The NZTV craft awards celebrate and acknowledge the range of talent in New Zealand’s television industry. Through a diverse range of television, these awards really showcased the spirit and skill of our industry. New Zealand certainly has a strong and growing creative base.

The moment I walked into this event, I was aware of a soulful and active buzz.  People would drift around, eager to talk with anyone and have lively discussions about art, film, television. Who you knew was not of any concern; There were no boundaries, there were just people who were passionate and in love with what they do. I was afraid of feeling blatantly out of place at this event, but this was not just an awards ceremony, this was a place for creatives to meet other creatives. There was a fullness at this event and I left feeling more inspired to continue pursuing the things I loved. It was an astounding thing, to be surrounded by so much energy and enthusiasm.

Sitting at one of the tables, I was greeted by Danny Mulheron, director of The Dance Exponents: Why Does Love? (winner of over three awards). Mulheron is one of the only people I have met who really encompasses the meaning of ‘eccentric’. I must admit, he was a rambler, but I have never felt more interested in someone’s ramblings than Mulheron’s. “Be brave”, he said, “We’re all rejects from something…it’s good to be different [though]…to be an outcast”.

What I loved about the NZTV awards was the diversity of television that was showcased. From retelling the Chinese legend of Monkey King in The New Legends of Monkey to celebrating the multi-camera work in the HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series, Hamilton. It was fantastic to see such a range of talent and technical skill being honoured at these awards. I started to really see New Zealand as a powerhouse of creative individuals, eclectic and following their own path. That is the beauty and strength of New Zealand – We have the ability to grow and stretch out and test the waters of unconventionality. In other countries, we may be creatively shadowed or confined, but at the NZTV awards, I started to see that New Zealand is a place of growth.

I cannot end this article without mentioning Jono and Ben. They added a little bit of colour and tongue-in-cheek humour to the ceremony, that made me proud to be part of New Zealand’s creative scene.

Catch my update as I make my way to the gala event on the 23rd of November!

Jennifer Cheuk is an English/Communications and Linguistics major with a passion for graphic novels and sophisticated picture books.  She likes eating grated cheese and watching niche films. Can be found cartooning and writing on instagram: @selcouthbird.