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DEGNZ members and 2020 Women Filmmakers Incubator alumni, Jess Smith and Pennie Hunt, alongside fellow member Gwen Isaac, have been selected for Script to Screen’s FilmUp Mentorship Programme.

An eight-month professional development programme for practising writers, directors and producers, the FilmUp programme supports and empowers up to nine practising filmmakers each year to reach the next stage in their film careers.

Throughout the programme, which begins in August, each participant receives 20 hours of mentorship with an esteemed industry mentor, participates in group work and round tables, and receives wrap-around support. Congratulations to our members taking part!

DEGNZ is pleased to announce the participants for the 2021 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator. The Incubator is a year-long programme of five workshops intended to advance the projects and careers of female directors.

Established screen industry practitioners from New Zealand and Australia come into the Incubator to provide insight into forging sustainable careers as a director through interactive discussions, practical exercises and in-depth information, at the same time expanding the networks of our directors throughout the film, TV and online sectors.

After considerable discussion, a panel of four external selectors and DEGNZ’s Executive Director settled on seven participants for the 2021 Incubator. They are:

Matasila Freshwater, Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, Niva Kay, Nahyeon Lee, Hweiling Ow, Cian Elyse White and Zoey Zhao.

The DEGNZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator is made possible through the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

 

MATASILA FRESHWATER (Solomon Islands/Pākehā) is a writer/director passionate about exploring cultural complexities through storytelling. Matasila was responsible for the Solomon Islands section of award-winning feature, Vai (2019), which premiered at Berlinale, featured at SXSW and won a Special Jury Award at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Best Feature Narrative at DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. Her first film Shmeat (2016), was a finalist in NZIFF’s Best Shorts programme, competed at the Sitges International Fantasy Film Festival, and won Best Animation at A Night of Horror Film Festival in Sydney. Recent projects have included writing/directing on The Feijoa Club Season 2, and Prime horror anthology series, Teine Sā: The Ancient ones with her short piece Hiama. Mata is show-running her first animated series ENDLING, currently in preproduction for TVNZ HeiHei.

Mata holds an MA in Scriptwriting from Victoria University IIML with a feature film selected for Script to Screens’ 2020 Film Up programme. In 2019 she was awarded a special grant through the NZFC Annual Gender Scholarship, won SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year, and in April 2020 became one of the inaugural Arts Foundation Springboard recipients, under the mentorship of Tusi Tamasese.

GHAZALEH GOLBAKHSH is an Iranian-New Zealand writer, filmmaker and Fulbright scholar.

Ghazaleh has made various short films including the recent documentary This is Us which centred on Muslim New Zealanders for RNZ and NZ On Air. She is currently developing her first comedy feature with Ainsley Gardiner and Georgina Conder. Other upcoming projects include directing the first ever PASC funded short film Night Visions and co-producing the NZ On Air documentary series Hair Now for the Spinoff. Ghazaleh recently finished her PhD in Media and Communication.

NIVA KAY is a filmmaker passionate about storytelling, environmental and social justice. She is the co-founder of The Rebel Film Collective, which is behind the co-creation of the feature documentary High Tide Don’t Hide. Niva has built a successful career as a digital producer, creating content in various media forms, including writing, photography, videography and graphics.

She is co-author of the number one best selling book ‘The Abundant Garden’. Niva and her partner established Pakaraka Permaculture, a regenerative market garden and education centre on the Coromandel Peninsula.

NAHYEON LEE is a writer and director raised in Aotearoa with Korean heritage. Since graduating with a Master of Arts in drama directing, Nahyeon has been attached to screen and stage productions that champion underrepresented voices; engaging with the breadth of experiences in the Asian diaspora.

She created and directed the anthology short film for TVNZ OnDemand, Myth of the Model Minority, and her MA thesis short film Sixteen was selected for the San Diego Asian Film Festival and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival’s 2020 programme. She was one of the the directors for the CNZ funded Portraits; a series of short documentaries centred on Asian creatives in Aotearoa. Current projects include writing her debut play for Proudly Asian Theatre (PAT) called The First Prime-Time Asian Sitcom that has undergone development with PAT and Auckland Theatre Company’s Here and Now Young Writer’s Table. Nahyeon has attended various directing and writing workshops with Script to Screen, DEGNZ and PASC including Story Camp, Before Fade In and Short Cuts.

