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Shows Rūrangi, Educators and Homebound 3.0 promise entertainment and comic relief for Kiwis with funding from NZ On Air.

Rūrangi

The award-winning Rūrangi has been greenlit for a second season (5 x 22 mins) with recent funding from NZ On Air. DEGANZ member Max Currie directed and co-produced the first season, which tells the story of a transgender activist who returns home to the remote, politically divided dairy community of Rūrangi in hopes of reconnecting with his estranged father.

Season 2 will screen on Prime and Māori Television. Hulu picked up the first season for distribution in the US, among other international sales to Australia, the UK and France.

Rūrangi is a finalist in the 2021 New Zealand Television Awards for NZ On Air Best Drama Series.

The series was also cut into a feature film that screened at NZIFF in 2020 and the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, winning an Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. The film recently took home the award for Best International Feature at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Educators

Returning for a third season is the hit improvised comedy show, Educators. Set in a secondary school, the show centres around the dysfunctional teachers in charge of educating the next generation.

Entirely unscripted and featuring some of New Zealand’s top comedians, Educators is directed by Jesse Griffin (DEGANZ) who also co-writes the storylines. Recently, we hosted an online talk with Jesse and Educators editor Stuart Boone, delving into their process of writing, directing and editing the series. The talk was recorded for the DEGANZ podcast so if you missed it, you can catch it online or wherever you get your podcasts!

Homebound 3.0

DEGANZ 2021 Incubator alumna Hweiling Ow is part of the team behind new comedy Homebound 3.0, written by writer/actor Sam Wang. The project won the South Pacific Pictures Big Pitch at the 2019 SPADA Conference and will now become an exciting reality produced by Kevin and Co for Three.

The half-hour comedy revolves around a struggling 30-something unpublished writer forced to move back home and deal with the disappointment of his Chinese parents.

Read more on NZOA’s funding decisions

Jan Oliver Lucks, DEGANZ member and director of the critically acclaimed documentary There Is No I in Threesome, has signed with ICM Partners, a Los Angeles based talent and literary agency with offices in New York, Washington D.C and London. Including representing clients in motion pictures, ICM also has clients in television, music, publishing, live performance and new media.

Having premiered on HBO Max earlier this year, There Is No I in Threesome, a film about an open relationship, is having its theatrical release at this year’s Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF).

Jan Oliver has a new series in the pipeline, a road trip buddy comedy that follows him and his best friend, Wilbur, as they embark on a quest to discover healthy masculinity.

Snakeskin, directed by DEGANZ members Gillian Ashurst and co-edited by Cushla Dillon, returns to the big screen as part of a specially curated line-up of retrospective films to honour Bill Gosden, former director of Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF).

Starring Melanie Lynskey, Snakeskin follows two people bored of mundane suburbia who hit the road in search of adventure. Gosden wrote of Snakeskin when it ran at the Festival in 2001, “Bold, funny, sexy and macabre, Gillian Ashurst’s juicily cinematic first feature boots the cinema of unease into the new century…”

Snakeskin is one of eight films selected to screen as part of The Bill Gosden Tribute. The Tribute is a collection of some of Bill’s favourite films screened previously during his 40-year reign as director. In addition, a book to mark one year since his passing, titled The Gosden Years, is available for purchase from November 11 and is a record of his enormous legacy at the helm of NZIFF, including curated film notes and programme introductions.

We are delighted at the chance to see Snakeskin once again on big screens in parts of the country. To see if it’s screening in your town, head to the NZIFF website. Congratulations Gillian and Cushla!

Writer and director Nic Gorman (DEGANZ) has received funding towards his second feature film The Letting Go.

Nic’s 2017 feature film Human Traces premiered at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. He hopes to shoot his next film in present-day Christchurch over six weeks in Autumn next year.

The Letting Go is a science fiction film set in the near future where 50% of the world’s children become ‘shells’ once they hit puberty, falling into a permanent catatonic state with no hope of return. The story centres around Tess who negotiates the uncertainty that comes with parenting a pre-teen child in this world.

Nic Gorman’s film is one of five projects that received local funding from the Screen CanterburyNZ Production Grant round. Launched in July 2021, the purpose of the fund is to encourage screen productions to locate themselves and film in the Waitaha Canterbury region, at the same time stimulating sustainable economic growth for Christchurch. The second round is now accepting Scripted and Factual content from national and international filmmakers (closing Oct 28).

View of a beach coastline

Congratulations to our members who have been selected to take part in this year’s Story Camp Aotearoa — director Max Currie with Refuge and documentary director Gwen Isaac with Siouxsie with an X.

Story Camp is a development lab tailored to meet the needs of independent filmmakers and their feature film projects. This year Script to Screen received 76 applications and, after a rigorous shortlist process, nine projects made it in.

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