DEGNZ is pleased to announce the participants for the 2021 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator. The Incubator is a year-long programme of five workshops intended to advance the projects and careers of female directors.

Established screen industry practitioners from New Zealand and Australia come into the Incubator to provide insight into forging sustainable careers as a director through interactive discussions, practical exercises and in-depth information, at the same time expanding the networks of our directors throughout the film, TV and online sectors.

After considerable discussion, a panel of four external selectors and DEGNZ’s Executive Director settled on seven participants for the 2021 Incubator. They are:

Matasila Freshwater, Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, Niva Kay, Nahyeon Lee, Hweiling Ow, Cian Elyse White and Zoey Zhao.

The DEGNZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator is made possible through the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

 

MATASILA FRESHWATER (Solomon Islands/Pākehā) is a writer/director passionate about exploring cultural complexities through storytelling. Matasila was responsible for the Solomon Islands section of award-winning feature, Vai (2019), which premiered at Berlinale, featured at SXSW and won a Special Jury Award at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Best Feature Narrative at DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. Her first film Shmeat (2016), was a finalist in NZIFF’s Best Shorts programme, competed at the Sitges International Fantasy Film Festival, and won Best Animation at A Night of Horror Film Festival in Sydney. Recent projects have included writing/directing on The Feijoa Club Season 2, and Prime horror anthology series, Teine Sā: The Ancient ones with her short piece Hiama. Mata is show-running her first animated series ENDLING, currently in preproduction for TVNZ HeiHei.

Mata holds an MA in Scriptwriting from Victoria University IIML with a feature film selected for Script to Screens’ 2020 Film Up programme. In 2019 she was awarded a special grant through the NZFC Annual Gender Scholarship, won SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year, and in April 2020 became one of the inaugural Arts Foundation Springboard recipients, under the mentorship of Tusi Tamasese.

GHAZALEH GOLBAKHSH is an Iranian-New Zealand writer, filmmaker and Fulbright scholar.

Ghazaleh has made various short films including the recent documentary This is Us which centred on Muslim New Zealanders for RNZ and NZ On Air. She is currently developing her first comedy feature with Ainsley Gardiner and Georgina Conder. Other upcoming projects include directing the first ever PASC funded short film Night Visions and co-producing the NZ On Air documentary series Hair Now for the Spinoff. Ghazaleh recently finished her PhD in Media and Communication.

NIVA KAY is a filmmaker passionate about storytelling, environmental and social justice. She is the co-founder of The Rebel Film Collective, which is behind the co-creation of the feature documentary High Tide Don’t Hide. Niva has built a successful career as a digital producer, creating content in various media forms, including writing, photography, videography and graphics.

She is co-author of the number one best selling book ‘The Abundant Garden’. Niva and her partner established Pakaraka Permaculture, a regenerative market garden and education centre on the Coromandel Peninsula.

NAHYEON LEE is a writer and director raised in Aotearoa with Korean heritage. Since graduating with a Master of Arts in drama directing, Nahyeon has been attached to screen and stage productions that champion underrepresented voices; engaging with the breadth of experiences in the Asian diaspora.

She created and directed the anthology short film for TVNZ OnDemand, Myth of the Model Minority, and her MA thesis short film Sixteen was selected for the San Diego Asian Film Festival and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival’s 2020 programme. She was one of the the directors for the CNZ funded Portraits; a series of short documentaries centred on Asian creatives in Aotearoa. Current projects include writing her debut play for Proudly Asian Theatre (PAT) called The First Prime-Time Asian Sitcom that has undergone development with PAT and Auckland Theatre Company’s Here and Now Young Writer’s Table. Nahyeon has attended various directing and writing workshops with Script to Screen, DEGNZ and PASC including Story Camp, Before Fade In and Short Cuts.

HWEILING OW, upon arriving to New Zealand, was bitten by a radioactive Weta that made her fall stupendous in love with film-making. She has since developed muti-hyphenated skills in the areas of producing, writing, directing and acting, and has been taking the world by storm with her online digital series and short horror films that have garnet millions of views. She has also successfully received New Zealand funding for numerous local productions. Like a moth drawn to a flame thrower, she is attracted to telling genre stories with a migrant twist. Her quirky cheery view of the world influences the type of projects she is captivated by.

