Congratulations to DEGANZ members Robyn Grace and Toa Fraser who have been nominated for a Children’s & Family Emmy Award for their work on Netflix series Sweet Tooth. Alongside Jim Mickle and Alexis Ostrander, the Sweet Tooth directing team have been nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Single Camera Program.

Sweet Tooth has also been nominated for Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Editing and multiple Creative Arts Emmys. Based on the comic book by Jeff Lemire, the series follows a loveable half-human and half-deer boy as he embarks on a dangerous adventure across a post-apocalyptic world. Season two is currently in production.

The first annual Children’s & Family Emmy Awards will be presented on Saturday, December 10 (Creative Arts) and Sunday, December 11 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.

Good luck to Robyn and Toa!

 

Last updated on 23 November 2022

I’ve been away on holiday for ten days, so have had the opportunity to push anything work-related out of my mind for a time.

Arriving back at my desk and engaging in work once more, however, I’m reminded of the considerable challenges facing the screen sector right now.

One of the more significant shifts going on is the coming together of TVNZ and RNZ as Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media, destined to come into being on 1 March 2023.

The reallocation of $42 million in contestable funding from NZ on Air to ANZPM has already occurred, which has meant that from July 1 2022 NZ On Air had a reduced pool of cash to fund content with.

To adjust to this significant change, NZ On Air is having to chart a new direction for the organisation. It has put out a strategic think piece, which you can read here.

The document is simple, straightforward and shows a clarity of thinking that’s encouraging. Essentially, in determining their strategic direction from here on in they are going to develop a model based around Laser Focused and Ideas Factory thinking, while longer term looking at Critical Mass to achieve greater effectiveness through partnerships. (Please follow the link for more detail on this.)

This bodes well I believe, while it is still upsetting that NZ On Air have had their funding reduced, with no planned increase in sight for them.

Another key element they identified to enable this possible new direction is a need for changes to the Broadcasting Act. The Act has governed NZ On Air’s direction since 1989, and just like the NZ Film Commission Act 1978, is past its use-by date.

The screen industry has changed globally and New Zealand is well behind the eight ball when it comes to keeping up. Rather than being proactive and outward looking we have been reactive and inward looking. Just look at what’s happening across the ditch.

Screen Australia’s 32nd annual Drama Report released last week reports that overall, $2.29 billion was spent across 162 drama screen productions that commenced production or post production in Australia in 2021/22 compared to $1.94 billion spent across 163 productions in 2020/21. The increase was driven by a record spend on Australian theatrical features ($786 million up from $495 million last year), as well as a record spend on Australian subscription TV and Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) – for which number of titles, hours and budgets have tripled from 2020/21.

Netflix, Paramount+, Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV+ and local SVOD Stan are helping to drive this growth, with commissions flowing to local production companies, and not just for drama.

New Zealand? Not so.

Yes, Australia has got a larger market, a lot more bankable stars, and better writers. But still. We’re not helping ourselves.

Look at the mess that MCH and MBIE are proposing, for example, in their draft paper for the Screen Sector Investment Review. If that goes through we’ll be going backwards not forwards.

Back to NZ On Air. They’ve been a well-run and pretty effective organisation to now, most people would agree. Their thinking about their future direction is positive in a bad situation.

I’m hoping that the same king of sound thought exhibited by NZ On Air will guide the outcome of the legislation intended for ANZPM. But I’m not holding my breath. It’s a political football being rushed towards the election-year touchline.

It seems like New Zealand’s domestic production sector is under threat from multiple sides right now. And we don’t really have anybody to blame but ourselves.

I’m hoping that those shaping our destiny have a great Xmas break and come back refreshed, invigorated, and really take on board the feedback they are getting from us and everybody else.

We need pragmatic and positive changes that will grow our local talent and local IP, and increase local production, while keeping international productions coming here. Now that would be a late Xmas present worth waiting for.

 

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

 

Last updated on 22 November 2022

Created, written and directed by DEGANZ member Kishan Raman alongside Reneel Singh, web series The Sunny Side of Ngongotaha has released its official trailer.

Filmed in the Waikato, Ngongotaha and Rotorua, the independent production is Aotearoa’s first ever web series created by Fijian Indians about Fijian Indians. The creators have shared how proud they are to present a unique perspective of storytelling from one of the most underrepresented communities on screen.

The Sunny Side of Ngongotaha follows Rav, who is desperate to avoid the prospects of an arranged marriage, so he enlists the help of his crazy cousin Ron to find a girlfriend in their hometown of Ngongotaha. The series was edited by Reneel Singh, who also produced it with Kishan and Rajneel Naickar.

The web series will be available to watch on YouTube from December 12.

Congratulations to Kishan and the team!

Last updated on 17 November 2022

Congratulations to DEGANZ member Jackie van Beek who has been nominated in two categories at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA) for her work on Nude Tuesday.

Jackie is nominated for a Best Lead Actress in Film award as well as a Best Screenplay in Film award for Nude Tuesday.

Directed by fellow DEGANZ member Armağan Ballantyne, comedy film Nude Tuesday follows a conservative, middle-aged couple, played by Jackie van Beek and Damon Herriman, trying to save a failing marriage with a trip to a new-age relationship retreat rich in sexual liberation and extreme nudity.

Jemaine Clement has also been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor award for his work on the film.

The 2022 AACTA Awards will be presented across two ceremonies at The Hordern in Sydney, on December 5 and December 7.

Good luck Jackie!

 

Last updated on 17 November 2022

The winners for the 2022 NZ Web Fest Awards were announced earlier in the week, with DEGANZ members Michelle Ang and Julie Zhu walking away with awards!

Michelle Ang took away an award for Best Director – NZ Factual for her work on Hair Now which also won the award for Best Show – NZ Factual. For her work on Self Help, which won Best Show NZ Narrative and Best Ensemble NZ Narrative, Michelle took home the award for Best Director NZ Narrative alongside Rawiri Jobe. With her two directing awards, Michelle’s win marked the first time someone has won awards for their work on factual and narrative shows in the same year at NZ Web Fest. Both shows are free to watch online.

For her work on Takeout Kids, Julie Zhu was a joint winner of Best Director – NZ Factual together with Michelle. All five episodes of Takeout Kids are available to watch on The Spinoff website.

Congratulations to Michelle and Julie!

See the full list of winners here

Last updated on 17 November 2022