Meet the powerful collaborators behind Disney’s Mulan: Director Niki Caro (MNZM) and Cinematographer Mandy Walker (ACS, ASC) at WIFT Virtual’s Excellence in Craft Episode 3


Australia: 12.00pm – 1.00pm AEST, Saturday 12th September 2020
New Zealand: 2.00pm – 3.00pm NZST, Saturday 12th September 2020
Los Angeles: 7.00pm – 8.00pm PT, Friday 11th September 2020


To attend this event registration is required. Free for DEGNZ and WIFT NZ members and by donation for non-members. Register with Eventbrite HERE

WIFT Australia is proud to present these two outstanding filmmakers in conversation online to share their unique insight into the creative process of Disney’s live-action production Mulan.

Mulan was shot in New Zealand and China in 2018. The dynamic on-set team, director Niki Caro (MNZM) and cinematographer Mandy Walker (ACS, ASC) came together for this historic project.

This event is also notable as WIFT Australia’s first major collaboration with WIFT NZ.

“WIFT Virtual is honoured to offer members and a global audience the opportunity to listen and learn from these two talented women. Mulan is a landmark for gender representation on set. We hope Disney’s lead inspires other production companies to hire more female teams” says Katrina Irawati Graham, Chair of WIFT Australia.

In this intimate conversation Caro and Walker will also share personal success stories and tips on maintaining creative drive during the COVID-19 lockdown. An opportunity will be provided for the audience to post questions for the Q&A segment.

Disney’s Mulan begins streaming September 4, exclusively available to Disney+ subscribers with Premier Access. Additional fee required.

WIFT Virtual’s Excellence in Craft Episode 3 will be held online Saturday 12th September at 12-1pm AEST/Friday 11th September at 7-8pm PST

About the Speakers

Niki Caro’s (Director) first feature, “Memory & Desire” (1997), was in the lineup at the Cannes Film Festival and won a Special Jury Prize at the New Zealand Film Awards. Her second feature film, “Whale Rider,” won 27 international awards, at prestigious international film festivals such as Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Seattle and Maui. The film earned an Academy Award® nomination for Keisha Castle-Hughes.

Caro then directed “North Country,” starring Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek and Woody Harrelson. Theron and McDormand were nominated for best actress and best supporting actress respectively at the 2005 Academy Awards®, Golden Globe® Awards, BAFTAs, Satellite Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards®. Caro’s more recent feature-length films include “A Heavenly Vintage,” “McFarland, USA,” “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

Mandy Walker (Cinematographer) has shot 18 feature films, including “The Mountain Between Us” (2017), “Hidden Figures” (2016), “Truth” (2015), “Tracks” (2013), “Australia” (2007) and “Shattered Glass” (2003), along with many commercials. She has been the recipient of many cinematography awards over the years.

Walker is also on the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is on the board of American Society of Cinematographers; an accredited member and Hall of Fame honoree of the Australian Cinematographers Society; an executive member of Women in Film; and a board member of the NEB of the IATSE Local 600.

Pearl Tan (moderator) is currently the Senior Lecturer in Directing at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) overseeing the Directing stream in the undergraduate program.

She was Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee within the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) and held positions on the MEAA Board and the National Performers Committee (NPC) for Actors Equity. She has been in the AFTRS Council, on the Screen Australia Gender Matters Taskforce, and was NSW Chapter Head for the Australian Directors Guild (ADG). Currently, she sits on the board of Critical Stages Touring and the ADG. She was also named a Woman of Influence by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac in 2016.

About WIFT Virtual

WIFT Virtual is a series of online events in 2020 produced by Yolandi Franken of WIFT NSW (WIFT Virtual Chair). WIFT QLD committee Events Manager Karolina Berkell-Kirk is the producer of the limited series Excellence in Craft.

This episode is sponsored by Screen Queensland, WIFT NZ, The Directors & Editors Guild of New Zealand, Disney’s Mulan and is supported by the Australian Directors Guild.


WIFT NZ is the largest pan-industry professional organisation in the Aotearoa New Zealand screen sector. A number of its members worked on Mulan and we celebrate Disney’s recognition of director Niki Caro, female talent, and commitment to diversity with this exciting eagerly-awaited film.

Screening links for media only, available upon request.

About Mulan

Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life in Disney’s “Mulan,” in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.

“Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Tzi Ma as Zhou, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Honghui; Ron Yuan as Sergeant Qiang; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin, suggested by the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.” The producers are Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and Jason Reed, with Bill Kong, Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Coddington and Mario Iscovich serving as executive producers.

ScreenSafe banner

Important information: Here are the links to the updated ScreenSafe COVID 19 Health and Safety Protocols including the updated information on the Alert Levels 2 and 3. All updates are highlighted in yellow on these documents.

All productions need to ensure they are operating to the ScreenSafe Health and Safety Standard and Protocols as they relate to your region and alert level.

To help with the individual production departments the Departmental Roles have been updated to include the alert levels 2 and 3.

It is now mandatory for any business or service to display the QR code for the tracing app at all entry points. Download your posters here.

Download updated important information for Level 3 here.

Thank you to ScreenSafe / SIGANZ for this information.

ScreenSafe banner

All productions need to ensure they are operating to the ScreenSafe COVID-19 Health & Safety Standard Protocols as they relate to your region and Alert Level. Visit the ScreenSafe COVID-19 page for the full toolkit and information on how to apply the Alert Levels to your production.

** IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: WorkSafe have confirmed that our ScreenSafe alert level procedure should remain the same with the addition of using masks. MORE INFORMATION HERE.

It is now mandatory for any business or service to display the QR code for the tracing app at all entry points. Businesses have till Wednesday 19th August to comply. Download your posters here

Download updated important information for Level 3 here.


