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The Aotearoa box-office hit Cousins will release in select theatres in the US on July 2, after being picked up by Array Releasing, the distribution arm of Ava DuVernay’s Array collective.

Edited by DEGNZ member Alex Boyd, the film debuted at number one at the box office and quickly became a local hit, earning $1.6 million. The president of Array, Tilane Jones, spoke to Deadline about the acquisition, stating how inspired they were to bring this powerful film to audiences across the globe, a “beautiful story exploring identity, culture and family that goes beyond borders and time”.

Cousins will also stream on Netflix (US) from July 22.

As part of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, DEGNZ Incubator alumna Hiona Henare spoke with Tia Taurere-Clearsky (DEGNZ) about her work as a prized Māori film editor, camera operator and international field journalist.

Now living in the Coast Salish Territory in British Columbia, Canada, Tia spoke about the lack of Indigenous editors in the film industry, both male and female, and how she is involved in two programmes as a mentor to hopefully change this by encouraging up and coming Indigenous editors.

Even though she is far away from home, Tia shared how thankful she is to live in a community filled with Indigenous people and how beneficial it is for both herself and her children, that even though being away from Aotearoa can be lonely, being a part of an Indigenous community makes it easier.

Watch the kōrero here:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2928171774064782

 

 

This past Queen’s Birthday weekend saw the annual Wairoa Māori Film Festival take place, a festival that celebrates Māori cinema, with multiple films by DEGNZ members showcased.

Chantelle Burgoyne with Ocean and Jaimee Poipoi with Guess You were a part of the Mana Wahine Shorts programme.

Karma by Sam Li and Flip by DEGNZ Incubator alumna Jessica Grace Smith screened as part of the festival’s Midnight Madness programme. Flip was edited by Guild member Alex Boyd.

Meanwhile, Hannah Marshall’s Frankie Jean & The Morning Star, edited by Luke Haigh, played in the Aotearoa Shorts programme.

Matariki on the Move

Keep an eye out for Cian Elyse White’s Daddy’s Girl (Kōtiro), edited by Annie Collins, which will screen in local Auckland cinemas as part of the festival’s Matariki on the Move programme (June 24 – July 6). It will play alongside other short and feature-length films, including Merata Mita’s Mauri.

Kia Ora Shorts

Wairoa Māori Film Festival has also curated a list of the best Māori short films in their Kia Ora Shorts programme, screening in Auckland on July 8 – 9. Ngariki Ngatae’s Te Wao Nui, edited by Tia Taurere-Clearsky (DEGNZ), will feature alongside Frankie Jean & The Morning Star and Daddy’s Girl (Kotiro).

If you’re in Tāmaki Makaurau, check out the full programmes and where to watch them here.

We invite members to join WIFT and DEGNZ on the evening of July 29 for the Director-Editor Relationship in Wellington, back by popular demand.

We thoroughly enjoyed hearing from the Auckland panellists – directors Pietra Brettkelly and Roseanne Liang, editors Cushla Dillon and Jochen FitzHerbert, moderated by director Leanne Pooley – at the beginning of this month. With another superb line-up, you’ll want to reserve your seat early!

The Director-Editor relationship

The Content: How does a director find the right editor? At which point in the process do you bring the editor in? Understanding the parameters of each role and making sure your contract reflects that. Who has creative say? How important are the editor’s fresh pair of eyes? How do the directors and editors navigate the test screening process? What happens if you change editor over the course of the project?  How does the editor help manage the relationship with the commissioner / client? Who leads when? Maintaining a healthy, collaborative relationship that has longevity over more than one project.

So many questions! Come along and get yours answered by this extremely experienced panel:

Panellists:

Dame Gaylene Preston, DNZM, has been a writer/director/producer since 1978, and made the classics of New Zealand cinema Mr Wrong, Ruby and RataWar Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us and Home By Christmas. Her dramatic TV series include Bread & Roses and Hope and Wire, plus many documentaries, her latest being the feature, My Year With Helen. Her work has screened in most high profile international film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, London, and Sydney. Dame Gaylene is the New Zealand Arts Foundation’s inaugural Filmmaker Laureate (2001).

Pietra Brettkelly, recipient of the 2020 South Pacific Pictures Award for Achievement In Film for her acclaimed documentary feature Yellow Is Forbidden. Pietra is a three-time Oscar-selected documentary filmmaker, a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and an Arts Laureate of New Zealand.

Alex Boyd (they/them) editor of the acclaimed recent feature film Cousins, they have also edited all four seasons of Wellington Paranormal. They enjoy working across genres, and have edited documentary, drama, sci-fi, comedy, and animation.

Annie Collins is best known for her extensive resume of documentaries, having edited such landmark productions as Patu!, The Neglected Miracle and Gardening with Soul. The talented editor has also won awards for her work on Scarfies, Two Little Boys and Out of the Blue, with Coming Home in the Dark having premiered to critical acclaim at Sundance and due to be released here in August.

Lala Rolls 
Fijian-European Lala Rolls’ projects often involve explorations of Māori and Polynesian culture. She directs as much as she edits, often doing both on the same project. Rolls has been a multiple finalist at New Zealand awards ceremonies for her work on acclaimed drama series The Insider’s Guide to Happiness and the Rita Angus documentary Lovely Rita. She edited The Man in the Hat (about art dealer Peter McLeavey), and 2018’s Celia, about the late equality advocate Celia Lashlie, and directed, produced and edited the 2020 feature film Tupaia’s Endeavour.

WIFTNZ and DEGNZ members free, non-members $15 cash – includes a drink and nibbles.

Date: Thu 29 July 2021
Location: Taia Studios, 4 Bay Road, Kilbirnie, Wellington
Time: 6pm drinks for a 6.30pm sharp start

RSVP essential to office@wiftnz.org.nz

Liliu has officially been selected to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. Edited by DEGNZ member Peter Roberts, Liliu follows a young court interpreter (Vito Vito) who risks everything to help Nua (Ana Tuisila), a wrongfully imprisoned chief.

Filmed in Samoa, the short film was written and directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti (My Father’s Kingdom) who is of Samoan descent. Originally released in 2018, Liliu has won awards such as Best Narrative Short Film at the FIFO Festival held in Tahiti.

The film will screen on June 20.