HWEILING OW, upon arriving to New Zealand, was bitten by a radioactive Weta that made her fall stupendous in love with film-making. She has since developed muti-hyphenated skills in the areas of producing, writing, directing and acting, and has been taking the world by storm with her online digital series and short horror films that have garnet millions of views. She has also successfully received New Zealand funding for numerous local productions. Like a moth drawn to a flame thrower, she is attracted to telling genre stories with a migrant twist. Her quirky cheery view of the world influences the type of projects she is captivated by.

CIAN ELYSE WHITE has had an extensive career in professional theatre, TV and film as an actress. In 2017, Cian wrote her Te Reo Māori short film Daddy’s Girl (Kōtiro) which received the Fresh 30K grant in 2018 and won the 2020 NZIFF Best Shorts audience award. Daddy’s girl (Kōtiro) has also been selected for Show Me Shorts, ImagiNATIVE, Asinabka, Hawaiian International Film Festival and was the first NZ film to be selected for Geena Davis Bentonville Film Festival in August this year.

Cian has a burning desire to tell stories that uplift the Māori voice and explore themes that are topical and relevant to our current social climate. In March 2020, Cian was one of 8 selected to partake in FilmUp run by Script to Screen. Cian has been working on her next short film, PUHI, and has completed a DEGNZ TV Drama Director Attachment on Vegas, shot in her home town of Rotorua.

ZOEY ZHAO is an Auckland-based filmmaker of Chinese descent. She gained a Masters in Screen Production at the University of Auckland in 2020. Fuelled by a never-ending urge to challenge herself, Zoey not only directed but also produced her graduation film, Foods For Coping. This film was selected to screen at the Show Me Short Film Festival around the country and it also screened internationally in the Miami Film Festival, WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival and awarded a Certificate of Merit for Solo Filmmaking by the Rochester International Film Festival.

From her background of working on-set and behind the camera, Zoey is capable of giving the audience a comprehensive and fulfilling experience by focusing on a modern social issue and the relationship upheaval surrounding it. She greatly admires working with female leaders in the field and she has a passion for developing fellow women. Zoey’s imagination and dedication are her greatest strengths. She always aims to give her best – expect nothing less.

DEGNZ is excited to present a workshop with director Rob Sarkies for South Island-based directors on November 28 – 29. Rob will outline his process and encourage participants to develop processes specific to them.


About Rob Sarkies

Rob Sarkies

Credit: Matt Grace Photography

Wellington-based, but a South Islander at heart, Rob works across feature films, series television and commercials. His work includes acclaimed feature Out of the Blue about the Aramoana shootings, Consent based on Louise Nicholas’s fight for justice, Jean about aviator Jean Batten, black-buddy-comedy Two Little Boys, Wanted, The Gulf and NZ classic Scarfies.

Process! Process! Process!

This will be a practical workshop that will take participants through Rob’s film-making process from development to shoot and examine how process can be adapted from project to project.

The workshop will cover:

  • Development process (how to avoid ‘development hell’ or at least ensure your project comes out the better at the end of it)
  • Process leading to production (script prep, visual prep, storyboards, casting process)
  • Pre-Production (rehearsal process, binding your collaborators to the same vision)
  • Practical process on set (scene blocking, working with cast, working with your DP)

A workshop full of practical hints to help you control the beast of a feature film rather than having it control you.

Workshop Details


When:

Saturday 28 November 2020, 9am – 5pm
Sunday 29 November 2020, 9am – 4pm

Where:

In Christchurch – venue TBC

And virtually on Zoom Meetings for those who cannot attend physically. Virtual participants will be able to interact with the tutor and moderator.

Price:

DEGNZ member – Free
Non-member attending Christchurch – $110*
Non-member attending Zoom – $80*

Lunch and refreshments provided for participants attending Christchurch.

*Discounted due to COVID-19. Normal Regional price $145

To Apply

The Guild invites directors based in the South Island to apply as there are limited spaces. Applicants should, ideally, have at least some directing experience on a short film/in other screen content OR production/crew experience. If you have a question, please get in touch.

STEP 1: Complete the application form below.

STEP 2: Send in one PDF to tema@degnz.co.nz:

  • Your filmography with a short bio or CV, and
  • a brief, maximum 1-page letter that tells us why you would like to participate and what you hope to gain from the workshop.

