September 12 Event: Championing Female Storytellers – The Women Behind Mulan

Meet the powerful collaborators behind Disney’s Mulan: Director Niki Caro (MNZM) and Cinematographer Mandy Walker (ACS, ASC) at WIFT Virtual’s Excellence in Craft Episode 3


Australia: 12.00pm – 1.00pm AEST, Saturday 12th September 2020
New Zealand: 2.00pm – 3.00pm NZST, Saturday 12th September 2020
Los Angeles: 7.00pm – 8.00pm PT, Friday 11th September 2020


To attend this event registration is required. Free for DEGNZ and WIFT NZ members and by donation for non-members. Register with Eventbrite HERE

WIFT Australia is proud to present these two outstanding filmmakers in conversation online to share their unique insight into the creative process of Disney’s live-action production Mulan.

Mulan was shot in New Zealand and China in 2018. The dynamic on-set team, director Niki Caro (MNZM) and cinematographer Mandy Walker (ACS, ASC) came together for this historic project.

This event is also notable as WIFT Australia’s first major collaboration with WIFT NZ.

“WIFT Virtual is honoured to offer members and a global audience the opportunity to listen and learn from these two talented women. Mulan is a landmark for gender representation on set. We hope Disney’s lead inspires other production companies to hire more female teams” says Katrina Irawati Graham, Chair of WIFT Australia.

In this intimate conversation Caro and Walker will also share personal success stories and tips on maintaining creative drive during the COVID-19 lockdown. An opportunity will be provided for the audience to post questions for the Q&A segment.

Disney’s Mulan begins streaming September 4, exclusively available to Disney+ subscribers with Premier Access. Additional fee required.

WIFT Virtual’s Excellence in Craft Episode 3 will be held online Saturday 12th September at 12-1pm AEST/Friday 11th September at 7-8pm PST

About the Speakers

Niki Caro’s (Director) first feature, “Memory & Desire” (1997), was in the lineup at the Cannes Film Festival and won a Special Jury Prize at the New Zealand Film Awards. Her second feature film, “Whale Rider,” won 27 international awards, at prestigious international film festivals such as Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Seattle and Maui. The film earned an Academy Award® nomination for Keisha Castle-Hughes.

Caro then directed “North Country,” starring Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek and Woody Harrelson. Theron and McDormand were nominated for best actress and best supporting actress respectively at the 2005 Academy Awards®, Golden Globe® Awards, BAFTAs, Satellite Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards®. Caro’s more recent feature-length films include “A Heavenly Vintage,” “McFarland, USA,” “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”

Mandy Walker (Cinematographer) has shot 18 feature films, including “The Mountain Between Us” (2017), “Hidden Figures” (2016), “Truth” (2015), “Tracks” (2013), “Australia” (2007) and “Shattered Glass” (2003), along with many commercials. She has been the recipient of many cinematography awards over the years.

Walker is also on the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is on the board of American Society of Cinematographers; an accredited member and Hall of Fame honoree of the Australian Cinematographers Society; an executive member of Women in Film; and a board member of the NEB of the IATSE Local 600.

Pearl Tan (moderator) is currently the Senior Lecturer in Directing at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) overseeing the Directing stream in the undergraduate program.

She was Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee within the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) and held positions on the MEAA Board and the National Performers Committee (NPC) for Actors Equity. She has been in the AFTRS Council, on the Screen Australia Gender Matters Taskforce, and was NSW Chapter Head for the Australian Directors Guild (ADG). Currently, she sits on the board of Critical Stages Touring and the ADG. She was also named a Woman of Influence by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac in 2016.

About WIFT Virtual

WIFT Virtual is a series of online events in 2020 produced by Yolandi Franken of WIFT NSW (WIFT Virtual Chair). WIFT QLD committee Events Manager Karolina Berkell-Kirk is the producer of the limited series Excellence in Craft.

This episode is sponsored by Screen Queensland, WIFT NZ, The Directors & Editors Guild of New Zealand, Disney’s Mulan and is supported by the Australian Directors Guild.


WIFT NZ is the largest pan-industry professional organisation in the Aotearoa New Zealand screen sector. A number of its members worked on Mulan and we celebrate Disney’s recognition of director Niki Caro, female talent, and commitment to diversity with this exciting eagerly-awaited film.

Screening links for media only, available upon request.

About Mulan

Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life in Disney’s “Mulan,” in which a fearless young woman risks everything out of love for her family and her country to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.

“Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Tzi Ma as Zhou, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Honghui; Ron Yuan as Sergeant Qiang; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin, suggested by the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.” The producers are Chris Bender, Jake Weiner and Jason Reed, with Bill Kong, Barrie M. Osborne, Tim Coddington and Mario Iscovich serving as executive producers.

Last updated on 10 September 2020