Update: Please see here for the latest update on postponement. The application deadline has been extended to Monday 8 November, 9am.

Call for applications

DEGNZ is delighted to present a workshop for new and emerging Pan-Asian directors, in association with the Pan-Asian Screen Collective. Film and television director Rob Sarkies will share his filmmaking process — from idea development to the edit — revealing how directors can adapt their process from project to project.

This will be a practical, foundational workshop full of practical hints to help you control that beast of a film or series, rather than letting it control you. The focus will be on scripted drama and comedy but documentary filmmakers are welcome.

Sessions will cover:

  • Development process (idea development, script development, working with the funder)
  • Process leading to production (script prep, visual prep, casting)
  • Pre-Production (rehearsal process, binding your collaborators to the same vision)
  • Practical process on set (scene blocking, working with cast, working with your DP)
  • Editorial process (techniques to stop you losing perspective)

About Rob Sarkies

Rob Sarkies

Credit: Matt Grace Photography

Rob’s work spans feature films, series television and commercials. His work includes acclaimed feature Out of the Blue about the Aramoana shootings, Consent based on Louise Nicholas’s fight for justice, Jean about aviator Jean Batten, black-comedy Two Little Boys, Wanted, The Gulf and NZ classic Scarfies.

Workshop Details

When: Dates TBC
Workshop to take place across one weekend; Saturday 9am – 5pm and Sunday 9am – 4pm

Where: TBC


This workshop is open to Pan-Asian members of DEGNZ / PASC. You must be over 18 as of 2 October 2021, and either a Resident, Permanent Resident or Citizen of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Applicants should, ideally, have at least some directing experience on a short film/other screen content OR can demonstrate that they are taking active steps towards directing. If you have a question, please contact tema@degnz.co.nz.

To Apply

Applications Close: Monday 8 November, 9AM

STEP 1: Submit the application form below.

STEP 2: Provide in a max. 2-page PDF:

  • A statement that summarises why you would like to participate and how you might benefit from this workshop as a screen director
  • A brief bio that includes any previous directing experience or training you have done
  • Your filmography

Please email your application to tema@degnz.co.nz. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Application Form


Made possible with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission


This workshop is part of a Directors & Editors Guild of NZ initiative aimed at supporting the development of emerging Pan-Asian, Pasifika and Māori directors

Presented in association with Pan-Asian Screen Collective

Last updated on 3 November 2021

View from the Top banner

Yesterday I was sitting all day on line in the National Affiliates Conference of the Council of Trade Unions.

There were three of us from the screen industry. Teachers, nurses, forestry workers, maritime workers, supermarket workers and everybody else who makes up the New Zealand workforce were also represented.

Every time I join these union discussions it brings home the fact that the screen industry is so entirely different from many others.

We are made up almost exclusively of contractors not employees. We are not protected by the Employment Relations Act. We don’t have collective bargaining. We go predominantly from short-term job to short-term job. We don’t get holiday pay. We can end up working below the minimum wage. These are just some of the differences.

But many of us are very fortunate in comparison to large numbers of employees in other sectors. Most of us love the work we do. We are engaged in a creative industry where self-expression is encouraged. A good number of people in our industry are well-paid at levels above the living wage.

Yes, not everything is great about our work situations and things could be better. That’s where the Screen Industry Workers Bill comes in. If we can get it across the line, and it looks like we will, then all of the guilds will be able to set minimum terms and conditions in negotiations with engagers (producers/production companies), both at an occupation level—for directors, editors, gaffers, grips, VFX supervisors, etc.—and hopefully at an enterprise level (individual productions). It will be a game changer.

The Government is also seeking a game changer for other industries through the Fair Pay Agreements, which they are working on now.

Fair Pay Agreements are kind of the Screen Industry Workers Bill for everybody else. You can read more about them here.

While it might seem like workers in other sectors have good representation and are able to collectively negotiate minimums and terms and conditions, that’s not the case. The Fair Pay Agreements system is designed to address that, introducing a means for sector wide collective agreements.

