Directing In the Intimate Zone – Christchurch

Directing In the Intimate Zone

DEGNZ encourages directors, actors and producers to join us for a one-day Christchurch workshop with Louise Leitch on directing intimacy, after the first Directing In the Intimate Zone workshop in Auckland.

Until now, many directors have not given enough thought and been equipped for directing actors in scenes that involve intimacy, nudity and simulated sex. These scenes can make actors feel extremely vulnerable, particularly when this sensitive area of performance is not given the preparation and care it is due.

In Directing In the Intimate Zone, we will discuss and work with actors on the process of developing an intimate scene for the screen using the best practice guidelines developed by UK intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien, who was brought over by Equity to run training workshops in Auckland in late 2018.

During the class, Participant Directors will take turns to direct pairs of actors in intimate scenes under Louise’s guidance. Participant Directors upon selection will be invited to submit a short, intimate scene – either with or without dialogue – for consideration ahead of the workshop.

There are four places for directors to participate, as well as places for directors, actors and producers to observe.

About Louise Leitch

Louise Leitch

Photo credit: Tammy Williams

Louise has earned a reputation as a talented story-teller, directing award-winning short films, close to 200 episodes of television drama, and prime-time documentary and docu-drama series in both Australia and NZ. Her critically acclaimed Whakatiki screened in over 20 international film festivals including Tribeca, Tampere, Uppsala, Vladivostok, Hawaii, NZIFF, Show Me Shorts and ImagineNATIVE, winning Best Short Film at First Peoples’ Festival Montreal, Best Actress in a Short Film at Wairoa Film Festival and Best Actress in a Short Film at The NZ Film Awards.

Louise attended Ita O’Brien’s intimacy workshops in NZ in 2018 and is training with Ita to become an accredited Intimacy Coordinator. Louise is currently Vice President of the Directors & Editors Guild NZ and has contributed to the drafting of Equity NZ’s Intimacy Guidelines for Stage and Screen.

She teaches film, television and intimacy best practice at RMIT University in Melbourne and The New Zealand Broadcasting School.

Workshop Details

DEGNZ / Equity NZ member – Free
Non-member regional price – $75

Lunch and refreshments provided

When: Saturday 23 November 2019, 9am – 5pm

Where: Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, 59 Hewitts Rd, Merivale, Christchurch

Travel Allowances
DEGNZ Full members may apply for financial assistance of up to $250 (incl. GST) towards their travel costs.

  • DEGNZ has up to 4 travel allowances available for this workshop.
  • Applicants must live outside Canterbury.
  • Priority will be given to Full members living in the South Island and the Wellington region.
  • For further information and criteria, see here.


This workshop is R18.

To be eligible to apply as a Participant Director:

  • You must have experience directing at least short films/dramatic content, and are working in/moving into longer-form drama/film.
  • Priority will be given to those who are actively engaged in directing or preparing to direct narrative drama, especially if you are dealing with scenes of nudity, intimacy and/or simulated sex.

If you apply as a Participant and are unsuccessful, you will receive an offer to attend as an Observer.

To Apply

To register as an Observer, complete the registration form below.

To apply as a Participant Director, complete the registration form below and email your supporting documents to before the registration deadline:

  • a CV/bio with filmography
  • a brief letter summarising why you would like to participate as a director, what you hope to gain from the workshop, and any experience directing intimacy (not a requirement for selection).

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Registration Deadline: 3PM, Thursday 24 October

Registration Form




Refund Policy: Requests for refunds must be received by Sunday 17 November. A $2.50 cancellation fee will be incurred. Refunds can take up to approximately 10 working days to process.


This initiative is brought to you with the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.


Last updated on 15 October 2020