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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

We are excited to announce that the DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator will be going online in 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis and will resume face-to-face workshops when safe to do so.

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is now accepting applications from female directors to take part in the fourth year of this talent development programme.

Background

The overall vision of the DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator is to empower the participating directors with the confidence, knowledge and connections that they can use to go on and direct a feature film, drama or scripted series.

The Incubator is intended primarily for emerging debut directors of feature film (drama or documentary), but will also consider those wishing to establish careers in TV drama and scripted content.

Applicants must apply with a project, but the Incubator is primarily focused on filmmaker development, not project development.

The objectives of the Incubator are:

  • Increase the number of women directing features and TV drama.
  • Connect producers, broadcasters and funders with female directors with a view to getting more female-centric stories into and through development.
  • Create networking opportunities for women directors to further their projects and careers.
  • Inspire and encourage women directors to passionately pursue feature film and drama directing careers through interaction with successful women who serve as role models.
  • Improve directors’ understanding of the business of film and television drama.

The Incubator comprises five one-day workshops across 2020 with the first scheduled to take place in May 2020. Participants need access to a computer (recommended) or mobile to participate in online workshops via Zoom. If it becomes safe to resume public gatherings, remaining workshops will be held in Auckland. A travel allowance will be available for participants based in other regions.

The workshops are individually themed to provide specific knowledge, networks, skills, and inspiration that enable participants to advance themselves and their careers. As the global screen industry undergoes constant change during this turbulent time, DEGNZ will remain flexible as to the actual content of the programme, seeking to incorporate information and opportunities that are relevant.

Eligibility

All applicants will be expected to have a good level of directing experience with scripted content, such as acclaimed web series, shorts with festival success, TV commercials, or broadcast content.

Applicants must:

  • Have an active project (feature film, documentary feature, telefeature, TV/online drama or scripted series) in development that has never been presented to a broadcaster or funder. It is preferable that the project is at least at first draft script but if not available, there must be a detailed treatment for the project.
  • Have experience as a director of scripted content (drama, comedy) or documentary in the form of the project they are submitting, i.e. if you are applying with a narrative drama project, you must have experience directing narrative drama or if it’s comedy, experience directing comedy, etc.
  • For feature film, be a debut director.
  • Be available to participate in all workshops.
  • Be a NZ Citizen or permanent resident.

Membership

Selected participants must be DEGNZ members for the duration of the Incubator programme; they can be on either a Full or Associate membership level until 1 October 2020 as the Guild has reviewed its memberships in response to COVID-19. After 1 October, participants are required to be Full members, unless the Guild has decided to extend its Membership Holiday programme.

Selection Process

A selection panel will shortlist candidates. Shortlisted candidates must be available for a one-on-one interview via Zoom to be held around the end of April 2020. Getting an interview does not imply that you have been selected for the Incubator.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to immediately supply prior to the interview a detailed treatment of your project (different to your 1-page synopsis). The treatment needs to be within a minimum of 5 pages to a maximum of 10 pages.

The Incubator participants will be selected from the shortlist following the interview.

Decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: 5PM, Friday 17 April 2020

Application Requirements:

  1. Completed DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator Application Cover Sheet. Available here
  2. A one-page synopsis of the project with the ending revealed.
  3. A maximum two-page letter stating what your career goals are and why you want to participate in this Incubator.
  4. A one-page bio (not a CV).
  5. A filmography and links to completed work that supports the project you are including with this application.

Compile your documents into one single PDF* in the order matching requirements 1 – 5.

Give the single PDF the following naming convention: (YourName)_DEGNZWomenFilmmakersIncubator_2020

Send your application to admin@degnz.co.nz with DEGNZWFI2020 in the subject line.

 

* Online PDF merge tool

 

The Incubator is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

NZFC

Congratulations to the five directors who have completed DEGNZ’s third Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator. Our newest Incubator alumni are Anna Duckworth, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Jessica Sanderson, Claire van Beek and Ursula Williams. You can read more about them here

The directors attended five, tailored workshops over the year. It has been a pleasure fostering these talented filmmakers to make strong career choices, and ‘incubating’ babies Violet and Margot in the process too! Big thanks to the NZFC and Vista Foundation for supporting the Incubator, and to facilitator Shuchi Kothari and all the special guests who came to speak to the directors. 

 

 

DEGNZ is thrilled to announce the selection of the Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator participants for 2019.