Application Deadline: 1PM, Monday 16 November 2020

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Application Form

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Cancellation and payment policies

 


This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC

Supported by Screen CanterburyNZ

Screen CanterburyNZ logo

2020 DEGNZ Incubator

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is delighted to introduce the seven directors selected for the fourth DEGNZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator:

Michelle Ang, Charlotte Evans, Pennie Hunt, Stella Reid, Rachel Ross, Jessica Grace Smith and Kathleen Winter

From June onwards, the directors will take part in five one-day workshops tailored to provide specific knowledge, networks, skills, and inspiration to enable them to advance themselves and their careers. The 2020 programme is organised by DEGNZ, facilitated by producer Philippa Campbell and made possible with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission. Philippa is an Emmy, Golden Globe and PGA award nominee as the producer of Jane Campion’s international hit television series Top of the Lake and Top of the Lake: China Girl.

We look forward to mentoring this talented group of filmmakers!

 

MICHELLE ANG is an Emmy and Logie nominated actress with work spanning New Zealand, Australia and the USA. She won Best Actress at the New Zealand Film Awards for My Wedding And Other Secrets. She has had the privilege of working with top directors such as Jane Campion, Jodie Foster, John Hillcoat and Steven Soderbergh. Her performances have been seen at festivals including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin. She produced her first feature For Izzy, attended the Sundance Director Lab 2018 and has directed music videos. She is currently in post-production for her self-funded short film NAI (Milk), which she wrote, directed and produced in Los Angeles. She was accepted into the MAP Screen Development Producer Training course and is working on creating a slate of projects.

Michelle Ang

CHARLOTTE EVANS is a Film Director based in Auckland, NZ. She started her film career in London in 2008 where she trained as a film editor for 2 years under the guidance of award-winning film editor Rick Waller. Charlotte has created music videos for a number of prominent artists such as Kimbra, Aldous Harding, Benee and Marlon Williams. In 2018 Charlotte’s directed an all-female team to create a film that commemorated 125 years of suffrage in New Zealand, with funding from NZ On Air. This project received an Honoree Webby Award, Silver at the NZCINE awards, Silver at Best Design Awards and Won Best Costume Design at NZTV awards. Four of Charlotte’s music videos made official selection at the Clipped Music Video Festival 2019. Recently Charlotte and her team of female filmmakers were selected for Loading Docs 2020 for their Short doco on Chlöe Swarbrick, who will also be the subject for a longer-form documentary. She is currently in production on a short doco about Rob Tennent and in development on a short film with comedians Hamish Parkinson and Brynley Stent.

Charlotte Evans

PENNIE HUNT is a writer and director based in Port Chalmers, Dunedin. She began making films during her nine years living and working in Germany with her shorts Earth, Hell, Heaven (financed by the Bavarian Film Commission) and Freakwave showing internationally including at Palm Springs, Hof and Aesthetica.

In 2016 Pennie returned to New Zealand and embarked on a Postgraduate Diploma in Filmmaking while working on her third short Milk. Funded by grants from Short Film Otago and the Dunedin City Council, as well as a successful crowdfunding campaign, Milk continues its run at festivals around the world.

With a slate of female-centric screenplays across several genres, Pennie is an accomplished storyteller. Her debut feature Riding Blind was the recipient of an Otago Southland Writer’s Residency and a NZWG Seed Grant in 2019.

Pennie Hunt

STELLA REID, wahine Pākehā, hails from Te Whanganui-A-Tara. A graduate of Toi Whakaari, Stella has won a Scotsman Fringe First, a Stage UK Acting Excellence Award, and was a 2019 nominee for Wellingtonian of the Year (Arts). Her NZ On Air, NZ Film Commission and The Body Shop funded short film, Drop Down Globe, which was a Someday Story, can be viewed on Māori Television OnDemand. A lifelong love affair with short stories has slowly developed into an anthology webseries, BURBS, of which she directed and wrote several episodes. The series, a love letter to Wellington, has tens of thousands of views on Youtube. Recently she has devised and performed in Small Ponds, a TV proof of concept, by Duncan Sarkies. Before lockdown she was the acting coach on the feature film Poppy, and developing a short film with writer Eamonn Marra for an anthology based on the book Headlands. She is looking ahead to being the Write Room Wellington Screenwriter Resident for 2020.

Stella Reid

RACHEL ROSS’ shorts credits include 2011’s Taylor receiving top mention in its category at Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, 2017’s NZIFF premiere and MIFF selection Have You Tried, Maybe, Not Worrying? and NZ Show Me Shorts Premiere and BAFTA-Qualifying Aesthetica for comedy piece Number Two. Rachel was selected for the 2017 Accelerator Lab in Melbourne with Have You Tried, Maybe, Not Worrying? Earlier in 2017 Rachel was the recipient of a 2017 New Zealand Film Commission’s Talent Development Grant. This $10,000 screenwriting grant enabled her to spend 8 weeks at the New York Film Academy developing her first feature screenplay.

