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DEGANZ Incubator alumna Marina Alofagia McCartney has received funding for her project The Return. The short film follows Lupesina who answers the call from her ancestors, and must prove her worthiness as a Samoan woman or stay stuck in the in-between.

Congratulations, Marina! She is the first woman writer/director of Moana Pasifika heritage to secure Catalyst funding in over a decade and the majority of the creative HOD’s on The Return are of Moana Pasifika descent too.

Catalyst He Kauahi supports NZ filmmakers to progress their talents to the next stage and make exceptional, high end narrative short films. The NZFC have funded three teams a total of $100,000 each ($90,000 towards their short film and $10,000 towards development of the feature film concept). Marina’s team are currently developing a feature that will continue the poetic character exploration of a NZ-born Samoan woman’s identity journey.

Legendary film editor and DEGANZ board member Annie Collins spoke to Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision about her work on PATU!, collaborating with trailblazing Māori filmmaker Merata Mita.

Annie recalls the unique challenges when it came to editing the documentary film, which records the anti-Apartheid protest that took place in New Zealand during the 1981 South African rugby tour. She explains that Merata Mita was certain that she wanted PATU! to serve as an historical document.

Annie also speaks about her own history in film and how she began her career as an editor in Aotearoa.

Watch the full interview

An exciting new film festival is coming to Auckland! Showcasing films featured at this year’s NZIFF, as well as international talent, In The Shade will commence early next year on January 19 and runs until February 1. Fiona Clark: Unafraid is part of the line-up.

DEGANZ member Lula Cucchiara directed the documentary, with Shailesh Prajapati as assistant editor. The film explores radical photographer Fiona Clark and her work, which captured the burgeoning gay liberation movement and vibrant queer scene in 1970’s New Zealand.

The festival will be exclusive to Academy Cinemas and the Hollywood in Avondale, and will include international films sourced from some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals, such as Sundance, Cannes and Toronto.

When speaking of the current state of Auckland’s cinema scene, In The Shade commented that “Auckland is currently in the throes of a big screen drought, the like never seen in our moviegoing lifetimes”. Therefore, quenching Aucklander’s “insatiable hunger for the very best cinema from around the world” is what the festival hopes to do.

Fiona Clark: Unafraid has recently enjoyed a run as part of NZIFF, and will no doubt be an exciting addition to the new In The Shade film festival as well. Other films announced as part of the programme can be found on the festival’s website, with more titles being added in the coming weeks.

Well done to Christchurch filmmaker Gaylene Barnes (DEGANZ) whose project Ladies, A Knife was selected as winner of the 2021 South Pacific Pictures ‘Big Pitch’. Gaylene was one of six hopeful teams applying for the $2,500 award. The prize will go towards development, in addition to a complimentary registration to the 2022 SPADA Conference.

The judging panel featured Kelly Martin and Andrew Szusterman of South Pacific Pictures, Steve Barr (TVNZ), Jo Smith (NZFC), Thomas Robins (Sky Originals), and guest judge Jon Landau.

Gaylene said that “the idea has been lingering for quite a few years, and it’s perhaps a story New Zealand doesn’t know it needs right now.”

SPP CEO Kelly Martin called Gaylene’s pitch “a potentially multicultural story which can allow us to talk about what’s happening now by looking back into the past.” Martin said Ladies, A Knife has the potential to “develop characters that New Zealanders can really identify with.”

Congrats Gaylene!

A new trailer for Mystic Season 2 has recently dropped on CBBC’s Youtube Channel. This season was produced by David Stubbs (DEGANZ), and directed by fellow members Aidee Walker and Caroline Bell-Booth. We would like to extend a big congratulations to the team!

A family thriller with a supernatural twist, Mystic follows London-raised teen Issie who moves to rural New Zealand. After encountering a frightened and mysterious horse in the wilderness, Issie unravels a series of secrets. Mystic was shot on location in Auckland.

The show mixes recognisable kiwi landscapes together with international and local talent. British actress Macey Chipping is the show’s lead, and Kirk Torrance (Outrageous Fortune) plays grumpy stable manager, Sam.

Mystic is an adaptation of the Pony Club Secrets book series by kiwi journalist-turned-novelist Stacy Gregg. The show is an international production between TVNZ and CBBC. Following the success of its first season on TVNZ and BBC iPlayer, Mystic was renewed for a second and third season.

Season 2 will be released for New Zealand viewers next year, but in the meantime, the first season is available to watch on TVNZ OnDemand.