CIAN ELYSE WHITE has had an extensive career in professional theatre, TV and film as an actress. In 2017, Cian wrote her Te Reo Māori short film Daddy’s Girl (Kōtiro) which received the Fresh 30K grant in 2018 and won the 2020 NZIFF Best Shorts audience award. Daddy’s girl (Kōtiro) has also been selected for Show Me Shorts, ImagiNATIVE, Asinabka, Hawaiian International Film Festival and was the first NZ film to be selected for Geena Davis Bentonville Film Festival in August this year.

Cian has a burning desire to tell stories that uplift the Māori voice and explore themes that are topical and relevant to our current social climate. In March 2020, Cian was one of 8 selected to partake in FilmUp run by Script to Screen. Cian has been working on her next short film, PUHI, and has completed a DEGNZ TV Drama Director Attachment on Vegas, shot in her home town of Rotorua.

ZOEY ZHAO is an Auckland-based filmmaker of Chinese descent. She gained a Masters in Screen Production at the University of Auckland in 2020. Fuelled by a never-ending urge to challenge herself, Zoey not only directed but also produced her graduation film, Foods For Coping. This film was selected to screen at the Show Me Short Film Festival around the country and it also screened internationally in the Miami Film Festival, WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival and awarded a Certificate of Merit for Solo Filmmaking by the Rochester International Film Festival.

From her background of working on-set and behind the camera, Zoey is capable of giving the audience a comprehensive and fulfilling experience by focusing on a modern social issue and the relationship upheaval surrounding it. She greatly admires working with female leaders in the field and she has a passion for developing fellow women. Zoey’s imagination and dedication are her greatest strengths. She always aims to give her best – expect nothing less.

For the first time in its five-year history and as part of its Diversity focus, the DEGNZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator for 2021 will focus solely on a Diversity call for applications.

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ welcomes applications from Māori, Pacific Island, Pan-Asian and other POC female directors to take part in this talent development programme.

Background

The overall vision of the DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator is to empower the participating directors with the confidence, knowledge and connections that they can use to go on and direct a feature film, drama or scripted series.

The Incubator is intended primarily for emerging debut directors of feature film (drama or documentary), but will also consider those wishing to establish careers in TV drama and scripted content.

Applicants must apply with a project, but the Incubator is primarily focused on filmmaker development, not project development.

The objectives of the Incubator are:

  • Increase the number of women directing features and TV drama.
  • Connect producers, broadcasters and funders with female directors with a view to getting more female-centric stories into and through development.
  • Create networking opportunities for women directors to further their projects and careers.
  • Inspire and encourage women directors to passionately pursue feature film and drama directing careers through interaction with successful women who serve as role models.
  • Improve directors’ understanding of the business of film and television drama.
Workshops

Participants will attend five one-day workshops across 2021 with the first scheduled to take place in late April. All workshops are intended to be held in Auckland, and a travel allowance will be available for participants based in other regions.

Participants need access to a computer (recommended) or another device to participate online via Zoom, if the workshops are affected by COVID-19 Alert Levels.

The workshops are individually themed to provide specific knowledge, networks, skills, and inspiration that enable participants to advance themselves and their careers. As the global screen industry undergoes constant change at this time, DEGNZ will remain flexible as to the actual content of the programme, seeking to incorporate information and opportunities that are relevant.

 


Eligibility

All applicants will be expected to have a good level of directing experience with scripted content, such as acclaimed web series, shorts with festival success, TV commercials, or broadcast content.

Applicants must:
  1. Have an active project (feature film, documentary feature, telefeature, TV/online drama or scripted series) in development that has never been presented to a broadcaster or funder. It is preferable that the project is at least at first draft script but if not available, there must be a detailed Writer’s Treatment for the project. A Director’s Treatment that includes Style, Tone, Imagery, Look & Feel, etc. is NOT requested. The applicant does not have to be the writer on the project.
  2. Have experience as a director of scripted content (drama, comedy) or documentary in the form of the project they are submitting, i.e. if you are applying with a narrative drama project, you must have experience directing narrative drama or if it’s comedy, experience directing comedy, etc.
  3. Have a directing credit on one of the following:
    • a short film selected for one of the NZFC’s Recommended Short Film Festivals, the New Zealand International Film Festival, Show Me Shorts Film Festival or any regional film festival in New Zealand. You need to supply in your filmography and links section the Festival Name, Year of Selection, and a link to the full film or content selected, for viewing purposes.
    • a commissioned scripted one-off or series by a broadcaster or digital platform. You need to supply in your filmography and links section the Broadcaster or Platform Name, Year of First Broadcast/Play, and a link to content commissioned, for viewing purposes.
  4. For feature film, be a debut director.
  5. Be available to participate in all workshops.
  6. Identify as female and be of Māori, Pacific Island, Pan-Asian or other POC heritage.
  7. Be a NZ Citizen or permanent resident.
Membership

Selected participants must be DEGNZ Full members for the duration of the Incubator programme.

