Tag Archive for: actor

TVNZ’s new drama series Testify, directed by DEGANZ members David Stubbs and Paula Whetu Jones, is out now. Paula was also one of the series’ writers alongside Gavin Strawhan.

The big-budget series is chock full of drama, diving deep into the destructive power dynamics of an Evangelical megachurch based in Auckland. David, a charismatic youth pastor, clashes with Scott, his father and church leader when pushing for more inclusivity within the religious community. He forms an unlikely alliance with a queer podcaster and together, they uncover a conspiracy of historic sexual abuse in the church.

The show also features fellow member Jessica Grace Smith as Emmeline, Scott’s obedient daughter and supposedly happily married with two kids.

All episodes of Testify are available on TVNZ+ now!

DEGANZ member Shane Rangi (Ngāti Porou) is set to have his directorial debut with his semi-autobiographical feature film, Taonga. Long-time collaborator and Oscar-winning filmmaker, James Cameron, is one of the production’s executive producers.

While this is Shane’s first excursion into directing, he is one of Aotearoa’s leading motion capture and stunt performers. He is best known for his work on a plethora of blockbuster films including Thor: Ragnarok, The Wolverine, the Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, and Narnia franchises, and both Avatar films. He met Cameron through his work on Avatar, and the two continued working together through the development of Taonga.

The film is inspired by Shane’s life. It follows an indigenous Polynesian rugby star who becomes homeless and barely survives a violent encounter with law enforcement. While writing the script, Shane aimed to tackle the realities of homelessness and modern-day policing.

Fandomodo Films, a boutique film and television development, production, and financing company, is independently funding the film. The company aims to raise underrepresented voices, telling stories that accurately reflect our society with all the horror, pain, and love that exists in every human being.

The hope is for filming to begin in Aotearoa in 2024 but will depend on the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Read more.

Rehearsal & Performance logo

The Rehearsal & Performance series provides regular opportunities for directors and actors to practise their craft and communication. Each workshop brings in an experienced moderator to guide participants as they explore a workshop scene in groups (one director, two actors) in a safe and non-pressured environment.

This May, join us for workshops in Auckland and Wellington with director Danny Mulheron.


Danny Mulheron graduated from the New Zealand Drama School in 1983, becoming an experienced director, writer and actor in all mediums – stage, screen and television. He is known as an ