Tusi Tamasese

DEGNZ Selects Tusi Tamasese for International Director Mentorship

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ) is pleased to announce the selection of filmmaker Tusi Tamasese as the recipient of the first DEGNZ International Director Mentorship.

Tamasese will be matched with an international film director as a mentor to help guide his career.

“The panel deliberated long and hard over all the candidates, but Tusi’s unique voice and cinematic vision ultimately won us over,” said Guild President Peter Roberts.

“With a critically acclaimed first feature under his belt and the prospects of a strong filmmaking career ahead, we felt that Tusi would really benefit from the experienced guiding hand of an internationally successful director,” added DEGNZ board member Roseanne Liang.

The selection panel comprised Roberts, Liang, New Zealand Film Commission Professional Development Executive Bonnie Slater, independent producer Fiona Copland and DEGNZ Executive Director Tui Ruwhiu.

DEGNZ mentorships are intended to provide mid-career filmmakers with support and engagement with successful, seasoned filmmakers from the international industry. Through the mentorship, NZ filmmakers will connect with the wider world which impacts so heavily on the financing of their work, their ability to reach their audience and their assumptions about their careers.

The International Director Mentorship is part of a three-year, intensive professional development programme that DEGNZ runs with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

The inaugural DEGNZ International Mentorship in 2014 was awarded to editor Cushla Dillon, who has been mentored by expat New Zealand editor Justine Wright. The feature films Locke, Iron Lady and The Last King of Scotland number among Wright’s film editing credits.

DEGNZ intends to award three further mentorships in 2015, starting with one for documentary directing, then one each for drama directing and editing.