 


How to Apply

Application Deadline: 9AM, Monday 12 April 2021

Application Requirements:

  1. A completed DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator Application Cover Sheet (PDF 291KB).
  2. A one-page synopsis of the project with the ending revealed.
  3. A maximum two-page letter stating what your career goals are and why you want to participate in this Incubator.
  4. A one-page bio (not a CV).
  5. A filmography and links to completed work that supports the project you are including with this application. Include details as per eligibility requirement 3.

Compile your documents into one single PDF in the order matching requirements 1 – 5.

Give the single PDF the following naming convention: (YourName)_DEGNZWomenFilmmakersIncubator_2021

Send your application to admin@degnz.co.nz with DEGNZWFI2021 in the subject line.

Selection Process

A selection panel will shortlist candidates. Shortlisted candidates must be available for a one-on-one interview via Zoom to be held in the week of April 12. Getting an interview does not imply that you have been selected for the Incubator.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to immediately supply prior to the interview a detailed Writer’s Treatment of your active project (different to your 1-page synopsis). The treatment needs to be within a minimum of 5 pages to a maximum of 10 pages.

The Incubator participants will be selected from the shortlist following the interview.

Decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

 

The Incubator is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC


Questions about the Incubator?

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director
tui@degnz.co.nz
+64 9 360 2102

 

We have had the great pleasure of running our Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator programme over this past year in spite of a few COVID challenges along the way. Congratulations to our 2020 Incubator alumni Michelle Ang, Charlotte Evans, Pennie Hunt, Stella Reid, Rachel Ross, Jessica Grace Smith and Kathleen Winter!

Many thanks goes to our facilitator Philippa Campbell, all our special guests and speakers and our funder, the New Zealand Film Commission.



Speed dating with producers at the Incubator

2020 DEGNZ Incubator

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is delighted to introduce the seven directors selected for the fourth DEGNZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator:

Michelle Ang, Charlotte Evans, Pennie Hunt, Stella Reid, Rachel Ross, Jessica Grace Smith and Kathleen Winter

From June onwards, the directors will take part in five one-day workshops tailored to provide specific knowledge, networks, skills, and inspiration to enable them to advance themselves and their careers. The 2020 programme is organised by DEGNZ, facilitated by producer Philippa Campbell and made possible with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission. Philippa is an Emmy, Golden Globe and PGA award nominee as the producer of Jane Campion’s international hit television series Top of the Lake and Top of the Lake: China Girl.

We look forward to mentoring this talented group of filmmakers!

 

MICHELLE ANG is an Emmy and Logie nominated actress with work spanning New Zealand, Australia and the USA. She won Best Actress at the New Zealand Film Awards for My Wedding And Other Secrets. She has had the privilege of working with top directors such as Jane Campion, Jodie Foster, John Hillcoat and Steven Soderbergh. Her performances have been seen at festivals including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin. She produced her first feature For Izzy, attended the Sundance Director Lab 2018 and has directed music videos. She is currently in post-production for her self-funded short film NAI (Milk), which she wrote, directed and produced in Los Angeles. She was accepted into the MAP Screen Development Producer Training course and is working on creating a slate of projects.

Michelle Ang

CHARLOTTE EVANS is a Film Director based in Auckland, NZ. She started her film career in London in 2008 where she trained as a film editor for 2 years under the guidance of award-winning film editor Rick Waller. Charlotte has created music videos for a number of prominent artists such as Kimbra, Aldous Harding, Benee and Marlon Williams. In 2018 Charlotte’s directed an all-female team to create a film that commemorated 125 years of suffrage in New Zealand, with funding from NZ On Air. This project received an Honoree Webby Award, Silver at the NZCINE awards, Silver at Best Design Awards and Won Best Costume Design at NZTV awards. Four of Charlotte’s music videos made official selection at the Clipped Music Video Festival 2019. Recently Charlotte and her team of female filmmakers were selected for Loading Docs 2020 for their Short doco on Chlöe Swarbrick, who will also be the subject for a longer-form documentary. She is currently in production on a short doco about Rob Tennent and in development on a short film with comedians Hamish Parkinson and Brynley Stent.

