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Six short films have been selected as finalists for Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival’s New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition. Amongst those selected by Guest Selector, award-winning actress and filmmaker Kerry Fox, are films made by our very own DEGNZ members.

Only F**ks Pat Me on the Head

Only F**ks Pat Me on the Head is an intimate documentary about John, a Wellingtonian with Cerebral Palsy, as he shares the frustrations of living with CP in a world not designed to accommodate those who are different. This short doco is co-directed and co-produced by DEGNZ member Paul Wolffram.

Datsun

In Datsun, fourteen-year-old Matt takes his dad’s yellow Datsun for one last wild joyride with his best buddy and kid brother in tow. DEGNZ member Luke Haigh was the editor of the film.

A total of four prizes are to be won; The Vista Group Award for Best Short Film, the Creative New Zealand Emerging Talent Award, the Auckland Live Spirit of the Civic Award and The Audience Award.

Read more about the competition

Celebrating filmmakers of great web series content from across the globe, NZ Web Fest returns this year with a line-up that includes works from DEGNZ members.

100 Year Forecast

100 Year Forecast (pictured above) is a five-part documentary series from The Spinoff exploring what we know about climate change, the implications it will have on Aotearoa New Zealand and what we can do moving forward. The series was cut by DEGNZ member Ben Chesters.

The Collective

Rachale Davies’ The Collective is an eight-part doco series about six young musicians taking part in a youth music programme that pushes them into compelling journeys of self-discovering.

Chloe and the Crash Test

Selected for the Pilot category is Chloe and the Crash Test, an original comedy series from Mt Maunganui directed by Anton Steel. The show follows a group of 30-somethings as they try to get their chaotic lives on track.

The Handy Circle

Another selected for the Pilot Category, Samuel Shelton’s web series The Handy Circle is a drama / comedy set in a world where puppets and humans live side by side. Due to the new Puppet distancing act, puppets and human relations are outlawed; puppets have to learn to operate themselves while humans must come to terms with not being able to operate their puppet companions that they love to the verge of obsession. The Handy Circle is a recovery program to help the heavily addicted.

The 2021 Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival has announced an impressive lineup of New Zealand feature films. More than a few DEGNZ members have had their films selected and we would like to congratulate each and every member. We can’t wait to see your mahi on the big screen!

This is the first part of our NZIFF 2021 members round-up.

Millie Lies Low

Premiering to the world this year, Michelle Savill’s feature film directorial debut, Millie Lies Low (pictured above), tells the story of an architecture grad accepted into a prestigious internship who panics, misses her flight and fakes being in New York while hiding out in her hometown.

Rohe Kōreporepo – The Swamp, the Sacred Place

Over the past 150 years, 90% of Aotearoa’s swaps have been drained – a tragedy considering they are among the world’s most valuable and bio-diverse ecosystems. Exploring the re-flooding, re-creation and restoration of our wetlands, Rohe Kōreporepo – The Swamp, the Sacred Place is a documentary most befitting the global crisis of our time and was edited by Gaylene Barnes.

There Is No I in Threesome

Following a critically acclaimed US premiere on HBO max, the documentary There Is No I in Threesome returns home for its theatrical world premiere on the big screen. Another milestone for DEGNZ members, director Jan Oliver Lucks and our board member Francis Glenday who cut the film.

 

A Mild Touch of Cancer

Annie Goldson directed, produced and wrote the screenplay for A Mild Touch of Cancer. David Downs survived cancer and is dedicated to helping fellow New Zealanders face their own cancer journeys. These are their stories. A Mild Touch of Cancer will have its theatrical premiere at the festival this year. With an impressive twenty year career and multiple awards under Annie’s belt, we’re sure this will be an unmissable documentary.

Fiona Clark: Unafraid

Director Lula Cucchiara’s Fiona Clark: Unafraid unravels the legacy of a great New Zealand photographer whose work ensures that the history of marginalised queer communities in Aotearoa is never forgotten. This intimate portrait of a ground-breaking photographer will have its world premiere at NZIFF. This doco is edited by Anastasia Doniants, who was selected for our first ever DEGNZ Drama Editor Attachment in 2018, and Shailesh Prajapati was assistant editor.

Mark Hunt: The Fight of His Life

Described as an autobiographical rags-to-riches story, Mark Hunt: The Fight of His Life, shines a light on one of New Zealand’s most prolific sporting superstars. Veteran filmmaker Peter Brook Bell directs and Gary Sims edits this compelling and harrowing documentary, charting Hunt’s challenging childhood to his global success as the New Zealand MMA fighter and UFC champion.

Mothers of the Revolution

DEGNZ board member Margot Francis is one of four editors of the feature-length documentary Mothers of the Revolution, telling the story of a nineteen year protest where thousands of women from around the world came together at Greenham Common to take a stand against nuclear proliferation. This is the story of one of the longest protests in history!

Whetū Mārama – Bright Star

Aileen O’Sullivan is one half of the directing partnership of the documentary Whetū Mārama – Bright Star, telling the inspiring story of Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi, aka Hek Busby, modern pioneer waka builder and navigator.

Patu!

To mark the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Springbok tour protests, Patu! will take to the big screen once more with this restored and remastered version, newly preserved by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. The team worked for nearly five years to bring this landmark film back to the big screen. First released in 1983 and cut by Annie Collins, we can’t wait to see it in the cinema once again!

DEGNZ member Christopher Walker’s Spears From All Sides will be screening for three weeks (August 30 – September 19) at the City Gallery in Wellington, as part of the film programme accompanying Brett Graham’s exhibition, Tai Moana Tai Tangata—a cautionary tale about human endeavour in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Filmed over three years, the feature-length documentary follows Opi, a young and charismatic Waorani activist, as he tells the dramatic story of a vehement, community based resistance by tribal communities in Ecuador, one of the most remote and beautiful areas in the world.

Released in 2019, Spears From All Sides has played across the globe, winning multiple festival awards including Best Documentary at the New Earth International Film Festival and the Spirit of Activism Award, at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival.

The documentary is also available to rent on beamafilm.

If you are in Wellington, head along to Tai Moana Tai Tangata at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

The latest Loading Docs season titled Tumanako/Hope is set to premiere online on August 26. Eight short documentaries make up the collection, including films made by our members director Mia Maramara and producer/editor Bianca Delalic.

Mia Maramara directed Only Human, which follows the youngest liberal daughter of an old-fashioned father, who can no longer accept their irreconcilable differences. In this personal story, she has to decide whether to cut her father out of her life for good.

Only Human by Mia Maramara


Bianca Delalic is the producer of When Nobody Was Looking, a short documentary about Dr. Oliver Sutherland who discovers disturbing cases of abused children in state care, including imprisonment and torture of children as young as nine. Fighting a racist system, this insect scientist stands up to expose abuse in the notorious Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital, but will justice ever be served?

Dr. Oliver Sutherland is the subject of When Nobody Was Looking. Photo: Sally Symes, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections


Co-founded by DEGNZ member Julia Parnell, Loading Docs is a unique initiative that produces short documentaries that captivate and inspire audiences locally and internationally, while developing and promoting New Zealand filmmaking talent.