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Guide to NZCS Awards

How to enter

  1. Register each of your entries online and pay the fees online using your credit card.
  2. Submit your media files.

Deadline for entries

Entry submission for the 2021 NZCS Awards will be open from 24th June - 7th August. Registration must have been completed, media submission form and media must be received by that date. 

Subscribe to the NZCS mailing to to make sure you don't miss the call for entries.

Why you should enter

Since it is not winner-takes-all approach, you may win a gold even if you are up against a production with a much higher budget. A gold, silver, or bronze award brings you and the production recognition for the quality of the cinematography, enhancing your CV and giving you a high quality plaque for your wall. It is a unique opportunity to have your work evaluated and positioned.

Who can enter

To enter you need to be a member of NZCS and you must be the principal photographer of the entry, the episode or segment entered - meaning you were totally responsible for the visual content and lighting. You may enter more than one production. If you are not a member you may join prior to entering.

Eligible productions

Any production shot by a member of NZCS and publicly released in the three years* before the closing date for entries may be entered. This year (2021), release date period is from August 1st 2018 through to 7th August 2021. The production may have been released via any distribution channel, but a feature film must have had a theatrical release first, and television dramas must not have had a theatrical first release.

In the category Specialised and Second Unit part of a production may be entered, for example an aerial, underwater, or second unit sequence. For more details see categories page.

If you have entered a production in past NZCS Awards, it is not eligible to be entered again.

*We have allowed the period to be three years this year (instead of the usual two) to account for the deferral of our Awards in 2020


Award categories

  1. Music Videos
  2. Short films
  3. News and current affairs
  4. Magazine lifestyle and reality
  5. Corporate, informational and educational
  6. Commercials
  7. Specialised and second unit
  8. Documentaries and factual series
  9. Web series
  10. Drama series
  11. Feature films

Awards event

A black tie awards dinner will be held on Saturday 16th October 2021 at the Cordis Hotel Great Room in Auckland. The 2019 NZCS Awards dinner was a fantastic event, and we aim to repeat that success this year.

Al Guilford Emerging Cinematographer Award

This award is a memorial to cinematographer Al Guilford NZCS and is awarded to the best cinematography entry from an emerging  New Zealand-based cinematographer. 

Cutting Edge Award

The cutting edge award is a discretionary award made in some years by the judges to a cinematographer for breaking new ground in technical, creative, or craft in New Zealand. An entrant can enter themselves alongside the category awards, however judges may also award it from among other entries.

Turtz award for contribution toward cinematography

The Turtz award for contribution toward cinematography is made in memory of the influential camera department icon Ian Turtill.

This award is wide ranging and may cover any type of contribution to cinematography in New Zealand. NZCS members may nominate someone for this award, which is usually made to someone who is not a working professional cinematographer themselves. 

Cinematographer of the Year

The Cinematographer of the Year Award will be the climax of the awards dinner, and is a best-in-the-show award selected by the judges from all the entries. 

NZCS Major National Sponsor

NZCS Platinum Sponsors

NZCS Gold Sponsors


NZCS Awards Silver Sponsors


NZCS Awards additional in-kind sponsors



NZCS other corporate members

Ariel Camera Limited
CR Kennedy NZ Ltd
Halcyon Digital
Māui Virtual Production Ltd
Reel Factory
Rubber Monkey

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