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Call for Applications: DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator 2018

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the second round of its Women Filmmakers Incubator.


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:

  • Improve writers and or directors’ understanding of the business of film and television drama.
  • 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 .

The Incubator comprises five one-day workshops across an approximate 12-month period with the first scheduled to take place in March 2018.

The workshops are individually themed to provide specific knowledge, networks, skills, and inspiration that enables participants to advance themselves and their careers.



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 or web 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 able to participate in all workshops.

A selection panel comprising DEGNZ board members and senior industry practitioners will shortlist candidates. Shortlisted candidates must be available for a one-on-one interview either in person or via Skype to be held around the end of January 2018.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to supply prior to the interview a detailed treatment (different to your 1-page synopsis) of your project a minimum of two and a maximum of ten pages long.

The decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. The Incubator participants will be selected from the shortlist following the interview — getting an interview does not imply that you have been selected for the Incubator.

Every Incubator participant must be a Full DEGNZ member for the full duration of the Incubator course.

The workshops will be held in Auckland. A travel allowance will be available for those successful applicants coming from other regions.


Application Requirements

  1. Completed DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator Application Cover Sheet. Available here on the DEGNZ website, under RESOURCES.
  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.

How to Apply

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

Give the single PDF the following naming convention:


and send it to with DEGNZWFI2018 in the subject line.


The deadline for submissions is 9AM, Monday 8 January 2018.


This initiative is made possible with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission and the Vista Foundation.

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Playing at Rehearsal & Performance

Directors and actors got the chance to play at Rehearsal & Performance in the weekend.

Taking part were DEGNZ directors Aidee Walker, Louise Tu’u, Ghazaleh Golbakhsh and Ellen Jones-Poole. They were joined by a great group of actors from Equity NZ - Simone Walker, Ariki Erby, Serena Cotton, Nicol Munro, Narelle Ahrens, Jarred Blakiston, Anthea Hill and Alice Pearce.

Participants received insights from director Michael Duignan (The Blue Rose, Go Girls, Filthy Rich). One main take away that Michael emphasised was avoiding results-driven directing and instead playing with different scene objectives for each actor. The more specific and concrete the objective, the better.

The focus of the day was to give directors and actors time in groups to explore a scene and work together.

Saturday’s workshop marked the first in our new Rehearsal & Performance series, the revamped edition of The Rehearsal Room. We’ve improved the format and are excited about the changes, which were positively received by the directors and actors involved, some of whom had taken part in past Rehearsal Rooms.

What hasn’t changed is our kaupapa. We still want to assist directors and actors to work better together by regularly providing a safe and supportive space for them to meet, collaborate and play. We believe this relationship is crucial to achieving the best results on set and on screen.

So… the Rehearsal & Performance series will return to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in 2018 after the holidays!


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Rehearsal & Performance with Director Michael Duignan

DEGNZ welcomes directors and actors to register their interest for a chance to take part in Rehearsal & Performance, DEGNZ’s revamped Rehearsal Room workshop series.

Michael DuignanIn this hands-on half-day workshop, director Michael Duignan (Go Girls, Filthy Rich, The Blue Rose) will look at the director/actor relationship and share ways in which directors and actors can work better collaboratively to achieve great on screen performances.

Rehearsal & Performance brings together participants in groups of three (one director, two actors) to explore and rehearse a scene in a safe and non-pressured environment. Michael will give each group guidance and advice throughout the workshop.

Participants are expected to do some preparation beforehand. DEGNZ will provide the scene in advance.

Directors and actors register via Eventbrite by Friday 10 November, 12 noon. Spots are limited to four directors and eight actors. If selected, DEGNZ will contact you directly to confirm your participation.


What: Rehearsal & Performance with Director Michael Duignan

When: Saturday 25 November, 9am – 2pm; lunch provided

Where: Kingsland, Auckland

Cost: Free; workshop is only open to members of DEGNZ and Equity NZ.

Register at: Eventbrite


Invitation to Observe Equity’s Highly Popular Casting Hothouse

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ invites our member directors to take part in Equity New Zealand’s Casting Hothouse in an observational capacity. The Casting Hothouse, Equity’s unique intensive audition/casting workshop to maximise skills and employment outcomes in the local and international market, is returning in September 2017.