The Screen Industry Workers Bill, if it goes through, will be the first legislation in New Zealand to allow collective bargaining for contractors, which at this point is illegal, as it is seen as collusion and price fixing under New Zealand’s Commerce Act. The Commerce Act will be changed to allow collective bargaining for contractors to occur. Other contractors like Uber drivers and courier drivers are watching us with interest. It may be that the FPAs make allowance for contractors—still being discussed.

Ourselves, the New Zealand Writers Guild and Equity New Zealand have just finished a series of workshops around the country, thanks to the financial support of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). We covered off on the Screen Industry Workers Bill amongst other topics. We were pleased with the turnout, but there are still so many screen industry workers who need to understand the significant impact the Bill will have on them, and how important it is for them to participate in the democratic process that will occur as we go through negotiations.

Please help us spread the word about this important work by reading about the Screen Industry Worker Bill yourself if you haven’t already, and passing on the information in the links following:

  • First reading of the draft legislation in Parliament –videos of political party responses HERE
  • Written Submissions to the Education & Workforce Select Committee close –all written submission HERE
  • NZWG Written Submission to the Select Committee HERE
  • DEGNZ Written Submission to the Select Committee HERE
  • Equity Written Submission to select Committee HERE
  • Oral Submissions presented to the Education & Workforce Select Committee HERE
  • Select Committee report to Parliament HERE
  • You can read the Screen Industry Workers Bill in full HERE
  • Keep updated on the progress of the Bill HERE

Everybody has a part to play in helping New Zealand’s screen industry grow up and become a professional sector that encourages fair treatment, terms and conditions for all its workers.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 30 August 2021

Here is an update on the Guild’s September workshops and networking events to provide you with a bit of clarity in these uncertain times.

Editors & Assistant Editors Gathering – Wellington (Sep 1)

Cancelled – instead, DEGNZ and our editor board members will host an online gathering for all editors and assistants throughout the motu on September 8. The event will cover the same info we had planned for Wellington and includes time to meet one another in smaller breakouts. Register here >

Table Read Round Three (Sep 11)

Since the Table Read was already planned for online, there are fortunately no changes to announce. With script submissions closing on September 3, there’s still a bit of time to throw your hat in the ring for a chance to diagnose your script with a table read! Learn more >

Directing In the Intimate Zone – Auckland (Sep 12)

Postponed until Tamaki Makaurau is in Level 1. Registrations and applications will reopen once we have a new date.

Thanks for your understanding. This is all the updates we have for now. Stay safe and kia kaha.

Last updated on 30 August 2021

We are excited to hear that DEGNZ member Roseanne Liang will serve as a director on Netflix’s live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender! The series will follow the story depicted in the original Nickelodeon animated show, set in a fictional world of Four Nations, each being home to “benders” who can manipulate elements using martial arts.

Roseanne will direct an unknown number of episodes, alongside Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story) and Jabbar Raisani (Lost in Space, Game of Thrones). She will also serve as co-executive producer according to Deadline.

The series is still very much in pre-production and is reportedly shooting in Vancouver from November.

Last updated on 27 August 2021

Congratulations to our member Jaimee Poipoi who has been selected to partake in Write Room Wellington 2021. Jaimee will join the programme’s mentor team as this year’s Producer intern.

Mentors include DEGNZ members Rob Sarkies (Out of the Blue, Scarfies) and Max Currie (Rūrangi, Everything We Loved), as well as Briar Grace Smith (Cousins, The Strength of Water), Karin Williams (SIS, Mou Pirir: A Rarotongan Love Song) and Vicky Pope (Savage, Two Little Boys).

The deadline for submissions to Write Room Auckland has been extended till August 30, 5pm. Write Room Auckland provides industry-leading mentorship for one Auckland-based writer working on a feature film script. Find out more here.

Last updated on 27 August 2021