Six Directors Selected for the 2024 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator

We are excited to announce the six participants for the 2024 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator.

This marks the eighth annual Incubator, DEGANZ’s year-long programme, designed to help talented emerging women directors accelerate their careers and selected projects. Across five day-long workshops, participants will engage with highly experienced industry professionals, feedback on their projects, career advice, networking opportunities, and mini-workshops on specific topics.

Speakers in the Incubator are drawn from the best screen-making talent in New Zealand and Australia and sometimes further afield, funding agencies, and others with pertinent knowledge and experience to share.


Blandine Massiet du Biest

Blandine was born in France and studied literature, film studies, and art history in Paris. Eighteen years ago, she moved to New Zealand with her Kiwi husband. While working as an editing assistant for New Zealand and American dramas and series, she created short and medium-length documentaries, as well as short videos about digital artists for Digital Art Live. Over the past four years, Blandine has worked on a feature documentary about the expatriate New Zealand artist Frances Hodgkins. The film was selected for Doc Edge 2023, and Blandine was awarded Best Emerging NZ Filmmaker.


Miryam Jacobi

Miryam is a director, producer and writer based in Kirikiriroa/Hamilton. She trained as an actor at Toi Whakaari; NZ Drama School, graduating in 2015 with a Bachelor of Performing Arts. Miryam has produced and directed commercial content for the likes of WellingtonNZ, Sir John Kirwan Foundation, Fonterra, Look Good Feel Better and Auckland Theatre Company, alongside producing music videos for artists such as Diggy Dupé, Israel Starr and Dick Move. Miryam has shown work at international film festivals such as Show Me Shorts, Galway Film Fleadh, Vail Film Festival and Melbourne Women in Film Festival. Other highlights of her filmmaking career to date include second unit directing on Amazon’s feature Don’t Make Me Go and creating the highly-acclaimed NZ On Air funded documentary Disorder.


Jo Luping

Jo has been working in the creative industry for the past 20 years in film, television and design. She has worked on a diverse range of projects including directing two magazine lifestyle series (26 Episodes), a documentary titled Reframe for television broadcast and creating animation for live action short Huminodun. Her film Don’t Eat The Rice was selected to be pitched as part of the Frontieres Co-Production 2020. She has created impactful environmental films for UNICEF for the past three years. She is currently the animation director on Classics Explained a UK web series (15 Episodes). Jo’s feature animation Anavau and the Legend of Nunuk Ragang has been selected to be presented at the MIFA project market at the prestigious Annecy Animation Film Festival in France 2024. Proudly a mix of Kadazan and New Zealand Pākehā ancestry, her dream is to combine the indigenous stories she grew up with together with contemporary New Zealand.


Nicole Whippy (NZ/ Mavana, Vanua Balavu, Lau, Fiji / Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji / New Caledonia)

Nicole was born in Suva, Fiji and raised in New Zealand. She directed and co-wrote the Fijian vignette which opened the feature film Vai. She holds a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts and is well known for her work as a Theatre and Screen Actor. Nicole is the Founder and Acting Coach at Point Chevalier Drama Club, Acting School for Youth. She has worked as a Role Model for Duffy Books in Schools, bringing her joy of reading and performing to children in low-decile schools. She directed and acted in Seasons 1 and 2 of  The Feijoa Club a children’s series for the TVNZ/NZOA ‘Hei Hei’ platform.


Siobhan Marshall

Siobhan’s directorial debut, Manny and Quinn (2022), a short film shot during Covid, was selected as one of ‘New Zealand’s Best’ at the NZ  International Film Festival. It was also an official selection at various festivals including LA Shorts; Show Me Shorts (NZ), the Newport Beach Film Festival and the Austin Film Festival. Siobhan has written and produced the animated series, Slow Pete, for TVNZ on Demand, based on her own IVF journey, served as co-writer on The Lonely Hearts Motel for TV3 and Darryl, A Beach to Snow Story for TVNZ, and is currently a writer for South Pacific Pictures. Siobhan spent the last two decades working as an actress and is perhaps best known for her role as Pascalle in all six seasons of the TV drama series Outrageous Fortune. She has been nominated for three best supporting actress awards and one best actress award.


Maza White

Maza is an Iranian-born writer and director whose directorial portfolio includes numerous short films and a web series. Her latest NZFC-funded film, Daughter of God, was recognized as a finalist in the ‘2023 New Zealand’s Best’ category at the NZIFF. Additionally, it won the Best Script award at 2023 Show Me Shorts festival. Having recently completed a Master of Creative Writing with First Class Honours from AUT, Maza is actively engaged in various writing projects, collaborating with other seasoned professionals. She is also participating in the FilmUp 2024 mentorship programme by Script to Screen, dedicated to refining and directing her feature film, Ruptured. Maza’s writing and directorial voice reflect her deep understanding of human psychology, informed by her multicultural background and global perspective. Through her intricately woven narratives, she aspires to captivate audiences worldwide with the depth of human experiences and emotions.


The Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator is made possible with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.