DEGNZ invites you to apply for a drama editing workshop with award-winning editor David Coulson (The Zookeeper’s Wife, McFarland USA, North Country, Whale Rider, Broken English, Desperate Remedies) for up to 10 members of DEGNZ.

The workshop will be held across two days on the Saturday and Sunday of 20 and 21 August. Lunch will be provided each day.

All applicants must have a working knowledge of AVID edit systems.

Cost: DEGNZ members free, non-members $100.
When: 9am-5pm, Saturday 20 August and Sunday 21 August
Where: Unitec, Auckland

To apply, please send your application to with Drama Editing Workshop in the subject line your application in ONE pdf, to include:

  • CV
  • links to samples of your work
  • a maximum one-page letter stating why you should be selected.

Applications are due by Monday August 1, 9am. 

This initiative is brought to you with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

Last updated on 26 February 2018

The Directors & Editors Guild of New Zealand (DEGNZ) is delighted to announce the ten emerging women directors who will participate in its inaugural Women Filmmakers Incubator. They are:

  • Catherine Bisley
  • Nathalie Boltt
  • Abigail Greenwood
  • Kirsty Hamilton
  • Cathy MacDonald
  • Renae Maihi
  • Zoe McIntosh
  • Niki Si’ulepa
  • Yamin Tun
  • Aidee Walker

“After much debate, the experienced industry selection panel chose ten applicants who it felt were at the right stage of their careers to get the maximum benefit from the content the Incubator offers,” said Executive Director of DEGNZ Tui Ruwhiu.

“We look forward to assisting these talented women towards their first feature films, and helping to address the gender inequality that is reflected in the poor statistics of New Zealand women at the directing helm of feature film in this country.”

The Incubator is a targeted initiative designed to give emerging female directors the opportunity to build their knowledge, skills and networks as a means to advance their careers and projects in the screen industry.

Each workshop in the programme will bring in highly successful filmmakers and experts in a stepped approach that will develop participants’ confidence and capability to engage with the screen industry as they seek to get their own projects through development and into production.

The workshop series will start in Auckland in September 2016 and run through to the winter of 2017.

This initiative is supported with financial assistance from the New Zealand Film Commission.


For further information, please contact:

Tui Ruwhiu

Executive Director

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ


The New Zealand Film Commission invests in original and culturally significant films, encourages talented New Zealand filmmakers through developing career pathways and facilitating connections offshore, and works to increase the number of people seeing New Zealand films here and overseas.  It supports the growth of economic activity and helps ensure New Zealand has sustainable screen sector businesses operating within an internationally competitive screen sector.  The NZFC also helps negotiate co-production treaties and certifies co-productions and New Zealand films for tax purposes.

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ is a not-for-profit membership organisation that represents Directors and Editors in the New Zealand screen industry. This includes Directors and Editors of feature drama and documentary; television drama, documentary and factual programmes; short films; video art; animation; commercials and web content.

DEGNZ’s two primary roles are advocacy and professional development. We:

  • are dedicated to promoting excellence in the arts of directing and editing.
  • foster collegiality and unity within the screen industry.
  • promote members’ creative and economic rights.
  • work to improve industry working conditions and remuneration.
  • offer professional advice and information on contracts and industry standards and practice.
  • offer professional development events, networking opportunities, career advice, dispute resolution, mentoring, workshops, training, discounts and regular news bulletins for members across all levels of expertise, from novices to seasoned professionals.
  • is a voice for Directors and Editors in influencing policy in the interest of our members. We do this through our membership of the pan‐industry group SINZ (Screen Industry New Zealand), and by making submissions to government and public officials.
  • Internationally work co-operatively with other guilds and we belong to the International Affiliation of English‐Speaking Directors’ Organisations (IEASDO).

DEGNZ is Auckland-based with an office in Grey Lynn.

Contact Details:

Directors & Editors Guild of NZ

Level 2, 66 Surrey Crescent

Grey Lynn

P.O. Box 47-294, Ponsonby




Last updated on 7 December 2020

Collaborators Series with The Techos’ Guild & Peter Burger

Come along for a discussion about ‘Director and 1st AD Dynamics’. A panel of ADs–Terri Kilmartin, Amand Weaver, Jennifer Butcher, and Marc Ashton from NZFC–will speak to Peter Burger about the processes, challenges and triumphs of the Director/1st AD relationship.


When: 7pm for drinks, 7.30-8.30pm discussion, Wednesday 13 July

Where: Upstairs at the Grey Lynn RSC, 1 Francis Street


Last updated on 26 February 2018

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) is almost upon us. It’s usually my opportunity to catch up on as many films as I can jam in; films that often don’t get a release here but have achieved significant recognition in festivals, often in Europe.

I’ve just gotten back from spending eight days closeted in a Lithuanian hotel with 70 or so almost exclusively European writers, directors and producers, learning about coproducing there. Many European films are made as co-productions. Just look at the country credits in the NZIFF programme to see this. Two, three, four countries receive origin credits on many of the films. Filmmakers have to collaborate to survive in Europe. And they do. Co-productions broaden the potential financing base, allowing films to get made that can’t get up solely in one country.

While New Zealand has official coproduction treaties with 17 countries and counting, we don’t make that many official co-productions. Different regulatory environments, content that doesn’t easily span the divide and cultural differences are just some of the reasons why.

We don’t have a coproduction treaty with Australia, rather a Memorandum of Understanding—essentially the same thing. You’d think that with similar languages and cultures that we’d be working frequently with our Australian counterparts, but that’s not the case, although it’s changing. When our incentive increased to 40 per cent for TV as well as film, a lot of Australians noticed.

Australians like us are dependent on government financing to get films made. Director Niki Caro reminded us when she spoke at DEGNZ Selects last month to appreciate and treasure this government support, which allows us to get films up and out into the world for audiences to see. And that’s an increasingly difficult thing to do.

New Zealand and Australian filmmakers alike struggle to get their own people to watch their films. Of course there are the Wilderpeople and Last Cab to Darwin exceptions, but generally locally produced films in both countries have a hard time at the box office. The same lacklustre results come from our films in their market and vice versa.

It’s no easier for films in Europe. Most of them certainly don’t make their money back either. And they have as much difficulty as we do to find audiences for their films amidst the competition for eyeballs going on.

It is interesting for me to note the difference in filmmaking between Australasia and Europe from my recent experience.

Down here, there is a distinct pulling away from arthouse and toward genre and commercial films. Up there, of the 29 projects at the workshop I was at, 16 were arthouse, 2 animation, 4 documentary, 4 thriller, 2 comedy drama and 1 romcom. And in the genre areas (thriller, comedy drama, romcom), 50 per cent of the projects were from the UK. Arthouse still rules in Europe.

European filmmakers, particularly directors, it seems to me, see film as art. And they very intently use it to make strong thematic statements through macro and micro storytelling. Educated to think in three-act Anglo Saxon story structure, I can tell you it’s been difficult to analyse a 50-page arthouse feature film script from a European writer director who writes pictorially.

In the end, we may have different approaches to storytelling but we are all after the same result—to craft a strong film that has something to say and for it to find an audience to say it to. Arthouse? Entertainment? Something else? Different strokes for different folks.

Thank God for the New Zealand International Film Festival. It has pretty much something for everyone, Hollywood blockbusters aside, and the best of European filmmaking on offer. Make the most of it.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 26 February 2018