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In The Zone film

Watch: In The Zone Q&A with Robyn Paterson & Terrance Wallace

Director Robyn Paterson and Terrance Wallace, founder of the InZone Project, share on the process of making their 2018 feature documentary In The Zone. The film follows Terrance’s journey to establish first a home for minority teens in New Zealand’s most sought after school zone, and then in his own community back in Chicago with political and racial tensions rising in the USA.

Throughout its powerful narrative, In The Zone raises poignant questions about education, privilege, diversity, and cycles of inequality across the Western world.

 

“You are pulling people together and having to get the trust and build the trust with people from really different walks of life, really different ends of the political spectrum, different ends of the socio-economic spectrum. For me, as a filmmaker, I think my biggest job was building those relationships.” – Robyn Paterson

 

This event was part of the Film Talk Series, presented by DEGNZ and Rialto Cinemas in Auckland.

 

Whatever It Takes_John Reid

Summer Giveaway: Whatever It Takes by John Reid

This summer, we’re celebrating the release of the much-anticipated new book by filmmaker, writer and DEGNZ Lifetime member John ReidWhatever It Takes: Pacific Films and John O’Shea 1948-2000.

In Whatever It Takes, Reid tells the true story of a man and his vision, and of the entrepreneurs and dreamers who gathered around him in pursuit of films that would define New Zealand cinema. In a career spanning fifty years, John O’Shea nurtured a generation of filmmakers.

Pacific Films was founded on the belief that without locally made feature films, a country imperils its very identity. Led by its idiosyncratic producer John O’Shea, the story of Pacific Films begins at the emergence of a New Zealand national cinema in the second half of the twentieth century, when Pacific was virtually the only independent voice, beholden neither to the government nor the establishment, but determined to establish the value of its production with both.

Win Yourself a Copy of Whatever It Takes

DEGNZ has one copy of this fantastic book to give away to a lucky member, thanks to Victoria University Press ($60).

Every DEGNZ member with a current membership on 28 February 2019 will be entered into the draw with a chance to win. Members who join or renew their membership by 28 February 2019 will also be in the draw.*

One winner will be drawn on 1 March 2019.

 

*Terms and Conditions of entry:

  • To qualify for this competition, your DEGNZ membership must be current on 28 February 2019. New or returning members must join DEGNZ by 28 February 2019.
  • Full, Associate and Student members are eligible.
  • Your membership gives you one entry into the draw.
  • DEGNZ will use reasonable efforts to contact the winner within 7 days of the Prize Draw date.
  • The Winner must respond and accept the Prize within 14 calendar days from the date of such contact or the prize will be forfeited and another draw undertaken.
  • DEGNZ’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to.

Obituary for NZ Writer Rex Pilgrim

Garth Maxwell and Rex Pilgrim

Garth Maxwell and Rex Pilgrim (right) during the shoot for When Love Comes. Photo credit Michele Fantl

By Garth Maxwell

I’m a filmmaker and director who has worked in New Zealand and Australia, and I was a close friend and collaborator with Rex Pilgrim, who died unexpectedly in Brisbane recently, in early September. I met Rex when he was working the accounts for James Wallace, who produced an early gay film of mine Beyond Gravity, and I found in Rex a sharp-witted, artistically minded activist spirit of just the kind I sought, for co-writing further projects. Subsequently Rex contributed to Jack Be Nimble, which made a savage splash as a covertly-queer dark fable of NZ horror, and to When Love Comes, written by myself, Rex, and Peter Wells, a film that looks at a creative cross-generational community of musicians and lovers, gay and straight.

Further efforts to make work together were frustrated by a range of issues, mainly the sheer cost of making films and especially the lower kinds of budgets available to gay-themed works, as compared to the ambition of Rex’s ideas, evidenced on a project we attempted set in Spain under Franco, called The Last Beat of My Heart. The film had a moment in the sun when Mark Ordesky, then a scout for New Line Cinema before he became a producer on Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, championed it, and we were talking to agents for some of Hollywood’s greatest including Daniel Day Lewis and indeed Madonna’s manager. But the moment passed, and the film never happened. Rex went on to do further drafts but it was not possible to regain that crazed overheated momentum, and I think the disappointment was something he felt acutely.

I miss him for his grasp of what could be made of the moment – the moment to say your piece – the moment to represent yourself and your own sexuality and culture – the moment to speak up and to use your own voice. For someone who was a lifelong reader and admirer of great writing, he had a special flair as an activist writer to say the difficult things, and to draw attention to the absurdity and the hypocrisy we pretended not to notice. His sense of humour was delightful, sharp, sometimes acid. The space left behind him will linger for a long long time, for there are few with as unique a footprint as my friend and cowriter Rex.

 

Peter Wells with Rex Pilgrim

Peter Wells with Rex Pilgrim, photo credit Michele Fantl

By Peter Wells

My name is Peter Wells and I am a NZ author and film-maker. I met Rex when I came back to NZ in the early 1980s and a friendship blossomed. I was attracted to his quick intelligence, his laugh and also a certain sardonic take on life. We went on to work together editing ‘Best Mates, an Anthology of Gay NZ Writing’ which appeared in 1997. We gathered up writing of gay male writers as far back as we could and as far forward as we could. We struck problems with a number of estates who refused permission. We returned the compliment by showing a blank page with the author’s name at the top. It said a lot. Auckland Museum refused to give us permission to use a beautiful archival photo of two men affectionately kissing on a boat. We went ahead and used it as a cover. As a reader said on Amazon’s Goodreads recently, ‘if you are into queer studies, this is an important book.’ I am retrospectively so proud of this book that Rex and I put together. Not only is it a beautiful object filled with illustrations but it is, in its own small way, a landmark publication.

