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I do hope everyone had a restful and restorative Christmas and New Year’s break, because here we go again.

Like 2021, a false sense of security across the summer has been ended this year, quicker than last, with COVID bashing down the doors once more.Thankfully, production has been rolling in Auckland since the move to Orange and a number of shows are in production or have completed. We are all wiser about how to operate in a COVID environment, but the new strain means new adjustments for all.

The Government gave up on the elimination strategy last year and we are now faced with having to live with COVID in our personal and work lives.

At the Guild, we have conducted our risk assessment for the office and our events, which were severely impacted in 2021. A number of our workshops require close proximity between actors, whether it be Rehearsal & Performance, Directing In the Intimate Zone, or Rehearsal Dynamics. Others we are able to conduct in an online environment—not ideal but possible—like the Directors Masterclass, Director’s Toolkit, Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator, and the Table Reads that we do with NZWG.

We have reviewed all of these and our other one-off events and will be rolling out our Omicron-adjusted workshop and event programme from February. Keep an eye out for a new series of workshops that will look in detail at our template film agreements for directors (under development) and editors (already available), so that you can better understand and negotiate your contracts.

In the meantime, we all need to prepare for home isolation with the Omicron variant of COVID. If you haven’t already done this, you’ll find the Government’s information page on how to prepare your household for COVID here and the updated guidelines for life at Red here.

For those contemplating production, ScreenSafe continues to provide a comprehensive set of guidelines and advice for productions here. Continue to check regularly as this will update with Omicron and Rapid Antigen Testing.

We could well see for NZ productions the introduction of strict Zones on set with Omicron. If you want to understand what shape this could take, see the DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters document on COVID protocols on set, including how their Zone system works.

As always, the guilds are always contactable and ready to assist in these trying times. If you are having an issue, need some advice or assistance, or require some help, as members you can reach out to me or the ED of the organisation that represents you. So don’t hesitate.

Although we continue to be challenged by the pandemic we can still count our blessings that Aotearoa New Zealand hasn’t yet been as severely impacted as many other countries. It’s still summer. And with the acceptance that COVID is here to stay, we have more freedoms than in past systems used to control the spread.

Stay safe, stay well, and enjoy yourself wherever and whenever you can—it’s good for your wellbeing.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 27 January 2022

Our congrats goes to Tom Augustine (DEGANZ) who is one of five recipients selected to take part in the 2022 Tāhuna Writers Residency. The residency was created by Great Southern Television and the Queenstown Lakes District Council, with the support of the NZFC and NZOA.

The one month residency will include workshops with leading screen practitioners, accommodation and coverage of living costs. The writers will each develop a concept for a scripted drama series to be based and produced in the Queenstown Lakes.

Philip Smith, CEO of Great Southern Television, states how thrilled they are by the calibre and range of participants in their inaugural workshop. They are eager to take these writers on the journey and provide them with the resources and the insights to make their creative visions reality.

Last updated on 27 January 2022

We are excited for member Michelle Savill (DEGANZ Incubator 2018) whose debut feature film, Millie Lies Low, will have its international premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival (February 10-20), as part of the Generation programme.

So far, Berlinale has announced ten features and seven shorts invited to play in Generation. According to the festival, the films selected in this programme stand out for the unconventionality and willpower of their protagonists.

Directed and co-written by Michelle, this comedy drama film finds protagonist Millie using fantasy, charm and typical NZ humour to fake a life in New York, one that she would have been living if she hadn’t missed her flight. As a secret shadow to her own life, she learns a lot that she would rather not have known. Listen to Michelle talk to RNZ about how her own experience influenced the story.

In other good news, Datsun is set to have its international premiere at Berlinale as well. The short film follows 14-year-old Matt as he takes his late father’s car on one last tour before its sold. It was edited by DEGANZ member Luke Haigh.

Congratulations again to our members!

Last updated on 27 January 2022

Port Chalmers Indie rock band Seafog has released the music video for their latest single title Influences. Directed and produced by DEGANZ member Dan Eady (pictured left), the music video features beautiful views of the Otago harbour and some of Dunedin’s iconic musical locations. A life sized Moa also stars, the costume courtesy of the Otago Museum.

Seafog comprises Robin Sharma, Nigel Water, Martyn Sadler and Andrew Barsby. Having met through Dunedin Teachers College, these longtime friends and collaborators have been gigging around Ōtepoti since the 90s.

Influences is the lead single on their upcoming album, Slow Death. Speaking to CMPNZ, Sharma says the song is a shout out to the Dunedin Sound they love and to their friends and whānau — all of whom have influenced them.

 

Last updated on 27 January 2022

The NZWG announced the recipients of the second round of Seed and Seed Advanced for 2021 late last year, with many of our members’ faces among them!

Well done to Rajneel Singh, David Hay and DEGANZ Incubator alumni Nahyeon Lee and Stella Reid, who are all recipients of Seed grants. One of the most competitive writer-only grants for draft feature film scripts in NZ, this round of Seed received 148 applications.

Congrats also goes to member Jesse Griffin who is one of only two recipients of the Seed Advanced grants.

Nahyeon Lee – Vile Abjection

Rajneel Singh & Annamarie Connors – Leave Me Cold

David Hay – Shadowboxer

Stella Reid – The Band of the True Prophet

Jesse Griffin – Childish

Congratulations to all our members again!

See the full list here

Last updated on 27 January 2022