Mask Wearing

Mask wearing is now recommended for all crew at Levels 2 and 3.

It is also required when performing close proximity tasks within level 2 and above, i.e for make-up or hair. 

Talent should wear masks when possible/when interacting with crew, although this will not be practical whilst on screen. 

Travel to/from Auckland

Travel to/from Auckland is only allowed if you are returning to your place of residence OR if you’re an essential worker.

Physical distancing and mask wearing is required for public transport and flights. 

Contact Tracing

All NZ businesses are required to use the NZ Government Trace App (or another appropriate digital tracing app). This includes all work sites, offices, locations and suppliers.

ScreenSafe Registration

ALL productions, including 1-person shoots, MUST register with ScreenSafe. 

It only takes 1 minute to do this:

Numbers on Set

There are no restrictions on the amount of people on a work site. However, each production needs to assess their own requirements vs. the overall need for physical distancing, hygiene and risk to cast, crew and the public.


1m physical distancing is required for all scripted action.

Talent must be able to dress themselves and do their own make up (under the guidance of crew if required).

No extras at Level 3.

Covid-19 Safety Notes

Every work site MUST have a site specific Level 3 Covid-19 plan in place.

Note: councils will not issue filming permits without a thorough Covid-19 plan + a ScreenSafe registration.

Thank you to ScreenSafe, The Screen Industry Guild and SPADA for putting this information together.

ScreenSafe banner

This is an update from ScreenSafe’s website on the wearing of masks:

UPDATE as of 12th August 2020 – IMPORTANT ADDENDUM FROM WORKSAFE: WorkSafe have confirmed that our ScreenSafe alert level procedure should remain the same with the addition of using masks. Please ensure that you add the wearing of Masks for everyone, at every alert level above Level 1. New government policy now recommends the wearing of masks wherever possible, so all crew, agency/client, visitors and talent whilst off screen should be wearing masks

As it is not possible to wear masks whilst on screen we should still be allowed to film talent as per guidelines around each level, but please note this is also subject to all other control measures around hygiene and non-contact as per each Level of the guidelines.

For up to date screen sector information and guidance on COVID-19 Health and Safety, visit ScreenSafe.

Unite against COVID-19

Dear Members,

We are all in this together. As your Guild, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you need support. Please find information below on the changes to Alert Levels, what this means for productions, and useful links. Our thanks to SPADA for collating the following information.

In case you missed last night’s breaking news – four positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected outside of managed isolation facilities, resulting in community detection for the first time in 102 days.

In response New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Levels are changing at 12 noon on Wednesday 12 August.

  • Auckland will move to Alert Level 3
  • The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2.

WATCH:  the full announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield(announcement begins at approx. 26:40).
From RNZ: Under level 3 in Auckland, people are to work from home unless they are essential workers, and stay in their bubbles. Bars and restaurants will have to close, and restrictions come in place for funerals and weddings.

“Travelling into Auckland is prohibited unless you normally reside there and are travelling home.”

People in Auckland but not from the city can return home, but must be aware of symptoms. Anyone with symptoms is advised to get a test

All key services, including pharmacies and supermarkets remain open. Food delivery is available under level 3. Childcare and schooling is only available for essential workers.

The government would provide the public with an update on Friday.

Screen Sector

All productions need to ensure they are operating to the ScreenSafe COVID-19 Health & Safety Standard Protocols as they relate to your region and Alert Level. Visit the ScreenSafe COVID-19 page for the full toolkit and information on how to apply the Alert Levels to your production.

Contact your industry Guild for support as required. For more information on the Alert Levels and how this relates to your work and home life, please see below.

Changes to Alert Levels


Under Alert Level 3, you are encouraged work from home if you can.

Travel and self-isolation
If you are currently in Auckland and do not live in Auckland, we suggest that you go home. Practice good hygiene and be conscious of your health. We recommend that you keep your bubble small.

Businesses are able to open, but should not physically interact with customers.

Essential services including healthcare, justice services and businesses providing necessities are able to open.

Bars and restaurants should close, but takeaways are allowed.

Schools in Auckland can safely open but will have limited capacity. Where possible we encourage students to learn from home.

When you’re out and about
Maintain physical distancing of 2 metres outside your home, including on public transport.

It is highly recommended that you wear a mask if you are out and about.

Public transport can continue to operate with strict health and safety requirements. You should maintain physical distancing and wearing a mask.

Public venues should close. This includes libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds and markets.

Gatherings of up to 10 people can continue, but only for wedding services, funerals and tangihanga. Physical distancing and public health measures should be maintained.

At-risk people

People at high risk of severe illness such as older people and those with existing medical conditions are encouraged to stay at home where possible, and take additional precautions when leaving home.

Detailed information about life at Alert Level 3 is available.

Rest of New Zealand

The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 at 12 noon on Wednesday 12 August.

You can still continue to go to work and school, with physical distancing.

Wear masks if you can in public.

No more than 100 people at gatherings, including weddings, birthdays, funerals and tangihanga.

Businesses can open to the public if they are following public health guidance, which include physical distancing and record keeping.

People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, for example those with underlying medical conditions and old people are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home.

Practice good hygiene – stay home if sick.

Detailed information about life at Alert Level 2 is available.

Useful Links

NZ COVID-19 Page
ScreenSafe COVID-19 Page
RNZ COVID-19 Coverage
Health & Wellbeing during COVID-19
NZ COVID Tracer App – on App Store / on GOOGLE PLAY

Look after yourself, look after each other, be active with your hand washing and your contact tracing, and ask for help when you need it. 
He waka eke noa. We’re all in this together.