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Edited by DEGANZ member Chia Chi Hsu, web series Inked is a milestone in Aotearoa’s television history — our first funded Chinese bilingual drama. That may seem surprising given that Chinese have been in New Zealand since the 1860s, the first non-European and Pacific Island immigrants to arrive. Although Inked reflects the lives of more recent Chinese immigrants, it speaks to generations of Asian New Zealanders.

The eight-episode series follows Jiayue, a 1.5 generation pharmacy student secretly apprenticing at a tattoo studio while she struggles to connect with her unhappy father. Technically, Inked contains four dialects of Chinese: Mandarin, Cantonese, Nankinese and Shanghainese. It has subtitles in both English and Simplified Chinese.

Chia cut the web series while completing a DEGANZ Drama Editor Attachment with editor Dan Kircher. When we spoke to Chia about her attachment, she said, “Bit by bit, what I had picked up from the attachment, I was able to apply them directly to what I was working on: from how to organise a project for a drama, how to tackle the notes, to tactfully dealing with tricky situations.”

Chia was part of a diverse, Asian-led cast and crew. Playwright Renee Liang, who had a small cameo, wrote on why Inked is significant for Aotearoa and what it was like behind the scenes.

According to Renee, “There is comedy throughout, but the observations in Inked – especially of the complex negotiation of family relationships when those involved are trying not to fall into the gaps between cultures – are insightful, deep and above all, real.”

The series debuted as a single package on Prime in late September. It is now available to stream on Neon and Sky Go.


In series successes, we wish to congratulate the cast and crews of Rūrangi and Creamerie for being nominated for the 2021 MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards.

Directed by Max Currie (DEGNZ), Rūrangi is one of three finalists in the LGBTQIA+ / Scripted category. Season 1 is currently streaming on Hulu.

Creamerie is a finalist in the Race and Ethnicity – Scripted category, along with We Are Lady Parts and Dreaming Whilst Black. The six-part series for TVNZ was directed by member Roseanne Liang, and edited by Jochen Fitzherbet (DEGNZ) and Tom Eagles, who was awarded a DEGNZ International Editor’s Mentorship in 2016.

Now in its 5th year, the MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Awards are dedicated to championing and promoting diversity and inclusion in all its forms across the international television industry. The Awards ceremony is being held in Cannes on October 13.

Congratulations to our DEGNZ members whose short films have been selected to compete in this year’s Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts.

Disrupt

Our very own Margot Francis (DEGNZ board member) was the supervising editor while Lisa Greenfield edited Disrupt. In the aftermath of a burglary gone wrong, CJ must choose between his whānau or his next fix.

Sista

Co-written and directed by member Chantelle Burgoyne, produced by Marina McCartney and cut by DEGNZ board member Annie Collins, Sista is about the relationship between Isabelle and her teenaged older sister Tiana. Isabelle feels left behind as Tiana grows up, leading to a moment of betrayal that threatens to shatter their relationship forever. Both Chantelle and Marina are alumni of the DEGNZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator.

In total, five short films from Aotearoa and the Pacific were shortlisted to compete for the two grand prizes up for grabs; the Wellington UNESCO City of Film award for Best Film and the Letterboxd Audience Award.

Read more about the competition

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!

Jonno Woodford-Robinson (DEGNZ) has edited three episodes on A24’s comedy-drama series, Mr. Corman, which debuted on Apple TV last week. Members Greg Jennings and Amanda Mulderry served as first assistant editors.

The 10-part series follows fifth-grade teacher Josh Corman as he struggles with anxiety, loneliness, forfeited dreams of a music career, and the sinking suspicion that he sucks as a person. Mr. Corman is created, written, and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also stars in the lead role.

All episodes of the series were shot in the greater Wellington region earlier this year—with Wellington standing in as suburban Los Angeles—after the pandemic shutdown the production in LA.