Once again we have a stellar group of women directors who have shown considerable talent in their areas of endeavor. We look forward to welcoming them to the Incubator, which is designed to provide them with information, knowledge and networks so that they can advance their projects and professional skills, with the aim of seeing them go on to sustainable careers as directors.

This is the third year that DEGNZ has run the Incubator, made possible with the financial assistance of the New Zealand Film Commission and Vista Foundation.

The participants for 2019:

 

ANNA DUCKWORTH has a Bachelor of Communications Studies, Major in Video Production, Minor in Advertising from AUT University. She’s worked in film and television for almost a decade in both New York City and Auckland. Her focus early on was Producing, but she has recently moved her focus to writing and directing.

Anna wrote and directed three self-funded short films: Fomo (2011), Full Disclosure (2016) and Mum Jeans (2017), which screened at the 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival.

After working as a script advisor on not-safe-for-work feminist web series Psusy, Anna was invited to direct season 2, which went on to screen at New Orleans Film Festival, Seattle Webfest, DC Webfest, Melbourne Web Series Festival and won the Best Episodic Jury Prize at the 2018 LA Film Festival.

In 2018, Anna was granted production funding for two projects as writer/director. The first was an NZFC Fresh Short film Pain. The second was part of the TVNZ New Blood initiative, Butt Dial, a six-part web series.

Anna has twice won Best Director at 48Hours Competition, with her team being three time National Finalists.

Anna Duckworth

MARINA ALOFAGIA MCCARTNEY was born and raised in Manukau City, New Zealand. From a Geordie father, Samoan mother and Cook Islands step-mother, she is powerfully aware of her cultural heritage, how this affects the way we are viewed and how we view others.  After just over a decade in the fashion industry, as Miss New Zealand and one of the few fashion models of Pacific descent, she returned to the University of Auckland to study film and graduated with a MA (First Class Honours).

She is an award-winning filmmaker with films featuring in over 30 festivals, including Palm Springs ShortFest, NZ’s Best Short Film in the NZ International Film Festival, ImagiNATIVE, Hawai’i International Film Festival and the NZ Script Writer Awards.  Her latest film Vai, a portmanteau feature film made with another 8 Pacific female writer and directors, is currently doing the festival rounds, opening the NATIVe section at the 2019 Berlinale, SXSW and Māoriland with other festivals to follow.

Marina is an experienced teaching fellow, formally based at Pacific Studies, University of Auckland, and her academic areas of expertise are Pacific Studies, Pacific filmmaking, Pacific representation on screen and representations of the Pacific woman.  She is also a PhD candidate exploring Pacific filmmaking at AUT University, proud mother to her daughter, Alena Sevai, and is currently working on her feature film, The Return.

Marina McCartney

JESSICA SANDERSON is a director from a design and theatre background. Of Māori and Pākehā descent, the varied lives of her family influence the stories she tells – the majority of which are about the people of Aotearoa and the wider Pacific.

Jessica has a Bachelor of Performance Design, a joint degree from both Massey University and Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School, which has influenced the strong visual and conceptual approach she applies to her projects. She has created music videos for some of Aotearoa’s most prolific artists, including; Aaradhna, Shapeshifter, Stan Walker, Tama Waipara, Ria Hall, Kora and more.

Jessica has recently finished her first short film Ways To See, funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and produced by her long-time collaborator Desray Armstrong (Sandy Lane Productions). She is currently directing an eight-part documentary television series called Moko produced by Velvestsone Media and is in script development for a feature film Wai.

JessicaSanderson

CLAIRE VAN BEEK is a writer/director from Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. After graduating from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School with a Bachelor in Performing Arts, Claire worked on TV commercials with Jake Scott (Alien, Welcome to the Rileys) and Garth Davis (Lion, Top of the Lake) as well as writing and acting for theatre. After becoming a “NZ Young Playwright of the Year” Claire moved into film.

Recently, Claire travelled to Portland to work with Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) on Debra’s latest film Leave No Trace before returning to Aotearoa to shoot her NZFC Fresh Shorts funded film DANIEL, edited by Oscar winner John Gilbert (Lord of the Rings, Hacksaw Ridge).

Claire’s  focus is on female-centric, visually distinctive stories.  She is currently in preparation for her next films Black Camel (Fresh Short finalist), The Mill and The Milkman, and is in development for her first feature.

Claire van Beek

URSULA WILLIAMS gained a Bachelor of Communications (majoring in television directing) and Honours in Documentary Film at AUT University.

