Wellywood is fast becoming the new Hollywood, with the New Zealand film industry set to feature at the upcoming Oscars, after several films collected awards at a precursor ceremony.
In other glitterati news, New Zealand actress Anna Paquin has been tipped as favourite to win best actress at today's Golden Globes for her role in the HBO television series True Blood, for the second year running.
Avatar, nominated for nine awards at the Critic's Choice Awards, in Los Angeles at the weekend, took away six, including best action movie. The awards are often an early indicator of Oscar success.
Other awards won included cinematography, editing, art direction and sound and visual effects.
Much of Avatar, directed by American blockbuster director James Cameron, was made in Wellington. The film is currently the second-highest-grossing film of all time.
Avatar producer Jon Landau declined to be drawn on the film's Oscar chances, or how much money writer/director James Cameron's blockbuster would make at the box office.
It is quickly catching up to the pair's all-time champ Titanic.
"I'm very excited about the whole season," Landau said. "I think it's a very competitive year this year. To be included with the group of movies that we are, it's very exciting."
District 9, produced by New Zealand's Sir Peter Jackson, claimed the award for best makeup, and Saoirse Ronan, who starred in Sir Peter's recent release The Lovely Bones, won best young actress.
The award ceremony has an 80 per cent success rate of selecting eventual Oscar best picture winners and a 70 per cent success rate of picking eventual director winners in the past 10 years.
This year's Oscars will be held on March 7.
- The Dominion Post