This is an opportunity for up to eight DEGNZ directors to observe the auditioning/screen testing process with experienced casting directors working with New Zealand actors.

Please note that any directors taking part are there as observers only and will not take part in any of the processes. Please also note the processes are confidential and that the actors are working with the casting directors in a workshop environment.

The Hothouse is a major initiative by Equity to give members an opportunity to develop the skills and confidence to tackle the US, Australian and New Zealand casting experience head on. It is NOT designed to assist New Zealand actors to leave New Zealand permanently. Rather it is an opportunity to equip New Zealand actors with the tools to work overseas as well as home and to show overseas companies that New Zealand has a professional talent pool. It will assist these performers to maintain a long lasting career.


How it will work

Two US casting directors, an Australian and a New Zealand casting director will host the New Zealand workshops.

The casting directors taking part are:

Matt Skrobalak ­

Kerry Barden

Miranda Rivers

Nathan Llloyd

Performers will be allocated into four groups and the casting directors will issue scripts, film mock auditions, look at reading techniques, provide feedback and give the participants the skills to handle the pressure and get them through the whole experience unscarred. All performers will work with all the casting directors.

The intensity and length of the classes will ensure that the training and skills development is hard wired into them and their audition and casting skills become instinctive.


When: Wednesday 27 – Thursday 28 September, 10am – 5:30pm, with drinks each night

Where: TBC, Auckland

TO APPLY please send your application in ONE PDF or DOC to with ‘Hothouse Application’ in the subject line. In your application, please provide:

  • CV
  • A brief letter on why you would like to attend

Application Deadline: Tue 12 September

 Equity New Zealand

Robyn Malcolm

Robyn Malcolm Leads Insightful Rehearsal Room Workshop

It was a pleasure to have esteemed actress Robyn Malcolm facilitate our most recent Rehearsal Room for directors and actors in Auckland. The directors had the opportunity to bring a scene from one of their own projects, or be provided a scene, which they got to rehearse and explore with a bunch of talented actors.

After lunch, everyone came together for an in-depth review and discussion of the scenes and rehearsal process with Robyn providing plenty of great advice on how directors and actors can build positive working relationships to achieve brilliant results.

Registrations are now open for the next Rehearsal Room in Wellington with Actor/Director Ian Hughes – Saturday 2 September, 9.30am – 1.30pm. Register here. Deadline: 22 August (Directors) / 28 August (Actors)


Wellington Rehearsal Room

Register Now! The Rehearsal Room – Wellington Workshop

RR with Ian Hughes WTN

The Rehearsal Room brings together actors and directors in a safe, supportive environment to practise working with each other on scenes under the guidance of an experienced moderator.

Register to have your name in the draw to participate. For each event, 4 directors and 8 actors will be selected. If you are selected, we’ll email or phone you to confirm your participation.

Moderator - Ian Hughes

Ian Hughes’ breakthrough role was in acclaimed TV series and movie Topless Women Talk About Their Lives. Topless was followed by multiple TV guest parts (Shortland Street, Xena, Bliss) and film roles, including starring in his own Kafkaesque short, The Waiting Room, and acclaimed play Ship Songs. Ian has worked with many of New Zealand’s top directors and as a television director himself on Step Dave and Shortland Street.


When: Saturday 2 September 2017, 9:30am – 1:30pm

Where: Te Aro, Wellington

Cost: Free – Open to DEGNZ & Equity NZ members ONLY.

Register at: Eventbrite

Registrations close: 22 August (Directors) / 28 August (Actors)


Who is The Rehearsal Room for?

Professional actors and directors. It is open to Actors Equity and DEGNZ members of all levels of experience, from novices to virtuosos.


Directors will be asked to provide a two-character scene (~ 2 pages) or, if you prefer, a scene will be provided for you. Directors and actors will receive scripts in advance.

Structure of the event

Directors and actors will spend time rehearsing their scenes, with emphasis on connection and content. Participants will block their scenes, before presenting them for shooting, followed by viewing and discussion. The shooting is a wide shot only, intended as a means to review performance, not for directors to direct camera.


The Rehearsal Room is hosted by Directors & Editors Guild of NZ and the Equity Foundation, with financial support from the New Zealand Film Commission.