So in this sad circumstance when someone’s life leaks away, the loss of his charm, his ability to laugh, to be pert and sharply to the point, I like to think that a part of Rex remains forever in this very beautiful and important book. He meant it, he told it, he edited it, he put it together and while he has so achingly gone, this book is a testament to his intelligence, his wit and his grit.

View from the Top banner

Celebrating Women

Womens’ roles in New Zealand society have come a long way. We were the first to give women the vote, we’ve had three female prime ministers and finally the Black Ferns have gotten professional contracts.

However, in many industries women do not receive equal pay (including the Black Ferns). There are few women sitting in governance positions in the New Zealand business world, and as we learned at the Sexual Harassment Workshop recently, the statistics on violence against women is horrific.

But in this week’s column I would like to help celebrate 125 years of women’s suffrage, by highlighting some successes in and around our industry.

Before I do, though, I want to first acknowledge the country’s most well-known suffragette Kate Sheppard and some of her colleagues, including Margaret Bullock, Meri Mangakāhia, Ākenehi Tōmoana, Anna Stout, Elizabeth Yates and Polly Plum. To honour our past, NZ On Screen has released their Pioneering Women collection that celebrates women and feminism in New Zealand.

I know that the statistics for women directors in NZ are still poor, and we are addressing this, but female directors have made great contributions to New Zealand film and television, from Ramai Heyward to Jane Campion, long-time Guild supporter Gaylene Preston to the achievements of Niki Caro.

As in suffrage there are other less well-known women who have made their mark in the screen industry. I would firstly like to acknowledge those who have contributed to the Guild (DEGNZ and its predecessor SDGNZ) as board members. Apologies if I have missed you out, but our records are incomplete. If you are not included here but should be, please let me know so that I can update our files:

Kristina Anderson

Kezia Barnett

Pietra Brettkelly

Annie Collins

Anna Cottrell

Alyx Duncan

Annie Goldson

Shirley Horrocks

Janette Howe

Louise Leitch

Roseanne Liang

Zoe McIntosh

Briar March

Kirstin Marcon

Fiona Millborn

Diane Musgrave

Aileen O’Sullivan

Leanne Pooley

Rather than go into a screed of copy about other New Zealand women who have stood out or are standing out in and around the screen industry, I am providing links to articles that are available now online. You can learn about some of the wonderful NZ women whose contributions we can all acknowledge:

I’d also like to point to a number of those who have a big influence in the screen industry and show that women are sitting at many of our top tables:

Kathleen Anderson, Head of Scripted, TVNZ

Christina Asher, Chairperson, NAW

Rachel Antony, CEO, Greenstone

Cass Avery, Chairperson, S2S

Melissa Ansell-Bridges, Industrial Organiser, Equity NZ

Karen Baleski, Head of Entertainment Content, SKY

Esther Cahill-Chiaroni, ED, S2S

Jude Callen, TV Commissioner, TVNZ

Sandy Gildea, ED, SPADA

Philly de Lacey, CEO, Screentime

Ruth Harley, Chairperson, NZ On Air

Frances Morton, Head of Content, Vice

Annie Murray, Senior Commissioner, SKY and Prime TV

 

Kelly Martin, CEO, SPP

Juliet Peterson, General Manager Digital Content, TVNZ

Kerry Prendergast, Chair, NZFC

Cate Slater, Content Director, TVNZ

Alice Shearman, ED, NZWG

Annabelle Sheehan, CEO, NZFC

Karla Rogers, ED, SIGANZ

Erina Tamepo, ED, NAW

Patricia Watson, ED, WIFT

Jennifer Ward Lealand, President, Equity NZ

Sue Woodfield, Head of Commissioning and External Production, Mediaworks

Kathy Wright, Head of Digital Creation, SKY

Jane Wrightson, CEO, NZ On Air

This past week has been a celebration of women’s achievements, including the Women of Influence Awards where actor and acting coach Miranda Harcourt took out the award for Woman of Influence Arts and Culture.

But perhaps the last words can be left to Dame Patsy Reddy, former chairperson of NZFC and now the Governor General. In a NZ Herald article earlier this year, she emphasised that while women had made many gains, there is still a long way to go.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Stray film still

Stray Director Dustin Feneley to Share at Rialto Film Talk

Film Talk at Rialto Cinemas is where filmmakers and film fans meet. After each Film Talk screening, members of the creative team will join a moderator from the Directors & Editors Guild to discuss their work.

On October 3, Film Talk will screen Stray, finishing with an audience Q&A with director Dustin Feneley.

Stray is Feneley’s much-anticipated first feature and is editor Dione Chard’s first full-length film. Both are members of DEGNZ.

Come along if you missed the film at the New Zealand International Film Festival and to hear about the making of the film.

STRAY

Stray film poster

In a cold and remote landscape, two strangers struggle to repair their broken pasts. A young man is on parole after serving time for attempting to murder the man who killed his girlfriend in a hit and run. A woman is released from a psychiatric facility far from her homeland. These two damaged strangers cross paths in the mountains in winter and fall into a complex intimate relationship, putting to the test their capacity to trust and heal.

When: Wed 3 October 2018, 6pm
Where: Rialto Cinemas Newmarket, 167-169 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland

Cost: $12 for film industry members – Book Tickets