Charlotte Evans

PENNIE HUNT is a writer and director based in Port Chalmers, Dunedin. She began making films during her nine years living and working in Germany with her shorts Earth, Hell, Heaven (financed by the Bavarian Film Commission) and Freakwave showing internationally including at Palm Springs, Hof and Aesthetica.

In 2016 Pennie returned to New Zealand and embarked on a Postgraduate Diploma in Filmmaking while working on her third short Milk. Funded by grants from Short Film Otago and the Dunedin City Council, as well as a successful crowdfunding campaign, Milk continues its run at festivals around the world.

With a slate of female-centric screenplays across several genres, Pennie is an accomplished storyteller. Her debut feature Riding Blind was the recipient of an Otago Southland Writer’s Residency and a NZWG Seed Grant in 2019.

Pennie Hunt

STELLA REID, wahine Pākehā, hails from Te Whanganui-A-Tara. A graduate of Toi Whakaari, Stella has won a Scotsman Fringe First, a Stage UK Acting Excellence Award, and was a 2019 nominee for Wellingtonian of the Year (Arts). Her NZ On Air, NZ Film Commission and The Body Shop funded short film, Drop Down Globe, which was a Someday Story, can be viewed on Māori Television OnDemand. A lifelong love affair with short stories has slowly developed into an anthology webseries, BURBS, of which she directed and wrote several episodes. The series, a love letter to Wellington, has tens of thousands of views on Youtube. Recently she has devised and performed in Small Ponds, a TV proof of concept, by Duncan Sarkies. Before lockdown she was the acting coach on the feature film Poppy, and developing a short film with writer Eamonn Marra for an anthology based on the book Headlands. She is looking ahead to being the Write Room Wellington Screenwriter Resident for 2020.

Stella Reid

RACHEL ROSS’ shorts credits include 2011’s Taylor receiving top mention in its category at Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, 2017’s NZIFF premiere and MIFF selection Have You Tried, Maybe, Not Worrying? and NZ Show Me Shorts Premiere and BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica for comedy piece Number Two. Rachel was selected for the 2017 Accelerator Lab in Melbourne with Have You Tried, Maybe, Not Worrying? Earlier in 2017 Rachel was the recipient of a 2017 New Zealand Film Commission’s Talent Development Grant. This $10,000 screenwriting grant enabled her to spend 8 weeks at the New York Film Academy developing her first feature screenplay.

In June 2019 Rachel was the recipient of the New Zealand Film Commission Grant, Catalyst He Kauahi. This grant dedicates $75,000 towards her short Green (on top of $8,000 Boosted funding) and $10,000 towards further script development for her feature Exhale. Rachel is now in post-production for Green and in development with Exhale.

Rachel Ross

JESSICA GRACE SMITH is a New Zealand actor, writer and director currently based in Auckland. Jessica graduated from Toi Whakaari in 2009 and over the past ten years acting she has observed many different directing styles. Of these she has integrated those which most resonated with her as a performer and storyteller in her own directing work. Her directorial debut, Everybody Else Is Taken (2017) won a Jury Award at the Academy-Award accredited Palm Springs International ShortFest and went on to screen at many festivals worldwide. Her second short FLIP (2019), funded by the NZFC, premiered at Toronto After Dark and just won an award (TBA) at ConCarolinas Short Film Festival in North Carolina. Her most recent work is Bondi Slayer, a Screen Australia funded digital series, shot on location in Sydney. Jessica has a passion for working on female driven projects, and makes a considered effort to approach women first when forming her crew.

Jessica Grace Smith

KATHLEEN WINTER is an independent filmmaker of Irish and Pākehā descent based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington. She is a graduate of the New Zealand Film and Television School and Robin Laing Scholarship recipient.

Her short documentary and web-series work has centered politically challenging stories that reflect real lives and uplift communities.

