Directed by members of the Rebel Film Collective: Niva Kay (DEGNZ), Emily McDowell, Nia Phipps and Phil Stebbing, High Tide Don’t Hide follows Kiwi teens as they join the global School Strike for Climate and soon discover that activism, authority and awareness make for a steep learning curve.

Currently participating in our 2021 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator, Niva has always been passionate about storytelling, environmental and social justice. She was responsible for the production, directing and shooting of key scenes and characters in Auckland and Thames.

At the recent Doc Edge Awards, Thomas Gleeson won the Best New Zealand Editing Award for his work on the film.

High Tide Don’t Hide will premiere in Auckland on June 11 and in Wellington June 25. Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. It will also be available to rent online between June 26 to July 11 as part of the festival.

Last updated on 4 June 2021

A teacher is forced to confront a secret from his past when a pair of ruthless drifters take his family on a nightmare road-trip in Coming Home in the Dark. Directed by James Ashcroft and edited by DEGNZ board member Annie Collins, the film is set to open in Aotearoa on August 12 after travelling the festival circuit.

This local thriller, starring Daniel Gillies (The Vampire Diaries), Erik Thomson (The Luminaries), Miriama McDowell (Head High) and Matthias Luafutu (Ghost in the Shell), garnered rave reviews after premiering at Sundance earlier in the year.

With one review from horror website Bloody Disgusting saying the film “succeeds in sheer intensity and extremism”.

Speaking with Sundance, James Ashcroft and writer Eli Kent described it as a “high energy nightmare road-trip”, based on an award winning short story by Owen Marshall.

Watch their Meet the Artist spotlight here:


Last updated on 4 June 2021

DEGNZ alumni Matthew Saville’s debut feature film Juniper, edited by Peter Roberts (DEGNZ), will be released in NZ cinemas on August 26. Starring Oscar-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling, the movie follows a self-destructive teenager who reluctantly looks after his alcoholic grandmother as punishment and soon finds himself embracing life again.

As part of the Guild’s Drama Editor Attachment Scheme the production provided an opportunity for an emerging editor to shadow Peter Roberts over the course of the edit. DEGNZ member Brendon Chan spoke with us about his experience shadowing Peter, from assembly through to the final cut, an experience that was “really beneficial” and one that eased his worries about working on feature films.

Saville, who wrote and directed Juniper, spoke with NZFC about how this story is inspired by his own experience with his grandmother and how he “can’t wait for audiences to see this intimate story brought to life”.

Watch the trailer here and save the date!




Last updated on 4 June 2021

DEGNZ presents director Zia Mandviwalla in Christchurch on June 26 as part of Direct South, a series of short film workshops for South Island directors.

Short films can showcase your creative voice and align with your long-term career goals.

Join us for a one-day workshop that will dive into the mahi behind Zia Mandvialla’s acclaimed and widely loved short film Night Shift, providing you with practical examples and ideas to inspire you and your projects.

Night Shift premiered at the Festival de Cannes in 2012, before showing at the New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Sundance and Valladolid Film Festivals, amongst others. It was the last New Zealand short film to make it into Cannes and was a Short Film Palme d’Or nominee.

Discussion will include:

  • how to work with actors
  • how you can develop visual and story ideas leading up to your shoot
  • how location influences story
  • and more

Who’s it for

Short film directors residing in Te Waipounamu South Island – you might be a first-time director or have several under your belt. This workshop series is not tailored to documentary or scriptwriting.

About Zia Mandviwalla

A Zoroastrian by birth writer-director Zia Mandviwalla was born in India, grew up in the Middle East and moved to New Zealand in 1996. Her delicately crafted narratives tell stories of people who exist on social peripheries – outsiders, searching for their place in the world.

Zia’s previous short films, Eating Sausage, Clean Linen and Amadi have also received acclaim at festivals around the world. With these films, Zia has represented New Zealand at the Berlinale Talent Campus and at Melbourne’s prestigious Accelerator program. She has received a host of awards for her writing and directing, and in 2009 Zia was named SPADA’s New Filmmaker of the Year.

Recently Zia has ventured into documentary including episodes of the Emmy nominated Netflix Original series Chef’s Table and the Netflix Original show Home Game. Zia was recently nominated for a James Beard Award for her work directing the Asma Khan episode of Chef’s Table.

Workshop Details

When: Saturday 26 June 2021, 10am – 4:30pm

New Zealand Broadcasting School – TV Block Madras Street Campus
33 Southwark Street, Christchurch 8011


Scholarships for Students

DEGNZ has up to 6 full scholarships available to support students in the South Island.

You must be at least 18-years-old and studying a screen-related course at a tertiary education provider. To apply, please send us a brief, max. one-page letter telling us:

  • A bit about yourself – what you’re studying and your aspirations after graduating, and
  • Why you want to attend this workshop

Email your letter, name and contact details to before registrations close.

Travel Allowances

DEGNZ Full members based outside of Canterbury can apply to the Guild for travel support up to the value of $150 (incl GST).

To apply you must meet these criteria:

  • You are a South Island resident living outside of the Canterbury region.
  • You are a NZ Citizen or permanent resident.

For additional information and criteria, see here.



Registration Closes: Wednesday 23 June, 2pm


DEGNZ member – Free
General Admission Early Bird – $37.50 (Special ends Tuesday 8 June, 11:59pm)
General Admission – $75

Lunch, tea and coffee included.



The Direct South: Short Film Workshops are brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.


With thanks to our Event Partner

Last updated on 8 June 2021

DEGNZ member Arvid Eriksson’s Acknowledgements, a dreamy art film shot at Auckland’s iconic Parnell Baths, will have its world premiere at Film Invasion Los Angeles this month, a festival which celebrates independent and art-house film. It will compete for the Best Experimental Short Film Award.

The film is based on a poem by NZ poet Louise Wallace and features Kiwi comedian Donna Brookbanks (Funny Girls) as a bored pool attendant and the voice of veteran actor Elizabeth McRae. Acknowledgements reflects on the marvel of other people and how we all affect each other.

Arvid is currently developing another abstract short while directing commercial projects and writing on a feature.

Watch the trailer here:

Last updated on 2 June 2021