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banner Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 09:59 GMT
Kiwis hail Rings director Jackson
Peter Jackson praised the film's 2,500-strong crew
Peter Jackson praised the film's 2,500-strong crew
The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has been hailed as the man who put "New Zealand on top of the film world" by the media in his home country.

The Fellowship of the Ring, the first instalment of JRR Tolkien's epic trilogy, has emerged as leader in the race for this year's Academy Awards, with 13 Oscar nominations, including best picture.

I'm thrilled that so many Kiwis have been nominated

Peter Jackson
The hit movie was made in New Zealand and has given the country its highest profile in the film world for years, with New Zealand-born Russell Crowe also nominated for an Oscar.

Jackson paid tribute to the huge crew of 2,500 people, many of them fellow Kiwis - as people from New Zealand are known - after the film earned the second highest tally of Oscar nominations in history.

"Those 13 nominations, because they are in every department ofproduction, pre-production, design, post-production have touched every one of those 2,500 people," he said.

"The awards are a by-product, they are not the reason you make a film. But I'm thrilled that so many Kiwis have been nominated."

Sir Ian McKellen is nominated for his role as Gandalf
Sir Ian McKellen: Nominated for his role as Gandalf
He would not prepare an acceptance speech, he said, because "that will bring bad luck".

The headline in the Evening Post newspaper in Jackson's home town Wellington read: "Oscar smiles on Jackson."

The director, who was relatively unknown before making The Fellowship of the Ring, was nominated for best director and best adapted screenplay.

Another New Zealander, special effects wizard Richard Taylor, won three nominations for costumes, make-up and visual effects.

The film also picked up nods for music, editing, sound and cinematography among others while UK actor Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf, was named in the list for best supporting actor.

Russell Crowe has won acclaim for A Beautiful Mind
Russell Crowe has won acclaim for A Beautiful Mind
The nominations were "a standout achievement", according to New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Ruth Harley.

This year's short-list set a record for individual New Zealand nominations, and the local media also highlighted the country's other Oscars nods.

Shrek co-director Andrew Adamson, whose film is named in the best animated feature film list, was born in the country, while Russell Crowe is up for best actor for his role in A Beautiful Mind.

A Beautiful Mind is expected to be a strong challenger for the coveted best picture prize.

It garnered eight mentions on the shortlist, the same number as lavish musical Moulin Rouge.

Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent are both nominated
Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent are both nominated
The best picture category is completed by In The Bedroom and Gosford Park, which has seven nods.

It was also a good year for UK actors and actresses, with eight stars nominated.

They included Dame Judi Dench, who is on the best leading actress shortlist for her role as novelist Iris Murdoch in Iris, and Tom Wilkinson, who has a leading actor nod for In The Bedroom.

The academy's 5,500 voting members - described as "feature-film professionals" - decide who is nominated for Oscars.

The winners will be announced on Sunday 24 March in a lavish ceremony at the Oscars' new Hollywood home, the Kodak Theater.

Last year saw Gladiator win five awards, with Erin Brockovich, Traffic and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon also doing well.

The Lord of the Rings
Watch a clip from The Lord of the Rings
See also:

30 Dec 01 | Film
Rings director given NZ honour
19 Dec 01 | Film
New Zealand embraces Rings
26 Mar 01 | Film
Crowe leads Gladiator to glory
29 Jun 01 | Film
Bringing Shrek to life
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