DEGANZ members dive into the mysterious disappearances in Piha with new true-crime docuseries, Black Coast Vanishings. Megan Jones (DEGANZ) co-directed the series with Candida Beveridge, while, board member Margot Francis was one of the editors. Additionally, fellow member Alyx Duncan directed the series’ dramatisations.

The four-part limited series works to uncover if there’s a link between six missing person cases from the small coastal town over the past 30 years. While some of the disappearances were thoroughly investigated at the time, others were not and were deemed caused by the hostile natural environment. Despite the police reports, many locals believe there is something more sinister going on in the community.

The show investigates both the past and present, shedding light on new allegations from several women who survived encounters with threatening men.

Since its release, Black Coast Vanishings has made a strong impression, inciting public pressure for police to reexamine some of the closed cases from the area.

Well done to Megan, Margot, and Alyx on the series’ successful release!

Last updated on 30 January 2024

DEGANZ member Cushla Dillon is being recognised for her work as an editor with her nomination for the Wētā FX Creative Technology Award at this year’s Women in Film & Television (WIFT) Awards.

This award recognises outstanding achievement in creativity in post-production in film, TV, or digital media from the past two years.

Cushla shared with DEGANZ about her nomination,

It’s a huge honour to be included in the Wētā Creative Technology Award along with other post-production artists.  Our success is usually contingent on being invisible therefore our work is usually overlooked, so I’m grateful that Wētā has acknowledged us with this award.

The WIFT Awards is a bi-annual event designed to celebrate the achievements of women in the screen industry. The awards night announces the winners, offers unique networking opportunities for those in attendance, and fundraises for WIFT’s ongoing work.

Congratulations, Cushla on the nomination!

Last updated on 31 January 2024

Congratulations to DEGANZ member and 2018 Incubator Alum Agnes Peel-McGregor for being one of 11 finalists for the inaugural Empowering Women Script Competition by Stage 32, in collaboration with Catalyst Studios.

This is a first-of-its-kind screenwriting contest for feature films with a focus on social impact by women and non-binary writers. The winner will receive USD $5,000 for their script and is eligible for up to USD $3 million in funding from Catalyst for production. The Catalyst team will also work with the winning writer on development, while Studio 32 will provide educational support for the script’s development.

After receiving submissions from around the world, the industry training platform and US-based production company announced the shortlist during this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Agnes made it to the final of the highly competitive contest with her script Storm:

A troubled physical therapist moves from Poland to San Francisco for a fresh start but discovers a mysterious girl from the orphanage next door is following her, unveiling secrets of her own hazy past.

Last updated on 30 January 2024

The International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival (FIFO) returns for its 21st run with multiple DEGANZ members’ work featured! Each year, the festival aims to celebrate and amplify the voices and cultures of Oceania on screens locally and worldwide. FIFO is also a pillar in film development in the Pacific, annually bringing filmmakers and key players in the international audiovisual industry together in Tahiti.

Competing Category

Only 10 films were selected for the festival’s main category. FIFO describes these films as ‘making up the very essence of the festival, showcasing both ‘the great diversity of Oceania [and] the technical quality of film productions in the region.’

Family Faith Footy – A Pasifika Rugby Story

Directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti (DEGANZ), this feature documentary offers unique insight into the stories of some of the most celebrated rugby players, inviting viewers into their daily lives. It’s a story about ‘small islands, big dreams, and the sacrifices made by many to produce some of the world’s greatest players.’

Non-Competing Category

A selection of complementary films, shedding new light and approaches on issues of the Pacific.

Ms Information

DEGANZ member Gwen Isaac takes on COVID’s impact on Aotearoa through the lens of non-conformist, pink-haired scientist Dr. Siouxsie Wiles. The film tracks Siouxsie’s trajectory from pre-pandemic times to her catapult into the limelight while advising Aotearoa on the growing health crisis. Viewers follow her ‘transition from a feminist icon to a target for violence and threats’ and how she presses forward with ferocity and heart.

14th Oceanian Fiction Night

Despite FIFO’s focus on documentary, the festival opened its screens to short fiction films in 2007. They showcase diversity, creativity, originality, traditions, and modernity within the region.

I am Paradise

Edited by Abi King-Jones (DEGANZ) and life member Annie Collins, this short follows Paradise, a young single mother ‘living on the bones of her ass’. With a boyfriend in prison and a mother who neglects her, she finds solace in the two people in the world who love her unconditionally: her children.


Written, directed, and edited by Board Member Celia Jaspers, this feel-good short celebrates a small act of kindness. When a young girl sees an elderly man unable to pay for his milk, she sacrifices her hard-earned treats at the local dairy to help him out.

The Polycees

Also from Celia, this short is a whimsical adventure of the secret world beneath Parliament. When the new Prime Minister’s daughter is left to explore her dad’s office, she discovers she isn’t alone when she meets the cheeky creature, Spooo.

Last updated on 31 January 2024