Update: The workshop will happen on 20-21 November 2021 if Auckland is in Alert Level 2 or Level 1. The application deadline has been extended to Friday 5 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

Saturday 2 October 2021, 9am – 5pm
Sunday 3 October 2021, 9am – 4pm

Saturday 20 November 2021, 9am – 5pm
Sunday 21 November 2021, 9am – 4pm

Where: MTG RM, 2 Kingsland Terrace, Kingsland, Auckland

Lunch and refreshments provided.

Covid Alert Level Notice: Please note that we will review the workshop and keep people posted if Auckland is not in Alert Level 2 by these dates.


This workshop is open to Pan-Asian members of DEGNZ / PASC. You must be over 18 as of 20 November 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: Wednesday 22 September, 3PM Friday 5 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

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.

Developing a feature film? Why not enter the draw for the next Virtual Table Read. Provided you’re a member of DEGNZ and/or NZWG, submit your script by 3 September!

The winner/winning team will receive a free script-in-development table read with up to six actors to be held on 11 September over Zoom.

Why Should You Enter?

Here are some of the benefits of a table read:

  • Identify what works and what doesn’t in your script
  • Assess the rhythm of the dialogue and the voices of your characters
  • Gain a different perspective from listening to other people read and respond to your script
  • Receive feedback from the actors for your next draft

Past participant writer Nick Ward said, “For me one of the best things about our recent table read was talking to the actors about their characters specifically. When you write you’re juggling many balls so it’s brilliant to have someone drill down into their individual character and give you invaluable feedback.”

Enter the draw >

Call for Actors

Actors are invited to register for each script-in-development table read. Up to six actors will be selected, and will receive a nominal fee as appreciation for their participation.

Register to read >

Postponed until Alert Level 1 – Registrations and applications will reopen once we have a new date. We will hold onto all completed applications in the meantime. Thanks for your understanding.

Learn best practices for directing on-screen intimacy with Tandi Wright.

DEGNZ welcomes directors to join us for a one-day Auckland workshop, taught by actor and intimacy coordinator Tandi Wright. We will discuss and work with actors on developing scenes involving intimacy, using a process developed by UK intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien, and Equity NZ’s Intimacy Guidelines for Stage and Screen.

There are four places for directors to participate and additional places for directors to observe.

Please note: this workshop is R18 and there will be no nudity in the workshop.

About Tandi Wright

With over 25 years of experience, Tandi is one of Aotearoa’s best-known actors. She has worked in the US, Australia and NZ and has been nominated for numerous awards.

Tandi is also a trained intimacy coordinator under the mentorship of Ita O’Brien of Intimacy On Set, who has pioneered this work internationally. Tandi has now served as intimacy coordinator on numerous and wide-ranging screen projects – from major studio productions (Netflix, Amazon, A24) to mid-range NZ features (Nude Tuesday, Juniper, The Justice of Bunny King, Punch), to low-budget student films.

Tandi is Vice-President of Equity New Zealand, the performers’ union, and is a founding board member of NZ Actors Benevolent Fund. She is co-author of the Intimacy Guidelines for Stage and Screen in NZ, which were released nationwide in 2020.

Workshop Details

When: Sunday 12 September, 9am – 5pm

Where: MTG RM, 2 Kingsland Terrace, Kingsland, Auckland


DEGNZ member – Free
Non-member earlybird until August 18 – $80
Non-member standard – $95

Lunch and refreshments included


Register below to take part either as a participant director or as an observer.

During the class, the four selected participant directors will take turns directing pairs of actors on an intimate scene under Tandi’s guidance. Upon selection, participants may submit a short, intimate scene for two characters – either with or without dialogue – for consideration ahead of the workshop. We can also provide scene options if preferred.

Eligibility to apply as a Participant Director:

  • You must have experience directing actors for screen.
  • Priority will be given to those who are actively engaged in directing or preparing to direct narrative drama, especially if you are dealing with scenes with intimate content.


Registration Closes: Tuesday 7 September, 1PM

Deadline for Participant Applications: Friday 27 August, 1PM

To apply as a Participant Director, complete the online registration form below and email your supporting documents to tema@degnz.co.nz:

  • a CV/bio with filmography
  • a brief letter summarising why you would like to participate as a director, what you hope to gain from the workshop, and any experience directing intimacy (not a requirement for selection).

If you apply as a participant director and are unsuccessful, we will offer you a place to observe.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.




This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.


Making the Intangible Tangible

On July 24, esteemed documentary director Leanne Pooley will explore how a director crafts and communicates the tone of a film, a fine finish to our workshop series on tone for 2021, which seeks to pin down this elusive subject.

When you are dealing with the stories of real people and portraying them on screen, getting the tone wrong can lead to significant problems. Tone is part of everything a documentary director does when approaching a story. It’s part of the narrative, the pace, the look, the music.

Tone is part of every decision a director makes, and in this workshop, Leanne will share practically using examples from her films on how directors make these decisions.

About Leanne Pooley

A documentary filmmaker for over 25 years, Leanne has directed films all over the world and has won numerous awards (including Best Documentary at TIFF). Leanne is a New Zealand Arts Laureate, a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was named an “Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit” for Services to Documentary Filmmaking in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List.

Her work includes The Girl on the Bridge on suicide survivor and activist Jazz Thornton, We Need to Talk About A.I. for Universal Pictures and GFC, animated feature documentary 25 April and acclaimed local box office success Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls.


Who’s it for?

Documentary directors wanting to better understand tone – you’ll come away with useful ideas that can be applied to your own process, whether you’re directing on your first short film or moving onto longer content (e.g. a first feature documentary, a webseries).

Workshop Details

When: Saturday 24 July 2021, 9:30am – 4pm

Where: Saint Columba Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011


DEGNZ member – Free
Non-member – $95

Lunch, tea and coffee included.

Travel Allowances

DEGNZ Full members based outside of Auckland can apply to the Guild for travel support up to the value of $250 (incl GST). We have six grants available.

To apply you must meet these criteria:

  1. You live outside of the Auckland region.
  2. You are a NZ Citizen or permanent resident.
  3. You have a confirmed place in one of the Tone workshops.

Please indicate if you wish to apply for a travel allowance when you register. For additional information and criteria, see here.


To Apply

Applications close: Tuesday 20 July, 3PM

  1. Submit the application form below.
  2. Email your CV or a bio with filmography to tema@degnz.co.nz. Please include links to your work.

We will then review your application and email you to confirm that you have a place. Spaces are limited and applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Application Form




This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.