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Taika Waititi and Hunt for the Wilderpeople take out top movie awards

The film made a clean sweep of all the big awards at the Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards.

Julian Dennison at the Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards.

Kiwi director Taika Waititi’s hit movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople won big at last night’s Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards ceremony, walking away with seven top honours, including Best Film.

As well as winning the top award, the movie which is an adaptation of the Barry Crump novel Wild Pork and Watercress, also won Best Director and Best Screenplay.

The film’s stars were also given gongs with 14-year-old Julian Dennison taking home Best Actor for his role as Ricky Baker.

Julian's co-stars Sam Neill and Rima Te Wiata took out the other top acting honours for Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress respectively

The action-adventure film, set in the hinterlands of the Central Plateau, also got a nod for its special effects.

Sam Neill and his Moa for his role as Uncle Hec in Hunt For The Wilderpeople.
Sam Neill and his Moa for his role as Uncle Hec in Hunt For The Wilderpeople.

The star-studded Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards (also known as the ‘Moas’) was held at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds.

As well as local celebrities in attendance, Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, T2: Trainspotting) made a special appearance to present the award for Best Cinematography for Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender.

Stuff reports Sam Neill also presented an award, handing out the Services To Cinema Award to long-time friend and collaborator Gaylene Preston for her dedication to New Zealand film.

Sam Neill presented a special award to Gaylene Preston for her outstanding services to film.
Sam Neill presented a special award to Gaylene Preston for her outstanding services to film.

Other big winners on the night included Miriama McDowell for Best Actress for her role in The Great Maiden’s Blush which also won the Best Self-Funded Film, and the provincial rugby documentary The Ground We Won which won Best Documentary.

Ex-Shortland Street star Angela Bloomfield was also awarded on the night, picking up Best Short Film Actresss for her role in Linda’s List.

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