The highly anticipated We Are Still Here finally hits Aotearoa cinema screens on 2 February! The anthology feature includes DEGANZ members Tim Worrall, Renae Maihi, and Chantelle Burgoyne on its team of 10 directors who worked together to bring eight unique Indigenous stories to life.

The film demonstrates that in order to move forward, we must first look back. Traversing 1,000 years through the eyes of indigenous protagonists from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, We Are Still Here depicts stories of kinship, grief, and resilience, and highlights the strength of love and hope to overcome the shared traumas South Pacific Indigenous people continue to face. The film seeks to remind viewers that despite colonialism, racism, imperialism, and the attempted erasure of lives and culture, Indigenous people are still here.

The theatrical release follows the film’s festival rounds, big win of the Dramatic Feature Award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, and countless rave reviews throughout 2022.

Catch We Are Still Here in cinemas near you!

Last updated on 10 February 2023

Vanessa Wells (DEGANZ) has been invited to pitch at the Australian International Documentary Conference’s (AIDC) The FACTory. Wells earned her spot in the Central Showcase with her film The Climate Canary, which she directed and produced.

Edited by fellow member Richard Lord, the documentary explores the ecosystem between Antarctic sea ice and ocean, and the tremendous challenges facing Antarctica and our global coastlines as climate change worsens.

The programme will run from 5-8 March and is AIDC’s highly competitive international pitching showcase for new documentary and factual projects. The Central Showcase presents the project teams to commissioners, funders, streamers, networks, distributors, and sales agents. It’s a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers to access the global documentary marketplace and receive feedback from industry experts.

Congratulations to Vanessa and Richard for being one of the 15 projects hand selected by AIDC’s panel, and best of luck to Vanessa on the pitch!

Last updated on 10 February 2023

View from the Top banner

Welcome to 2023. It’s going to be a big one.


Because on 30 December 2022, the Screen Industry Workers Act (SIWA) came into force.

Under the Act, all new contracts from 31 December 2022 forward in the screen industry

  • Be in writing
  • Have a term requiring compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and
    the Human Rights Act 1993.
  • Have plain language explanations of:
    • The process for making a complaint about bullying, discrimination, or harassment, and how the engager (production company/producer) will respond to the complaint. Individual contracts must also state that this complaint process will not prevent the worker from making a complaint about bullying, discrimination or harassment under any Act
    • the processes to resolve any dispute
  • in relation to termination of the individual contract, have:
    • a term stating whether parties need to give each other notice to terminate the contract, and if so, how much notice must be given
    • a term stating whether compensation is payable to a worker if the engager terminates the contract, and if so, what that compensation is.

Engagers (production company/producer) have 12 months before any existing contract is required to include the above.

AS A MEMBER, you can now bring to DEGANZ any new contract you receive for work to ensure that it complies with the new requirements, before you sign.

We will also offer ALL MEMBERS advice about the rates, and terms and conditions of their contracts prior to concluding any collective agreement.

And, we will represent ALL MEMBERS in any dispute over either an existing or new contract.

This year, DEGANZ will be seeking to negotiate collective agreements with the Screen Production and Development Association for directors, editors and assistant editors in feature film (documentary and narrative), TV drama, Factual and Entertainment, and Advertising and Marketing content (under five minutes)—all work covered under the Act.

In other words, we will be looking to set minimum rates of pay and terms and conditions for those roles across those genres of screen content.

And how will we know what to negotiate and whether or not you will be happy with the outcome?

That’s where you all come in.

And when I say all, I mean ALL OF YOU—every single, screen director, editor and assistant editor working in New Zealand as a contractor.

We need to know what you want and what you don’t want in regards to minimum rates and terms and conditions in your contract. And you need to help us to decide what to accept.

In other words, ALL OF YOU need to actively participate in the decision making that will be required to set the collective agreements because they are going to be locked in place for a minimum of three and a maximum of six years.

And the best way to do that is for every director, editor, and assistant editor in New Zealand to be a member of DEGANZ.

In this way, we can easily communicate with you, and you can easily communicate with us – throughout the whole process of preparing for negotiation, during negotiation, and after collective agreements are in place.

If you and your colleagues are not in our loop at DEGANZ, then you will be out of our loop, although we will do our best to promote widely everything we are doing. This is important to understand, especially when it comes to policing negotiated collective agreements.

You will not be alone anymore if you are a member of DEGANZ.

We will step in for you, and stand up for you—We are a membership organisation and union that will represent our members to the best of our ability.

Start to get a good understanding about the Screen Industry Workers Act (SIWA) by reading the info here from Employment New Zealand.

And stay tuned. There will be much more to come both online and with hui to inform you about SIWA and how you can get to have your say in the collective agreement process.

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Last updated on 19 January 2023

The feature documentary Dame Valerie Adams: MORE THAN GOLD, edited by DEGANZ member Margot Francis (directed by Briar March and produced by fellow member Leanne Pooley), will begin its festival journey at this year’s International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival (FIFO) in Tahiti.

The 90-minute film tells the inspirational story of Olympic champion, Kiwi icon, Tongan leader, mother, daughter, sister, and survivor Dame Valerie Adams. Valerie shares her story with profound honesty and vulnerability that is rare among professional athletes. Through its both funny and gut-wrenching storytelling, the documentary speaks to anyone who has faced hardship, loss, or pursued a dream.

FIFO is dedicated to bringing the voices, culture, and issues of the Pacific to an international audience and offers unique professional opportunities for the artists involved. This year it will run from 4-12 February.

Congratulations to the MORE THAN GOLD team, and best of luck at the festival!

Last updated on 19 January 2023

Juniper, edited by Peter Roberts (DEGANZ), has found more success overseas with Greenwich Entertainment’s acquisition of the US distribution rights. The film will hit US cinemas on 24 February and will find its place on home platforms from 4 April.

Greenwich Entertainment is an independent film distribution company that specialises in distinctive, theatrical-quality narrative and documentary features. Juniper‘s unique and intimate perspective of a troubled grandmother-grandson relationship earns its stripes among the company’s other films.

This acquisition follows the film’s successful rounds in international festivals, including Edinburgh, Tallinn, and Brisbane. Most recently, it screened at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival in the Cinema Now selection.

Well done to Peter and the rest of the Juniper team on the continued international success!

Last updated on 19 January 2023