Topics her recent work has explored include:

  • Takatāpuitanga and Pride spaces (in the short film He Kākano Ahau – From The Spaces In Between)
  • The experiences of women working minimum-wage jobs in Aotearoa (in the web-series Minimum, supported by NZOnAir for RNZ)
  • Colonisation and Pākehā responsibility (in the web-series Land of the Long White Cloud, supported by NZOnAir for The NZ Herald and RNZ).

She is interested in stories of gender and sexual diversity, local history and grassroots movements, nerd culture, tino rangatiratanga and re-indigenisation, working-class and women’s stories, and ultimately – revolution.

Kathleen Winter

We are excited to announce that the DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator will be going online in 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis and will resume face-to-face workshops when safe to do so.

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is now accepting applications from female directors to take part in the fourth year of this talent development programme.

Background

The overall vision of the DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator is to empower the participating directors with the confidence, knowledge and connections that they can use to go on and direct a feature film, drama or scripted series.

The Incubator is intended primarily for emerging debut directors of feature film (drama or documentary), but will also consider those wishing to establish careers in TV drama and scripted content.

Applicants must apply with a project, but the Incubator is primarily focused on filmmaker development, not project development.

The objectives of the Incubator are:

  • Increase the number of women directing features and TV drama.
  • Connect producers, broadcasters and funders with female directors with a view to getting more female-centric stories into and through development.
  • Create networking opportunities for women directors to further their projects and careers.
  • Inspire and encourage women directors to passionately pursue feature film and drama directing careers through interaction with successful women who serve as role models.
  • Improve directors’ understanding of the business of film and television drama.

The Incubator comprises five one-day workshops across 2020 with the first scheduled to take place in May 2020. Participants need access to a computer (recommended) or mobile to participate in online workshops via Zoom. If it becomes safe to resume public gatherings, remaining workshops will be held in Auckland. A travel allowance will be available for participants based in other regions.

The workshops are individually themed to provide specific knowledge, networks, skills, and inspiration that enable participants to advance themselves and their careers. As the global screen industry undergoes constant change during this turbulent time, DEGNZ will remain flexible as to the actual content of the programme, seeking to incorporate information and opportunities that are relevant.

Eligibility

All applicants will be expected to have a good level of directing experience with scripted content, such as acclaimed web series, shorts with festival success, TV commercials, or broadcast content.

Applicants must:

  • Have an active project (feature film, documentary feature, telefeature, TV/online drama or scripted series) in development that has never been presented to a broadcaster or funder. It is preferable that the project is at least at first draft script but if not available, there must be a detailed treatment for the project.
  • Have experience as a director of scripted content (drama, comedy) or documentary in the form of the project they are submitting, i.e. if you are applying with a narrative drama project, you must have experience directing narrative drama or if it’s comedy, experience directing comedy, etc.
  • For feature film, be a debut director.
  • Be available to participate in all workshops.
  • Be a NZ Citizen or permanent resident.

Membership

Selected participants must be DEGNZ members for the duration of the Incubator programme; they can be on either a Full or Associate membership level until 1 October 2020 as the Guild has reviewed its memberships in response to COVID-19. After 1 October, participants are required to be Full members, unless the Guild has decided to extend its Membership Holiday programme.

Selection Process

A selection panel will shortlist candidates. Shortlisted candidates must be available for a one-on-one interview via Zoom to be held around the end of April 2020. Getting an interview does not imply that you have been selected for the Incubator.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to immediately supply prior to the interview a detailed treatment of your project (different to your 1-page synopsis). The treatment needs to be within a minimum of 5 pages to a maximum of 10 pages.

The Incubator participants will be selected from the shortlist following the interview.

Decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: 5PM, Friday 17 April 2020

Application Requirements:

  1. Completed DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator Application Cover Sheet. Available here
  2. A one-page synopsis of the project with the ending revealed.
  3. A maximum two-page letter stating what your career goals are and why you want to participate in this Incubator.
  4. A one-page bio (not a CV).
  5. A filmography and links to completed work that supports the project you are including with this application.

Compile your documents into one single PDF* in the order matching requirements 1 – 5.

Give the single PDF the following naming convention: (YourName)_DEGNZWomenFilmmakersIncubator_2020

Send your application to admin@degnz.co.nz with DEGNZWFI2020 in the subject line.

 

* Online PDF merge tool

 

The Incubator is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC