Directing In the Intimate Zone – Rotorua

Remove the fear and create a safe, creative work environment with this practical introduction to directing on-screen intimacy.

DEGANZ invites directors, producers, casting directors and 1ADs to receive training on considerations and respectful processes when working on a range of ‘intimate scenes’.

You will learn how these processes ensure that the work is consensual, engaging and best serves the story, and what information producers and casting should provide early on.

This one-day workshop in partnership with Film Bay of Plenty, will be led by intimacy coordinator Jennifer Ward-Lealand on October 16. We will start the day with discussion, real world examples and demonstrations. Afterwards, we will practise working with actors on developing intimate scenes in a safe, supportive and creative space.

Please note: this workshop is R18 and there will be no nudity in the workshop.

Who’s it for?

All drama directors, producers, 1ADs and casting directors. We welcome professionals and film school graduates.

Breakout Directors

DEGANZ invites directors to apply to direct a scene as a breakout director. We have four places. Other attendees will get to observe the breakouts.

Breakout directors will take turns directing pairs of actors on an intimate scene under the tutors’ guidance. If selected, participants may submit a short, intimate scene for two characters – either with or without dialogue – for consideration ahead of the workshop. We can also provide scene options if preferred.

Breakout directors must have experience directing actors for screen or stage, but don’t need experience with directing intimacy.

About Jennifer Te Atamira Ward-Lealand

A founding member of Intimacy Coordinators Aotearoa, Jennifer is one of the first fully accredited intimacy coordinators in NZ beginning her training with Ita O’Brien (Intimacy on Set, UK) in 2018. As Equity NZ President, she co-authored the Intimacy Guidelines for Stage and Screen in NZ.

Jennifer has taught intimacy workshops for Toi Whakaari, Te Pou theatre, The Actors’ Program, Pan-Asian Screen Collective, Proudly Asian Theatre, Covert Theatre, South Seas Film and TV School, Howick Little Theatre, Catch Casting and The Equity Foundation. She regularly gives seminars at the SWAG/Screensafe Professional Respect Training workshops and other events.

Her intimacy coordinator screen credits include The Wilds (Disney); CreamerieHeaven and Hell – the Centrepoint Story (Warners); Ahikāroa series 3 & 4; One of Us is Lying (NBC/Universal), Don’t Make Me Go (Amazon) and numerous short films and web series.

Jennifer is also an experienced actor of 40 years and a director and teacher of 20 years.

Jennifer Ward-Lealand
Directing In the Intimate Zone was interesting, inspiring, enjoyable and moving. This work is so important for these times. It was great to learn new skills as a director, and to understand the role of an Intimacy [Coordinator] and when you might need one. We learnt how to form consent between actors, making everyone feel more comfortable and prepared for the scene. The wonderful result being that the actors can focus more on their acting, without any awkward, mental or bodily reaction to touch or intimacy in the scene. Jennifer is a great teacher, and shared techniques and the correct use of language to get the best result for all. Ultimately this work is about respect, and care for everyone on set. I highly recommend this workshop, wonderful mahi. Thank you.
The workshop was incredibly valuable not just in the context of intimacy, but also in generally working with actors in a way that is both considerate and productive. I am in awe of what intimacy coordinators do, and being able to glean the broad strokes of their process through this workshop has given me confidence in directing my upcoming projects.

Workshop Details

When: Sunday 16 October 2022, 9:30am – 5pm

Where: Tāheke Opatia Marae, 119 Okere Road, Okere Falls 3074

Full-day workshop with tea/coffee and lunch.

DEGANZ member – Free
Member of other screen guild/association – $75 (Early Bird $35)
Non-member – $95 (Early Bird $45)

Early Bird Offer available until 1 October, 11:59pm

Our Payment and Cancellation Policy

To Apply

Applications Close: Monday 10 October, 3PM

Please complete the application form below and email your CV to Your CV should clearly list your filmography and include details such as festival selection and year, commissioners and/or platforms where your work has publicly screened.

DEGANZ will email you to confirm if your application has been accepted.

Application Form


Made possible with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.


With thanks to Event Partner

Film Bay of Plenty logo