She went on to direct and produce  The King,  a short documentary film, as a part of her Master’s thesis (taking first-class honours). The King won the audience award at the NZIFF for best short and showcased at the Sydney Film Festival 2016. The same year, Ursula won the Inaugural Bright Sunday Emerging Pasifika Director Award with this film at the Wāiroa Maori Film Festival.

In 2017, Ursula produced and directed selected  Surreal Estate  for Loading Docs (2017), and for the WIRELESS Aupito – The High Chief, which picked up a bronze at the NZ Cinematographer Awards.

Ursula currently works for VICE New Zealand. Her most recent documentary  Deportees of Tonga: Gangster’s in Paradise, has so far been viewed by over five million people worldwide one month after release. The series Zealandia, which she also produced and directed, has been picked up by networks globally, and received more than 10 million views. Zealandia was nominated for an array of awards including  Best News Video, Best Feature Video, Best Editorial Feature  and  Best Team Video  at New Zealand’s 2019 Voyager Media Awards.

Ursula Williams

DEGNZ

DEGNZ is pleased to be able to offer the Women Filmmakers Incubator for a third year in 2019. We now welcome applications from female directors to be a part of this programme.

Background

The overall vision of the DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator is to empower the participating directors with the confidence, knowledge and connections that they can use to go on and direct a feature film, drama or scripted series.

The Incubator is intended primarily for emerging debut directors of feature film (drama or documentary), but will also consider those wishing to establish careers in TV drama and scripted content.

Applicants must apply with a project, but the Incubator is primarily focused on filmmaker development, not project development.

The objectives of the Incubator are:

  • Improve writers and/or directors’ understanding of the business of film and television drama.
  • Increase the number of women directing features and TV drama.
  • Connect producers, broadcasters and funders with female directors with a view to getting more female-centric stories into and through development.
  • Create networking opportunities for women directors to further their projects and careers.
  • Inspire and encourage women directors to passionately pursue feature film and drama directing careers through interaction with successful women who serve as role models.

The Incubator comprises five one-day workshops across an approximate 12-month period with the first scheduled to take place in March 2019.

The workshops are individually themed to provide specific knowledge, networks, skills, and inspiration that enable participants to advance themselves and their careers.

The DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator in 2018.

Eligibility

All applicants will be expected to have a good level of directing experience with scripted content such as acclaimed web series, shorts with festival success, TV commercials, or broadcast content.

Applicants must:

  • Have an active project (feature film, documentary feature, telefeature, TV or web drama or scripted series) in development that has NEVER been presented to a broadcaster or funder. It is preferable that the project is at least at first draft script, but if not available there must be a detailed treatment for the project.
  • Have experience as a director of scripted content (drama, comedy) or documentary in the form of the project they are submitting, i.e. if you are applying with a narrative drama project, you must have experience directing narrative drama or if it’s comedy, experience directing comedy, etc.
  • For feature film, be a debut director.
  • Be available to participate in all workshops.

Application & Selection Process

A selection panel comprising DEGNZ board members and senior industry practitioners will shortlist candidates. Shortlisted candidates must be available for a one-on-one interview either in person or via Skype to be held around the end of February/early March 2019.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to immediately supply prior to the interview a detailed treatment of your project (different to your 1-page synopsis). The treatment needs to be within a minimum of 5-pages to a maximum of 10-pages.

Decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. The Incubator participants will be selected from the shortlist following the interview—getting an interview does not imply that you have been selected for the Incubator.

Every Incubator participant must be a Full DEGNZ member for the full duration of the Incubator course.

The workshops will be held in Auckland. A travel allowance will be available for those successful applicants coming from other regions.

Application Requirements

  1. Completed DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator Application Cover Sheet. Available here (updated)
  2. A one-page synopsis of the project with the ending revealed.
  3. A maximum two-page letter stating what your career goals are and why you want to participate in this Incubator.
  4. A one-page bio (not a CV).
  5. A filmography and links to completed work that supports the project you are including with this application.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: 4PM, Monday 25 February 2019

Compile your documents into one single PDF in the order matching requirements 1 – 5.

Give the single PDF the following naming convention: (YourName)_DEGNZWomenFilmmakersIncubator_2019

Send your application to admin@degnz.co.nz with DEGNZWFI2019 in the subject line.

 

The initiative is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission and Vista Foundation.

NZFC