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Emmy Award-Winning Lucy Walker Hosts Documentary Director Masterclass

A range of emerging and highly experienced documentary directors turned out to hear LA-based UK documentary director Lucy Walker talk about her practice and projects. It was an informative and inspiring masterclass for those involved.

In the afternoon, four lucky participants further received one-on-one input from Lucy on their documentary projects in development or production.

Eric de Beus workshop

Editors Cut Drama with Eric de Beus

Thanks to Eric de Beus (800 Words, Westside) for running a superb two-day editing drama workshop for some of our DEGNZ editors in Auckland last Saturday. Participants got to spend time cutting their own versions of scenes from 800 Words, which got progressively more challenging!


Call for Applications: Editing Drama Workshop – Eric de Beus

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ invites you to apply for a 2-day Editing Drama Workshop with acclaimed editor Eric de Beus. The workshop will be held in Auckland on Saturday and Sunday, 29 and 30 of July.

About Eric de Beus

Eric is one of New Zealand’s award-winning, highly-experienced drama editors in both television and film.

Eric’s credits in television include: 800 Words,The Brokenwood Mysteries, Westside, When We Go To War, The Blue Rose, The Cult, and Spartacus. He cut telefeatures including Pirates of the Airwaves, Waitangi-What Really Happened, and Billy. And in feature films his credits range from The Last Saint, My Wedding and other Secrets, and Forgotten Silver to Magik and Rose and Jubilee.

Eric will cover off on his insights into the essential building blocks of dramatic story telling through a masterclass approach and practical hands-on work.

Lunch will be provided each day. A travel allowance may be available to DEGNZ members coming from outside Auckland.

Applicants must have experience editing drama and using AVID.

When: Saturday 29 July & Sunday 30 July

Where: Auckland
Cost: DEGNZ members free, Non-members $100

TO APPLY please send your application in ONE PDF or DOC to with ‘Editing Drama Workshop’ in the subject line. In your application, please provide:

  • CV
  • links to samples of your work
  • a maximum one-page letter stating why you want to attend this workshop
  • please also include your mobile number and dietary requirements.

Application Deadline: 5pm Wednesday 19 July

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

Waste Land (2010) - Director Lucy Walker

Call for Applications: Documentary Directing Masterclass & Project Consultations with Emmy-Winner Lucy Walker

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ invites directors to apply for a Feature Documentary Directing Masterclass and Project Consultation with British director Lucy Walker to be held in Auckland.

Director Lucy WalkerLucy Walker is an Emmy-winning British film director who has twice been nominated for an Academy Award and is renowned for creating riveting, character-driven nonfiction that delivers emotionally and narratively. The Hollywood Reporter has called her “the new Errol Morris” and Variety has praised her unique ability to connect with audiences.

Lucy’s filmography includes feature documentaries The Crash Reel (2013), Waste Land (2010), Countdown to Zero (2010), Blindsight (2006), Devil’s Playground (2002) and several short films, notably The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (2011) and The Lion’s Mouth Opens (2014). Her films have also been nominated for seven Emmys, an Independent Spirit Award, a DGA Award and a Gotham Award and have won over one hundred other film awards.

On Saturday 22 July, Lucy will lead a half-day Masterclass for up to ten directors in the morning. This will be followed by individual 1-hour Project Consultations with up to four selected directors who have feature documentary projects in active development. Project Consultation sessions are open to directors but not collaborators.

Directors can apply for both the Masterclass and Project Consultation, or just the Masterclass if they do not have a current project.


Cost: DEGNZ members free, DEGNZ members free; Non-members – Masterclass $50, Project Consultation $100.
When: Saturday 22 July. Masterclass – 8.30am to 12pm. Project Consultations will be held from 12.45 to 5.30pm.
Where: TBC, Auckland

Travel assistance may be available for some DEGNZ members coming from out of Auckland.

TO APPLY please send your application in ONE PDF or DOC to with ‘Lucy Walker Masterclass’ in the subject line.

In your application, please provide:

  • CV
  • links to samples of your work
  • a maximum one-page letter stating why you want to attend this workshop
  • please also include your mobile number.

To apply for a Project Consultation:

  • Please also provide a full synopsis or treatment outlining your feature documentary project and its current status. Projects need to be in active development.

Application Deadline: 9am, Wednesday 12 July.


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