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Shows Rūrangi, Educators and Homebound 3.0 promise entertainment and comic relief for Kiwis with funding from NZ On Air.

Rūrangi

The award-winning Rūrangi has been greenlit for a second season (5 x 22 mins) with recent funding from NZ On Air. DEGANZ member Max Currie directed and co-produced the first season, which tells the story of a transgender activist who returns home to the remote, politically divided dairy community of Rūrangi in hopes of reconnecting with his estranged father.

Season 2 will screen on Prime and Māori Television. Hulu picked up the first season for distribution in the US, among other international sales to Australia, the UK and France.

Rūrangi is a finalist in the 2021 New Zealand Television Awards for NZ On Air Best Drama Series.

The series was also cut into a feature film that screened at NZIFF in 2020 and the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, winning an Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. The film recently took home the award for Best International Feature at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Educators

Returning for a third season is the hit improvised comedy show, Educators. Set in a secondary school, the show centres around the dysfunctional teachers in charge of educating the next generation.

Entirely unscripted and featuring some of New Zealand’s top comedians, Educators is directed by Jesse Griffin (DEGANZ) who also co-writes the storylines. Recently, we hosted an online talk with Jesse and Educators editor Stuart Boone, delving into their process of writing, directing and editing the series. The talk was recorded for the DEGANZ podcast so if you missed it, you can catch it online or wherever you get your podcasts!

Homebound 3.0

DEGANZ 2021 Incubator alumna Hweiling Ow is part of the team behind new comedy Homebound 3.0, written by writer/actor Sam Wang. The project won the South Pacific Pictures Big Pitch at the 2019 SPADA Conference and will now become an exciting reality produced by Kevin and Co for Three.

The half-hour comedy revolves around a struggling 30-something unpublished writer forced to move back home and deal with the disappointment of his Chinese parents.

Read more on NZOA’s funding decisions

Jan Oliver Lucks, DEGANZ member and director of the critically acclaimed documentary There Is No I in Threesome, has signed with ICM Partners, a Los Angeles based talent and literary agency with offices in New York, Washington D.C and London. Including representing clients in motion pictures, ICM also has clients in television, music, publishing, live performance and new media.

Having premiered on HBO Max earlier this year, There Is No I in Threesome, a film about an open relationship, is having its theatrical release at this year’s Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF).

Jan Oliver has a new series in the pipeline, a road trip buddy comedy that follows him and his best friend, Wilbur, as they embark on a quest to discover healthy masculinity.

Writer and director Nic Gorman (DEGANZ) has received funding towards his second feature film The Letting Go.

Nic’s 2017 feature film Human Traces premiered at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. He hopes to shoot his next film in present-day Christchurch over six weeks in Autumn next year.

The Letting Go is a science fiction film set in the near future where 50% of the world’s children become ‘shells’ once they hit puberty, falling into a permanent catatonic state with no hope of return. The story centres around Tess who negotiates the uncertainty that comes with parenting a pre-teen child in this world.

Nic Gorman’s film is one of five projects that received local funding from the Screen CanterburyNZ Production Grant round. Launched in July 2021, the purpose of the fund is to encourage screen productions to locate themselves and film in the Waitaha Canterbury region, at the same time stimulating sustainable economic growth for Christchurch. The second round is now accepting Scripted and Factual content from national and international filmmakers (closing Oct 28).

View of a beach coastline

Congratulations to our members who have been selected to take part in this year’s Story Camp Aotearoa — director Max Currie with Refuge and documentary director Gwen Isaac with Siouxsie with an X.

Story Camp is a development lab tailored to meet the needs of independent filmmakers and their feature film projects. This year Script to Screen received 76 applications and, after a rigorous shortlist process, nine projects made it in.

Read more

Following the success of feature films Waru and Vai comes Kāinga. With funding through NZ On Air, Kāinga will be an anthology of short films led by Pan-Asian filmmakers that celebrates the experience of eight different Pan-Asian women as they navigate what it means to become ‘at home’ in Aotearoa.

The movie will be produced by Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions for RNZ.co.nz. It closes a  film trilogy written and directed by underrepresented female filmmakers in the New Zealand screen industry.

We are delighted that DEGANZ members are among the eleven female creative leads in this project!

Writer Mia Maramara 

Director Michelle Ang 

Writer/director Ghazaleh Golbakhsh 

Director Julie Zhu 

Writer/director Nahyeon Lee