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Following the success of feature films Waru and Vai comes Kāinga. With funding through NZ On Air, Kāinga will be an anthology of short films led by Pan-Asian filmmakers that celebrates the experience of eight different Pan-Asian women as they navigate what it means to become ‘at home’ in Aotearoa.

The movie will be produced by Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions for RNZ.co.nz. It closes a  film trilogy written and directed by underrepresented female filmmakers in the New Zealand screen industry.

We are delighted that DEGANZ members are among the eleven female creative leads in this project!

Writer Mia Maramara 

Director Michelle Ang 

Writer/director Ghazaleh Golbakhsh 

Director Julie Zhu 

Writer/director Nayheon Lee

 

Director Kathy McRae (DEGNZ) and her team are independently funding a feature documentary that dives deeper into themes explored in Water Baby, their Loading Docs short film.

Water Baby (2019) documented freediving couple Sachiko Fukumoto and William Trubridge’s quest to have a water birth in the ocean. The short documentary has been watched by around 8 million people and is used by educators around the world, motivating expecting parents to explore birthing options

Its sequel, Pacific Mother, will explore the disconnection between the global default maternity system and the needs of families. The filmmaking team are running a live Kickstarter campaign to help them raise NZD 30,000 to help finish the film, including telling the story of Aotearoa’s maternity system.

In Pacific Mother, Sachiko travels from Japan to Hawaii, Tahiti, the Cook Islands and New Zealand to connect with strong ocean women, whose interwoven stories about birth and parenthood inspire a more traditional, connected way of life.

Please support Kathy McRae’s film if you can! Find more information about Pacific Mother on their Kickstarter page. Their fundraising campaign has 19 days remaining.

Director Kathy McRae and producer Migiwa Ozawa in Hawai’i before Covid-19 shut the borders in 2020.

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!

We are excited to hear that DEGNZ member Roseanne Liang will serve as a director on Netflix’s live action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender! The series will follow the story depicted in the original Nickelodeon animated show, set in a fictional world of Four Nations, each being home to “benders” who can manipulate elements using martial arts.

Roseanne will direct an unknown number of episodes, alongside Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story) and Jabbar Raisani (Lost in Space, Game of Thrones). She will also serve as co-executive producer according to Deadline.

The series is still very much in pre-production and is reportedly shooting in Vancouver from November.

Congratulations to our member Jaimee Poipoi who has been selected to partake in Write Room Wellington 2021. Jaimee will join the programme’s mentor team as this year’s Producer intern.

Mentors include DEGNZ members Rob Sarkies (Out of the Blue, Scarfies) and Max Currie (Rūrangi, Everything We Loved), as well as Briar Grace Smith (Cousins, The Strength of Water), Karin Williams (SIS, Mou Pirir: A Rarotongan Love Song) and Vicky Pope (Savage, Two Little Boys).

The deadline for submissions to Write Room Auckland has been extended till August 30, 5pm. Write Room Auckland provides industry-leading mentorship for one Auckland-based writer working on a feature film script. Find out more here.