Come along to the next Rialto Film Talk on Thursday 27 August, 6.15pm, and watch Ever The Land. This feature documentary portrays the relationship between Ngai Tūhoe Maori and their land through a landmark architectural undertaking.

After the screening there will be a Q&A with special guests producer (and DEGNZ member!) Alexander Behse and architect Jerome Partington, moderated by Richard Riddiford. 

This film was directed by Sarah Grohnert and edited by another DEGNZ member, Prisca Bouchet. 

We hope to see you at the screening!

Where: Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
When: Thursday 27 August at 6:15pm 
Panellists: Producer Alexander Behse and Jasmax Senior Associate Jerome Partington

Visit our Facebook event here.

Screenshot 2015-08-26 at 3.12.52 PM

Last updated on 12 March 2018

Thanks to everybody who joined us at the Long Room last week in Ponsonby, for our Directors & Editors Open Night. It was great to see you and chat about DEGNZ!

IMG_2446 IMG_2445 IMG_2444

Last updated on 12 March 2018

Call for Applications for DEGNZ Drama Director Attachment on South Pacific Pictures TV Drama Series – WESTSIDE

DEGNZ invites applications for a Drama Director Attachment on production company South Pacific Pictures second Comedy Drama TV Series of WESTSIDE for TV3.

WESTSIDE is the prequel to hit SPP drama Outrageous Fortune. It is set in 1970s Auckland against a backdrop of real-life historical events. WESTSIDE tells the story of legendary safe cracker and career criminal Ted West, his wife Rita, their son Wolfgang and their friends, associates and nemeses. This second series will be produced by Mark Beasley.

This paid attachment will fall in the October – January 2016 period for a maximum of 6 weeks, depending on schedule and availability. It may include a small stand down period to allow for breaks in the schedule, with the aim of the Attachment getting to experience pre-production, production and post production on a major drama production. The attachment will cover 1 block (2 episodes).

Payment will be determined by negotiation with the production company and the level of experience of the applicant.

An opportunity exists for the Attachment to direct a scene in the production, but this is entirely at the discretion of South Pacific Pictures and its producer(s) and director—it is not guaranteed.

The aim of the attachment is to:

  • develop and upskill new television drama directors and
  • contribute to the ongoing production of quality future television drama and
  • provide another training pathway to the limited opportunities currently available.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  1. Be a Full member of DEGNZ, and
  2. Have a keen interest in television drama, and
  3. Either:-
  • Have 2 short film credits publicly screened to a paying audience at an NZFC accredited short film festival*, OR
  • Have held a position as the first assistant director of a publicly distributed and released feature film or TV drama series OR
  • Have won an award for a short film at an NZFC accredited film festival*, OR
  • Have proven dramatic narrative experience in a screen medium

*The NZFC list of accredited short film festivals here.

 To apply, please download the application form cover sheet from the DEGNZ website here, and submit the following in electronic form ONLY (Word file or PDF) by 9AM Monday 14 September 2015 to with WESTSIDE in the Subject line:

  • Completed Application Form Cover Sheet with your FULL DEGNZ Membership No., including links to your publicly screened works
  • A full CV & Filmography
  • A reference (from a senior screen industry practitioner)
  • A proposal of a maximum of 1-page outlining why you want to do the attachment.

A shortlist will be developed from applicants. An interview may or may not be required.

We will notify you as to whether or not your application has been successful, but NO FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE WILL BE ENTERED INTO REGARDING YOUR APPLICATION and the decision will be final.

We look forward to receiving your applications. This initiative has been made possible with the support of NZ On Air and South Pacific Pictures.


Last updated on 12 March 2018

I was talking to a talented director last night and he related to me his latest experience of that thing we all often go through—being told, “No.”

Whether you are pitching for a film, propping a TV show, a documentary idea, a web series, or trying to win that TVC or other job, in all likelihood you will be told “No” over “Yes.”

It can be dispiriting.

You have put so much time into the pitch. You’ve got the talent (or think you do), the idea/concept is a clear winner (your producer says so), the research has been done, the numbers stack up, and only an idiot would turn it down. And the idiot does.

For some, the “No” is a “Yes,” but just not from the right person. The Eternal Optimist.

For others, the “No” gives the merest twinge of pain before it’s up and on to the next person or the next pitch. The Cup Half Full Girl/Guy.

For a few, the “No” is really gut wrenching and the pain stays with you for days because you cannot fathom how that came to be the answer after your absolute belief that what you had done was a total winner. With distance you drag yourself up and get back into it. The Striver.

And then occasionally, the “No” prompts a major change of direction, or a change of career. The Realist.

Unless you are moving from regular contract to regular contract or fully employed, that “No” can mean the difference between paying your next bills or putting them on your already maxed out credit card.

This is not a nice place to be.

When you are a creative that is dependent on selling your idea to pay your bills, often on a project by project basis, and you are hearing nothing but “No,” then perhaps it’s time to ask yourself, “What time is it?”

In our high stress world, maybe it’s just time for you to take a break. Recharge those creative batteries. Rebuild that self-esteem.

Or perhaps you rework what was a fantastic premise into the prop it should have always been.

Maybe you pull that old idea out of the bottom drawer, dust it off, and shape it into the winning script/prop. that will deliver the magic answer.

Then again, maybe the idiot was right, the idea does suck, and you chuck it in the rubbish bin and start something new.

Or maybe it’s just time to realize that what you are doing is really not working and an honest self appraisal and major change is required—like get a job.

All of us have likely been through the lot.

We are in the business of taking regular knocks unless you are one of those truly talented people who everybody recognizes as a creative genius and who doesn’t hear “No” very often.

Our chances aren’t helped by the current environment because the screen industry is in turmoil. The changes are constant and it is definitely becoming harder to make a buck for individuals and companies alike in the traditional manner.

At the same time there are new opportunities, new ways to make money, new ways to express ideas that get picked up and go.

I attended a business-strategy session for screen practitioners this week with a couple of other non-profits, local government outfits, and a number of independent producers and staff from production companies.

It was a good reminder about the discipline of taking a strong self-look every 90 days to see if you are on track with your vision and objectives—if you’ve set them.

We all have our up days and our down days. When you are really down, try asking yourself, “What time is it?”

And maybe like Roy Schneider in All That Jazz you’ll say, “It’s show time, folks.” And you’ll get out there, make that effort and hear that one word we all love, long to hear, and sometimes wait an eternity for.


It’s the answer both the deluded and the talented pursue. May you all have many “Yesses” in your futures.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director






Last updated on 12 March 2018

Last night we welcomed Leslee Udwin to New Zealand in partnership with Script to Screen. Leslee Udwin is the formidable woman behind the making of the documentary India’s Daughter. An actress, producer, director and activist, Leslee inspired us all with stories about her life and career, which spans projects such as East Is East, Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution and West Is West. Then there’s India’s Daughter, which moved Leslee to campaign tirelessly for women’s rights and better ethical education around the world.

There’s no doubt that everybody who attended walked away feeling inspired and motivated by Leslee’s words. Many thanks to Shuchi Kothari for her wonderful facilitation of the session.

Wellingtonians can see Leslee tonight at the NZ Film and Television School from 6 – 7.30pm. Please RSVP to

Our thanks to the New Zealand Film Commission for their continued support of our events.


Last updated on 12 March 2018