress like his co-host Candy Lane.
Another double winner was Pietra Brettkelly for Best Arts/Festival/Feature Documentary and Best Director Documentary for her compelling The Art Star And The Sudanese Twins.
Best speech was by child star Oscar Vandy-Connor from The Six Dollar Fifty Man, winner of Best Performance in a Short Film. “Thanks for the dudes who thought that film was good cos I thought they made the right decision. Bye.” The film also won Best Short Film.
Worst speech was surely by John Key, presenting the International Achievement Award. Sounding like a bad sitcom, you expected to hear drum crashes and a laugh track. He did take the piss out of himself though: “English is not my first language that’s why I make up words like texterers and Afghanistanis.” The award, by the way, went to the well-deserved Natural History NZ down in Dunedin.
The small and perfectly formed Keisha Castle-Hughes, who won Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in General TV for Piece of My Heart, took the opportunity to address the Prime Minister personally: “I’ve been busy campaigning – John – sign on to reduce 40 per cent of greenhouse gases by 2010.”
Outrageous Fortune, who dominated last year's awards, only came out top for Best Script Drama/Comedy. TV drama Until Proven Innocent bagged a bunch of awards and Apron Strings took out Best Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Feature Film.
MC Oliver Driver was funny and hyper as usual, throwing the F-word into his first sentence. When he introduced his dream co-host, Jack Tame (“He’s the real reason people watch Breakfast”) he was told Jack was apparently engaged in a dressing room with Michael Laws. So Oli raced off stage to find another co-host. A pre-recorded video showed Oli running through various TV sets – Sunrise, Pulp Sport, One News, 3 News, Shortland St, Maori TV (hilarious subtitles while Oli screams, "I don't speak Maori I'm from New Zealand!"), Close Up, Campbell Live and even Spartacus – stopping to have a banter with surprised presenters and actors. He ended up on Breakfast, interrupting Paul Henry in conversation with Rena Owen. Pippa just happened to be wearing a suitable evening gown revealing enough of her cleavage so he nabbed her as a co-host.
Speaking of dresses, most celebs chose well, but it seems the Kiwi girls only have two looks: plunging necklines and off-one-shoulder frocks were de rigueur of the night.
Final words from the Topp Twins: “Have the biggest piss up the industry has ever seen. With Jameson Whiskey, make sure you get absolutely wasted.”