Writer Rochelle Bright discusses Kiwi musical Daffodils and the process of adapting her critically acclaimed stage play for the screen. Here’s a snippet from the Q&A. On finding whose story it was:


“I think what makes the script a little bit different is it’s completely structured by the songs, and so the songs kind of force the storytelling and whose role it is quite a bit. But we had so many discussions throughout where we’d go back and forward between Eric and Rose.” – Rochelle Bright


Directed by David Stubbs and produced by Richard Fletcher, Daffodils is a bittersweet love story told with beautiful re-imaginings of iconic New Zealand songs, including tracks by Crowded House, LIPS, Bic Runga, and Dave Dobbyn.

Leaving her dying father’s bedside, singer Maisie rushes to perform at an indie music gig in town. But as she sings the opening song, it’s hard for her to ignore the heartfelt story she’s just been told – the story of how her dad met and fell in love with her mother, and how it all devastatingly fell apart.

This event was part of the Film Talk Series, presented by DEGNZ and Rialto Cinemas in Auckland.

Last updated on 20 March 2020

DEGNZ is thrilled to announce the selection of the Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator participants for 2019.

Once again we have a stellar group of women directors who have shown considerable talent in their areas of endeavor. We look forward to welcoming them to the Incubator, which is designed to provide them with information, knowledge and networks so that they can advance their projects and professional skills, with the aim of seeing them go on to sustainable careers as directors.

This is the third year that DEGNZ has run the Incubator, made possible with the financial assistance of the New Zealand Film Commission and Vista Foundation.

The participants for 2019:


ANNA DUCKWORTH has a Bachelor of Communications Studies, Major in Video Production, Minor in Advertising from AUT University. She’s worked in film and television for almost a decade in both New York City and Auckland. Her focus early on was Producing, but she has recently moved her focus to writing and directing.

Anna wrote and directed three self-funded short films: Fomo (2011), Full Disclosure (2016) and Mum Jeans (2017), which screened at the 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival.

After working as a script advisor on not-safe-for-work feminist web series Psusy, Anna was invited to direct season 2, which went on to screen at New Orleans Film Festival, Seattle Webfest, DC Webfest, Melbourne Web Series Festival and won the Best Episodic Jury Prize at the 2018 LA Film Festival.

In 2018, Anna was granted production funding for two projects as writer/director. The first was an NZFC Fresh Short film Pain. The second was part of the TVNZ New Blood initiative, Butt Dial, a six-part web series.

Anna has twice won Best Director at 48Hours Competition, with her team being three time National Finalists.

Anna Duckworth

MARINA ALOFAGIA MCCARTNEY was born and raised in Manukau City, New Zealand. From a Geordie father, Samoan mother and Cook Islands step-mother, she is powerfully aware of her cultural heritage, how this affects the way we are viewed and how we view others.  After just over a decade in the fashion industry, as Miss New Zealand and one of the few fashion models of Pacific descent, she returned to the University of Auckland to study film and graduated with a MA (First Class Honours).

She is an award-winning filmmaker with films featuring in over 30 festivals, including Palm Springs ShortFest, NZ’s Best Short Film in the NZ International Film Festival, ImagiNATIVE, Hawai’i International Film Festival and the NZ Script Writer Awards.  Her latest film Vai, a portmanteau feature film made with another 8 Pacific female writer and directors, is currently doing the festival rounds, opening the NATIVe section at the 2019 Berlinale, SXSW and Māoriland with other festivals to follow.

Marina is an experienced teaching fellow, formally based at Pacific Studies, University of Auckland, and her academic areas of expertise are Pacific Studies, Pacific filmmaking, Pacific representation on screen and representations of the Pacific woman.  She is also a PhD candidate exploring Pacific filmmaking at AUT University, proud mother to her daughter, Alena Sevai, and is currently working on her feature film, The Return.

Marina McCartney

JESSICA SANDERSON is a director from a design and theatre background. Of Māori and Pākehā descent, the varied lives of her family influence the stories she tells – the majority of which are about the people of Aotearoa and the wider Pacific.

Jessica has a Bachelor of Performance Design, a joint degree from both Massey University and Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School, which has influenced the strong visual and conceptual approach she applies to her projects. She has created music videos for some of Aotearoa’s most prolific artists, including; Aaradhna, Shapeshifter, Stan Walker, Tama Waipara, Ria Hall, Kora and more.

Jessica has recently finished her first short film Ways To See, funded by the New Zealand Film Commission and produced by her long-time collaborator Desray Armstrong (Sandy Lane Productions). She is currently directing an eight-part documentary television series called Moko produced by Velvestsone Media and is in script development for a feature film Wai.


CLAIRE VAN BEEK is a writer/director from Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. After graduating from Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School with a Bachelor in Performing Arts, Claire worked on TV commercials with Jake Scott (Alien, Welcome to the Rileys) and Garth Davis (Lion, Top of the Lake) as well as writing and acting for theatre. After becoming a “NZ Young Playwright of the Year” Claire moved into film.

Recently, Claire travelled to Portland to work with Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) on Debra’s latest film Leave No Trace before returning to Aotearoa to shoot her NZFC Fresh Shorts funded film DANIEL, edited by Oscar winner John Gilbert (Lord of the Rings, Hacksaw Ridge).

Claire’s  focus is on female-centric, visually distinctive stories.  She is currently in preparation for her next films Black Camel (Fresh Short finalist), The Mill and The Milkman, and is in development for her first feature.

Claire van Beek

URSULA WILLIAMS gained a Bachelor of Communications (majoring in television directing) and Honours in Documentary Film at AUT University.

She went on to direct and produce  The King,  a short documentary film, as a part of her Master’s thesis (taking first-class honours). The King won the audience award at the NZIFF for best short and showcased at the Sydney Film Festival 2016. The same year, Ursula won the Inaugural Bright Sunday Emerging Pasifika Director Award with this film at the Wāiroa Maori Film Festival.

In 2017, Ursula produced and directed selected  Surreal Estate  for Loading Docs (2017), and for the WIRELESS Aupito – The High Chief, which picked up a bronze at the NZ Cinematographer Awards.

Ursula currently works for VICE New Zealand. Her most recent documentary  Deportees of Tonga: Gangster’s in Paradise, has so far been viewed by over five million people worldwide one month after release. The series Zealandia, which she also produced and directed, has been picked up by networks globally, and received more than 10 million views. Zealandia was nominated for an array of awards including  Best News Video, Best Feature Video, Best Editorial Feature  and  Best Team Video  at New Zealand’s 2019 Voyager Media Awards.

Ursula Williams

Last updated on 20 March 2020

Screenlink: Fresh Eggs

New time and place announced:

Fresh Eggs co-creator/co-writer Nick Ward and lead director Britta Hawkins take us behind-the-scenes into the creative process of making television. DEGNZ and NZWG members are warmly invited to join us for this Screenlink Q&A moderated by Gaysorn Thavat. Fresh Eggs is the new six-part black comedy on TVNZ 2, which follows a couple’s quest for “the good life” that goes wickedly awry.

WHEN:  Mon 27 May, 6PM. Talk kicks off at 6:30PM.
WHERE: Horse & Trap, 3 Enfield St, Mount Eden, Auckland

Nibbles provided.

DEGNZ / NZWG members – Free
Non-members – $5 koha appreciated

A joint event between the Directors and Editors Guild of NZ and the New Zealand Writers Guild

Event recording available to watch here.

Event Registration


Last updated on 12 June 2019

Director Jason Stutter

Innovative New Zealand director Jason Stutter leads this two-day workshop offering a practical guide to directing for emerging directors of short films and feature-length projects. The Directors Toolkit aims to establish a professional approach to filming and underline the keys to good work.

Over the weekend, we will cover working with professional actors, non-actors, and different scales of production crew. We will take you through pre-production, casting, production, post-production and how to get your final film out into the world of festivals and markets.


About Jason Stutter

Jason Stutter’s first movie was cult kung-fu caper Tongan Ninja (2002). Since then he has alternated features – self-funded comedy Edwin: My Life as a Koont, stylish Ronald Hugh Morrieson adaptation Predicament – with shorts, including the hit Careful… series beginning with Careful with that Axe, riffing on the dangers of inattentive tool use. His most recent feature, haunted house tale The Dead Room, was released in New Zealand in 2015.


Sat 4 May, 9am – 5pm
Sun 5 May, 9am – 3:30pm

Where: Sherwood Queenstown, 554 Frankton Road, Queenstown 9300

A travel allowance may be available to DEGNZ members travelling from out of town with preference given to South Island members.

Class: 20 max

Film Otago Southland will also be hosting a Film Industry Networking Night at the Sherwood on Saturday 4 May at 5:30pm. This will be a chance for workshop attendees and local industry alike to meet and mingle in the cosy warmth of the Sherwood over a drink and some nibbles! All are welcome (you don’t need to attend the workshop to come along), and there is no cost. RSVP to the Film Industry Networking Night, here.


Workshop Enrolment

Cost: DEGNZ members – Free, Non-members – $100
Lunch and refreshments provided each day.

For non-members, payment must by made in full prior to the start of the workshop to confirm a booking. We accept payment by credit/debit card and direct credit.

Make a Booking:  


Cancellation and Refunds: Cancellations will be accepted up until 24 hours before the workshop start time. If you wish to receive a refund, you must advise DEGNZ by Tuesday 30 April. A $3.00 cancellation fee will be incurred. Payments will be refunded in full if DEGNZ cancels the workshop. Refunds can take up to approximately 10 working days to process.


This workshop is presented by the Directors & Editors Guild of NZ with the support of Film Otago Southland and funding from the NZ Film Commission.

DEGNZ logoFilm Otago Southland






Last updated on 20 March 2020

Daffodils is a bittersweet love story told with beautiful re-imaginings of iconic New Zealand songs. Directed by DEGNZ member David Stubbs, the musical stars Rose McIver, George Mason and Kimbra.

Catch the film at this Rialto Film Talk screening as it first arrives in cinemas! We’ll be joined by writer Rochelle Bright for a half-hour Q&A after. She has had major success with this screenplay as a stage show that’s been performed all over the country and now it’s hitting the big screen.

Last updated on 20 March 2020