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Sally receives Best Director & Best Ensemble Cast Awards at New Zealand WebFest for Shakespeare Republic

Sally McLean accepting award for Best Ensemble Cast at NZ Webfest

The end of 2021 was an absolute whirlwind of activity, and it only got busier with a new acting gig and a separate new directing gig in the first three months of 2022, which means I’m only just catching up on updating this news section! There is a lot to get through, so there will be a flurry of posts over the next few weeks – fair warning!

I have to start the good news sharing with this amazing thing that happened in November over in New Zealand. In a night of amazing outcomes, I was so thrilled to be able to accept the awards for Best Ensemble Cast (International Narrative) and Best Director (International Narrative) for my (and my fellow cast’s) work on Shakespeare Republic: #AllTheWebsAStage (The Lockdown Chronicles)!

This marked the second time the series had been officially selected and nominated for the festival – but the first time we won! As you can see from the above videos of my acceptance speeches, I was overwhelmed and so grateful. Still am!

My fellow nominees in the Best Director category were all amazing – including the two special mention nominees, the fabulous Leah Cameron, who directed critically acclaimed The Communist’s Daughter (streaming on CBC Gem) and was a Canadian Screen Awards (Canadian Oscars) nominee for Best Director this year and the lovely Martijn Winkler who directed the equally critically acclaimed Dutch series Hitte, who has a Rose d’Or and a Webby Award already in his collection.

And the wide range of talent on display in the Best Ensemble Award category was humbling and so thrilling to be listed alongside! To win the award was wonderful but unexpected, especially as we were up against series such as ABC iView’s Detention Adventure and the Netflix Philippine series Like In The Movies!

I am still so thrilled with this acknowledgement of the work, and to be honest, of my work as a director and actor. It’s rare to receive accolades for both roles in the one project and at the same festival, and it is something that means an awful lot to me – particularly as it came from our Kiwi cousins!

More news to come, as threatened earlier, but until the next update – stay safe, stay kind and take care of yourselves.

Sally 🙂