In June 2019 Rachel was the recipient of the New Zealand Film Commission Grant, Catalyst He Kauahi. This grant dedicates $75,000 towards her short Green (on top of $8,000 Boosted funding) and $10,000 towards further script development for her feature Exhale. Rachel is now in post-production for Green and in development with Exhale.

Rachel Ross

JESSICA GRACE SMITH is a New Zealand actor, writer and director currently based in Auckland. Jessica graduated from Toi Whakaari in 2009 and over the past ten years acting she has observed many different directing styles. Of these she has integrated those which most resonated with her as a performer and storyteller in her own directing work. Her directorial debut, Everybody Else Is Taken (2017) won a Jury Award at the Academy-Award accredited Palm Springs International ShortFest and went on to screen at many festivals worldwide. Her second short FLIP (2019), funded by the NZFC, premiered at Toronto After Dark and just won an award (TBA) at ConCarolinas Short Film Festival in North Carolina. Her most recent work is Bondi Slayer, a Screen Australia funded digital series, shot on location in Sydney. Jessica has a passion for working on female driven projects, and makes a considered effort to approach women first when forming her crew.

Jessica Grace Smith

KATHLEEN WINTER is an independent filmmaker of Irish and Pākehā descent based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington. She is a graduate of the New Zealand Film and Television School and Robin Laing Scholarship recipient.

Her short documentary and web-series work has centered politically challenging stories that reflect real lives and uplift communities.

Topics her recent work has explored include:

  • Takatāpuitanga and Pride spaces (in the short film He Kākano Ahau – From The Spaces In Between)
  • The experiences of women working minimum-wage jobs in Aotearoa (in the web-series Minimum, supported by NZOnAir for RNZ)
  • Colonisation and Pākehā responsibility (in the web-series Land of the Long White Cloud, supported by NZOnAir for The NZ Herald and RNZ).

She is interested in stories of gender and sexual diversity, local history and grassroots movements, nerd culture, tino rangatiratanga and re-indigenisation, working-class and women’s stories, and ultimately – revolution.

Kathleen Winter

Peter Burger

Call for Applications – This two-day workshop is aimed at providing directors with practical tools that they can bring to their productions, both in pre-production and on set. We’ll work on the shape of pre-production (when do I prep what?), how to really read a script, blocking a scene on set, working with actors, the emotions of lenses, running a shoot day, budgeting your shoot time, and managing your own energy (very important!). Attendees will be expected to have done some amount of directing for screen, but want to develop their long form drama-directing experience further. We invite emerging to mid-career directors to apply.

About Peter Burger

Peter Meteherangi Tikao Burger is one of New Zealand’s premiere drama directors. He started his directing career making television commercials in the nineties. In 2001 his first tele-feature Fish Skin Suit won Best Drama in the Qantas NZTV awards, and the same year his short film Tūrangawaewae was selected for Critics’ Week at Cannes. Since then Peter has directed one feature film, seven tele-features, and more than thirty episodes of television drama. Recently, Peter was the lead director on The Dead Lands, a Māori action thriller series for the American network AMC, and is in post production on the upcoming TVNZ/Channel 7 production One Lane Bridge.

Workshop Details

Price:
DEGNZ member – Free
Non-member – $180

Lunch and refreshments provided

When:
Saturday 21 March 2020, 9.30am – 5.30pm
Sunday 22 March 2020, 9.30am – 4.30pm

Where: MTG RM, 2 Kingsland Terrace, Kingsland, Auckland

Travel Allowances:
If selected to attend, DEGNZ Full members may apply for financial assistance of up to $250 (incl. GST) towards their travel costs.

  • DEGNZ has up to 2 travel allowances available for this workshop.
  • Applicants must live in the South Island.
  • For further information and criteria, see here.

To Apply

Applications Close: 4PM, Friday 6 March 

STEP 1: Complete the registration form below.

STEP 2: Send in one PDF to tema@degnz.co.nz:

  • your CV or bio with filmography, and
  • a brief, maximum 1-page letter that summarises why you would like to participate and what you hope to gain from the workshop.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

 

Registration Form

 

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Refund Policy: Requests for refunds must be received by Sunday 15 March. Refunds can take up to approximately 10 working days to process.

 

This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC