FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

23 May 2016

The Directors & Editors Guild of New Zealand (DEGNZ) is delighted to announce its year-long Women Filmmaker Incubator with financial assistance from the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC).

The Incubator, launching in the second half of 2016, will comprise of five workshops designed to give up to eight emerging female directors the opportunity to build their knowledge, skills and networks as a means to advance their careers and projects in the screen industry.

“One of our goals within the NZFC’s gender policy is to encourage proposals from Guilds that support and enhance the upskilling of women in the industry,” says NZFC CEO Dave Gibson.  “This programme fits that brief perfectly and compliments our 2016 Gaylene Preston Director’s Award.”

The Incubator targets women with a track record as a director in their area of focus and the intent to make their first feature or equivalent (corresponding work in TV, web series, feature documentary or drama).  Applicants will have a project in development that has not yet been presented to a network or funder.

Each workshop in the programme will bring in highly successful filmmakers and experts in a stepped approach that will develop participants’ confidence and capability to engage with the screen industry as they seek to get their own projects through development and into production.

“We have been working for close to a year to put this initiative in place,” said DEGNZ Executive Director Tui Ruwhiu. “We are extremely thankful to NZFC for providing financial support that will enable us to help address gender inequality for women directors.”

For DEGNZ, the Women Filmmaker Incubator is its latest effort focused on turning around the poor statistics for women directors in television drama and feature film in New Zealand, which reflect the trend internationally.

A call for applications for the Incubator will be issued in June.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Tui Ruwhiu

Executive Director

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

tui@degnz.co.nz

021-659-950

The New Zealand Film Commission invests in original and culturally significant films, encourages talented New Zealand filmmakers through developing career pathways and facilitating connections offshore, and works to increase the number of people seeing New Zealand films here and overseas.  It supports the growth of economic activity and helps ensure New Zealand has sustainable screen sector businesses operating within an internationally competitive screen sector.  The NZFC also helps negotiate co-production treaties and certifies co-productions and New Zealand films for tax purposes. www.nzfilm.co.nz

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is a not-for-profit membership organisation that represents Directors and Editors in the New Zealand screen industry. This includes Directors and Editors of feature drama and documentary; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; video art; animation; commercials and web content.

DEGNZ’s two primary roles are advocacy and professional development. We:

  • are dedicated to promoting excellence in the arts of directing and editing.
  • foster collegiality and unity within the screen industry.
  • promote members’ creative and economic rights.
  • work to improve industry working conditions and remuneration.
  • offer professional advice and information on contracts and industry standards and practice.
  • offer professional development events, networking opportunities, career advice, dispute resolution, mentoring, workshops, training, discounts and regular news bulletins for members across all levels of expertise, from novices to seasoned professionals.
  • is a voice for Directors and Editors in influencing policy in the interest of our members. We do this through our membership of the pan‐industry group SINZ (Screen Industry New Zealand), and by making submissions to government and public officials.
  • Internationally work co-operatively with other guilds and we belong to the International Affiliation of English‐Speaking Directors’ Organisations (IEASDO).

DEGNZ is Auckland-based with an office in Grey Lynn.

Contact Details:

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent

Grey Lynn

P.O. Box 47-294, Ponsonby

Auckland

+64-9-360-2102

admin@degnz.co.nz

www.degnz.co.nz

www.facebook.com/degnz

www.linkedin.com/in/degnz

@degnz_online

FBryn EvansOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

29 January 2016

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is thrilled to announce Bryn Evans as the recipient of our International Director’s Mentorship with award winning Canadian filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal.

“I feel both excited and inspired by the prospect of being mentored by Jennifer and anticipate that it will have an immense impact on my development as a filmmaker and the project we will be developing together,” said Evans.

“Bryn has a deep understanding of documentary possibility, and a clear expertise with form, as evidenced in his earlier work,” said Baichwal. “I commend Jennifer Baichwal imagehis desire to push the boundaries, and am looking forward to being part of that creative journey.”

For more than 20 years, Jennifer Baichwal has been making award-winning and critically acclaimed documentaries with Nick de Pencier through the pair’s Toronto-based company, Mercury Films Inc.

Baichwal’s strong documentary background and international success make her an ideal mentor for Evans, whose latest documentary feature Hip Hop-eration has screened in official selection around the world, from its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam to the DocAviv Documentary International Film Festival. It has also won a slew of awards including Best Documentary at the 2014 Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards and the Audience Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

“Jennifer’s approach to documentary is different than Bryn’s prior work, which should prove challenging and highy interesting for Bryn as a filmmaker,” said Executive Director of DEGNZ Tui Ruwhiu. “Her long experience in theatrical documentary will also give him great insights for the future.”

Currently, Baichwal is working on her latest feature documentary Anthropocene, the third in a trilogy of feature documentaries preceded by Watermark (2014) and Manufactured Landscapes (2006). Anthropocene follows an international group of geologists who want to change the name of our present interglacial epoch ‘Holocene’ to ‘Anthropocene’ in recognition of human impact.

As part of the mentorship, Jennifer will visit New Zealand to work with Bryn on developing his next project, A Season for Persimmons. This documentary delves into the story of Kiwi nurse Kathleen Hall who put herself on the line to smuggle medical supplies to the needy in China.

The mentorship is an industry professional development initiative funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and managed by DEGNZ. The overall intention of the International Director’s Mentorship is to inspire a promising New Zealand director and demystify the international film industry. The experience offers genuine insight into creative process and engagement with the industry as a whole, while providing a solid platform upon which to build an international career.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Tui Ruwhiu

Executive Director

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

tui@degnz.co.nz                  021-659-950

Bryn Evans

From searing reportage of some of the world’s conflict zones to personal journeys into one’s culture, Bryn has a passion for exposing the political, social and personal stories of the world that we live in.

After a successful international career as a photojournalist Bryn made his debut documentary with ‘The Great Game – Afghanistan’ (2002) an intimate profile of the Taliban National Cricket Team and their first International tour to Pakistan.

Since returning to New Zealand in 2003 Bryn has also directed and produced numerous current affairs and documentary productions, but in 2008 made his first cinematic feature length documentary; ‘From Street to Sky’ through the support of Maori Television.

An opportunity again came in 2014 to write and direct the hugely successful documentary Hip Hop-eration, which was a local box office success and has gone on to screen at cinemas around the world.

Its world premier was at the prestigious Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA). It won the Audience Awards at it’s US premier in Santa Barbara, the Two Rivers Film Festival in Poland and picked up the Best Feature Documentary Award at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival in the US. It also screened at the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlinale Film Festival market places.

Bryn’s current development slate is a reflection of his desire to work in feature length documentary – developing concepts with visual scope, entertainment value, non-conventional treatments and profoundly human, universal stories, with strong character-arcs.

Jennifer Baichwal

Jennifer Baichwal was born in Montréal and grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. She studied philosophy and theology at McGill University and received an M.A. in 1994, supported by a McGill Major Fellowship and a 2 year FCAR Master’s Scholarship.

She has been directing and producing documentaries for 15 years. Her first film, Looking You In The Back of the Head, an enquiry into the problem of personal identity, asked thirteen women to try to describe themselves and was first broadcast, to critical acclaim, on TVOntario’s From the Heart. It subsequently sold for broadcast across Canada.

Let it Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles, her first feature documentary, won a 1999 International Emmy for Best Arts Documentary. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1998 and was nominated that year for a Best Feature Documentary Genie Award. It won Best Biography at Hot Docs in 1999 and was picked up for theatrical release by Mongrel Media in Canada, Zeitgeist Films in the U.S., and Uplink in Japan. The film has been sold for broadcast all over the world, and has been selected for a number of international film and television festivals, including Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, FIPA, Banff (where it received a Rockie nomination), Istanbul and Edinburgh.

The Holier It Gets documents a trek Baichwal took with her brother and two sisters to the source of the Ganges river with her father’s ashes. The film won Best Independent Canadian Film and Best Cultural Documentary at Hot Docs 2000, Geminis for Best Editing and Best Writing and was nominated for the Donald Brittain Award and the Chalmers Documentarian Award. It was commissioned by TVOntario and features music by Ravi Shankar and John McLaughlin.

The True Meaning of Pictures is a feature length film on the work of Appalachian photographer Shelby Lee Adams. It was commissioned by TVOntario, Bravo!, SBS Australia and Discovery Germany. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2002 and was invited to the Sundance International Film Festival in January 2003. It won a Gemini award for Best Arts Documentary in 2003 and has played at numerous international festivals. The film was released on dvd by Docurama/New Video in October 2003.

Baichwal, along with Nick de Pencier, was commissioned in 2003-4 to make 40 short films on artists who have been supported over the past four decades by the Ontario Arts Council. These include writer Michael Ondaatje, artist Michael Snow, pianist Eve Egoyan and playwright Judith Thompson, and are in periodic rotation on TVOntario. The collection received a 2006 Gemini nomination for Best Direction in a Performing Arts Program or Series.

Manufactured Landscapes, a feature documentary about the work of artist Edward Burtynsky, was a co-production between Mercury Films, Foundry Films and the National Film Board. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2006 and won Best Canadian Feature Film, and has since received a number of other awards, notably a Genie for Best Documentary, Al Gore’s Reel Current Award and the 2006 Toronto Film Critics’ Award for Best Canadian Feature and Best Documentary 2006. It played theatrically in over 15 territories worldwide, after a prolonged and successful run in Canada.

Act of God, a feature documentary on the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning and another collaboration between Mercury and Foundry, opened the Hot Docs Film Festival in April 2009 and was released in Canada afterwards by Mongrel Media. It has since played at a number of international festivals, and was released by Zeitgeist Films in the U.S. and Against Gravity in Poland. The film features Paul Auster, Dannion Brinkley and Fred Frith. It was commissioned by The Documentary Channel in Canada, Arte in France and Channel 4 in the U.K.

In 2011 Baichwal completed Payback, a documentary adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, with the National Film Board of Canada and Ravida Din (Executive Producer, Quebec Production Centre). The film premiered in World Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012 and was released in Canada (Mongrel Media) in March, 2012 and the U.S. in April, 2012.

Watermark is a feature documentary film about human interaction with water around the world and marks Baichwal and de Pencier’s second collaboration with Edward Burtynsky. The documentary is co-directed by Burtynsky, produced and filmed by de Pencier. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013, was a box office success in Canada, playing theatres for 4 months. It won the Toronto Film Critic’s Association prize for Best Canadian Film in Jan 2014 and Best Documentary at the the Canadian Screen Awards 2014. It has been released in 10 territories around the world.

Baichwal is currently in research for another feature documentary project, Anthropocene, with Nick de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky, which will mark the third in a trilogy of collaborative films including Watermark and Manufactured Landscapes.

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is a not-for-profit membership organisation that represents Directors and Editors in the New Zealand screen industry. This includes Directors and Editors of feature drama and documentary; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; video art; animation; commercials and web content.

DEGNZ’s two primary roles are advocacy and professional development. We:

  • are dedicated to promoting excellence in the arts of directing and editing.
  • foster collegiality and unity within the screen industry.
  • promote members’ creative and economic rights.
  • work to improve industry working conditions and remuneration.
  • offer professional advice and information on contracts and industry standards and practice.
  • offer professional development events, networking opportunities, career advice, dispute resolution, mentoring, workshops, training, discounts and regular news bulletins for members across all levels of expertise, from novices to seasoned professionals.
  • are a voice for Directors and Editors in influencing policy in the interest of our members. We do this through our membership of the pan‐industry group SINZ (Screen Industry New Zealand), and by making submissions to government and public officials.
  • Internationally work co-operatively with other guilds and we belong to the International Affiliation of English‐Speaking Directors’ Organisations (IEASDO).

DEGNZ is Auckland-based with an office in Grey Lynn.

Contact Details:

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn

P.O. Box 47-294, Ponsonby

Auckland

+64-9-360-2102

admin@degnz.co.nz
www.degnz.co.nz
www.facebook.com/degnz
www.linkedin.com/in/degnz
@degnz_online

JAMIE LAWRENCE GETS NOD AS DIRECTOR ATTACHMENT ON DIRTY LAUNDRY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

21 December 2015

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ, NZ On Air and Filthy Productions are pleased to announce Jamie Lawrence as the director attachment on the Dirty Laundry TV series.

Lawrence will follow established New Zealand director Peter Burger on three episodes of Filthy Productions’ second NZ on Air funded drama production.

“I’m stoked to be selected for the attachment, and learn from Peter. He’s a director I aspire to,” said Lawrence. “I’m totally behind this initiative. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to gain unique experience and help bridge the gap between directing short and long form content.”

Managing Director of Filthy Productions, Steven Zanoski said the selection process, which included Producer Britta Hawkins and Director Peter Burger, had been rigorous due to high calibre of applicants.

“We narrowed the field to applicants who not only showed directorial flair but demonstrated a passion for television story-telling,” said Zanoski. “Jamie kept rising to the top through hot debate. In the end, it was obvious that Jamie’s talent and sensibilities sat most comfortably alongside Dirty Laundry’s characters and stories.”

“We are delighted to support Jamie’s further development as a director with this initiative,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

“Jamie is the third attachment through the DEGNZ/ NZ On Air TV Drama Director Attachment Initiative, and a deserving one,” said DEGNZ Executive Director Tui Ruwhiu. “He’s making a concerted effort to achieve an outstanding career as a screen director, and shadowing the talented Peter Burger will take him even further towards his goal.”

Lawrence has achieved a run of internationally successful short films while pursuing a career in TV commercials and promotional content with film production company 8 and at TVNZ’s internal creative agency Blacksand.

Dirty Laundry is a Filthy Productions comedy drama TV series for TV One. The 13 x one-hour, NZ On Air-funded production starts filming in February 2016. Produced by Britta Hawkins and created by Rachel Lang and Gavin Strawhan, Dirty Laundry centres on a middle-class family whose mother is jailed for money laundering. If her children want to keep the lifestyle to which they’re accustomed, they’ll need to keep the family business going.

This attachment is the third in the DEGNZ TV Drama Director Attachment Scheme, after actor and director Matthew Saville’s attachment to Screentime’s telefeature Bombshell: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, and actor and director Aidee Walker joining South Pacific Pictures drama series Westside.

The scheme is an industry professional development initiative funded by NZ On Air and the production company involved and managed by DEGNZ. It is intended to give emerging drama directors the opportunity to shadow an experienced director through the pre-production, production and post-production process as a means to improve their craft skills. Three emerging directors will attach to New Zealand drama productions in the 2015/2016 year. The intended outcome is for the attachments to find work on domestic and international productions in New Zealand.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Tui Ruwhiu

Executive Director

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

tui@degnz.co.nz

021-659-950

Filthy Productions Ltd

Filthy Productions is a new company set up by Rachel Lang, Gavin Strawhan and Steven Zanoski, initially to produce the upcoming series FILTHY RICH for TV2.

The company’s focus is production based, with a philosophy that the best television drama and comedy is always driven by the creatives.

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is a not-for-profit membership organisation that represents Directors and Editors in the New Zealand screen industry. This includes Directors and Editors of feature drama and documentary; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; video art; animation; commercials and web content.

DEGNZ’s two primary roles are advocacy and professional development. We:

  • are dedicated to promoting excellence in the arts of directing and editing.
  • foster collegiality and unity within the screen industry.
  • promote members’ creative and economic rights.
  • work to improve industry working conditions and remuneration.
  • offer professional advice and information on contracts and industry standards and practice.
  • offer professional development events, networking opportunities, career advice, dispute resolution, mentoring, workshops, training, discounts and regular news bulletins for members across all levels of expertise, from novices to seasoned professionals.
  • are a voice for Directors and Editors in influencing policy in the interest of our members. We do this through our membership of the pan‐industry group SINZ (Screen Industry New Zealand), and by making submissions to government and public officials.
  • Internationally work co-operatively with other guilds and we belong to the International Affiliation of English‐Speaking Directors’ Organisations (IEASDO).

DEGNZ is Auckland-based with an office in Grey Lynn.

Contact Details:

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent

Grey Lynn

P.O. Box 47-294, Ponsonby

Auckland

+64-9-360-2102

admin@degnz.co.nz

www.degnz.co.nz

www.facebook.com/degnz

www.linkedin.com/in/degnz

@degnz_online

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

1 October 2015

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ), NZ On Air and South Pacific Pictures Limited (SPP) announce actor and director Aidee Walker as the DEGNZ TV drama director attachment to SPP’s WESTSIDE 2 television series.

Walker will shadow well-known New Zealand actor and director Michael Hurst through a two episode block of the show, which starts production in October.

“I was so stoked to hear that I have been given this opportunity on Westside,” Walker commented. “I can’t wait to observe the whole process from read through to directors cut and I’m excited about the collaborations with every department.”

Walker is well known as an actor, having held numerous roles including in popular TV shows Step Dave, Outrageous Fortune, Shortland Street and Mercy Peak. As a director, she has written and directed four short films with the recent Friday Tigers winning Best Short Film at the New Zealand International Film Festival and selected to play at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

 

“This is a great initiative from DEGNZ and NZ On Air and South Pacific Pictures are pleased to be able to support it,” said SPP CEO Kelly Martin. “Aidee’s wealth of experience in front of the camera combined with her short film successes make her ideally suited to this opportunity. We hope it will be the beginning of a beautiful new relationship!”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Aidee to observe firsthand the high-pressure world of fast-turnaround television from the other side of the camera,” said DEGNZ Executive Director Tui Ruwhiu. “She will undoubtedly benefit immensely working alongside the highly experienced Michael Hurst.”

“We are delighted to support Aidee’s further development as a director with this initiative,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

Westside is the NZ On Air-funded prequel to hit SPP drama Outrageous Fortune. It is set in 1970s Auckland against a backdrop of real-life historical events. Westside tells the story of legendary safe cracker and career criminal Ted West, his wife Rita, their son Wolfgang and their friends, associates and nemeses. The second series will be produced by Mark Beasley.

 

This attachment is the second in the DEGNZ TV Drama Director Attachment Scheme, with actor and director Matthew Saville recently chosen to attach to director Roc Pellizarri on Screentime’s telefeature Bombshell: The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.

The scheme is an industry professional development initiative funded by NZ On Air and the production company involved and managed by DEGNZ. It is intended to give emerging drama directors the opportunity to shadow an experienced director through the pre-production, production and post-production process as a means to improve their craft skills. Three emerging directors will attach to New Zealand drama productions in the 2015/2016 year. The intended outcome is for the attachments to find work on domestic and international productions in New Zealand.

Ends

 

For further information, please contact:

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director
Directors & Editors Guild of NZ
tui@degnz.co.nz
021-659-950

 

 South Pacific Pictures
South Pacific Pictures is New Zealand’s largest screen production company and has an international reputation for producing world-class television and film. The company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 and to date has produced around 4000 hours of programming. Drama series and serials, feature films, and more recently, entertainment, reality programming and documentaries are all part of the programming mix. In addition to Westside 2, South Pacific Pictures’ 2015 production slate includes: 800 Words, Shortland Street, Step Dave 2, Word Up, Forensics and The Brokenwood Mysteries 2.
Directors & Editors Guild of NZ
The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is a not-for-profit membership organisation that represents Directors and Editors in the New Zealand screen industry. This includes Directors and Editors of feature drama and documentary; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; video art; animation; commercials and web content.

DEGNZ’s two primary roles are advocacy and professional development. We:

  • are dedicated to promoting excellence in the arts of directing and editing.
  • foster collegiality and unity within the screen industry.
  • promote members’ creative and economic rights.
  • work to improve industry working conditions and remuneration.
  • offer professional advice and information on contracts and industry standards and practice.
  • offer professional development events, networking opportunities, career advice, dispute resolution, mentoring, workshops, training, discounts and regular news bulletins for members across all levels of expertise, from novices to seasoned professionals.
  • is a voice for Directors and Editors in influencing policy in the interest of our members. We do this through our membership of the pan‐industry group SINZ (Screen Industry New Zealand), and by making submissions to government and public officials.
  • Internationally work co-operatively with other guilds and we belong to the International Affiliation of English‐Speaking Directors’ Organisations (IEASDO).

DEGNZ is Auckland-based with an office in Grey Lynn.
Contact Details:
Directors & Editors Guild of NZ
Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent
Grey Lynn
P.O. Box 47-294, Ponsonby
Auckland
+64-9-360-2102
admin@degnz.co.nz
www.degnz.co.nz
www.facebook.com/degnz
www.linkedin.com/in/degnz
@degnz_online

 

 

DEGNZ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

15 September 2015

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ) supports the Australian Directors Guild’s (ADG) and the Australian Directors Authorship Collecting Society’s (ASDACS) criticism of the multimillion dollar organisation, Screenrights, for its recent introduction of a policy that undermines Australian and foreign screen directors’ entitlements to royalty payments.

“ASDACS collects royalties on behalf of New Zealand directors as well, and our directors’ rights are equally impinged by this blatant disregard of directors’ royalty entitlements by Screenrights,” said Executive Director of DEGNZ Tui Ruwhiu.

Under the EDRP, Screenrights makes two critical assumptions that clearly undermine directors’ entitlements to royalties:

  1. Against Australian directors ‐ Screenrights refuses to presume that Australian directors are entitled to retransmission royalties unless their share of entitlement is specifically set out in the contract. Meaning that many Australian directors may miss out on their fair share of royalty payments.
  2. Against foreign directors ‐ Screenrights refuses to recognise laws in other countries such as Europe and South America where directors have well‐established and clear legal entitlements to royalty payments. For example, if a Spanish film is aired in Australia on FOXTEL, the Spanish director’s royalties may now be paid incorrectly to the producer rather than the director.

One of the key differences between the current Australian and New Zealand laws is that since 2005, Australian directors have been able to claim retransmission royalties for their television programs and films while New Zealand directors have not.

“The nub of the issue revolves around authorship rights, which unfairly reside largely with the producer in Australia and New Zealand,” Ruwhiu added. “As long as directors are denied their due as the authors of their audiovisual material, New Zealand and Australian directors will miss out on royalties for retransmission.”

DEGNZ (formerly the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand) has for many years sought legislative change in the New Zealand Copyright Act so that directors are fairly recognised as authors of audio-visual content.

“It will be a major effort to effect the change needed, but it is necessary to ensure directors receive fair and equitable remuneration as creators of audiovisual content,” Ruwhiu concluded.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Tui Ruwhiu

Executive Director

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

tui@degnz.co.nz

021-659-950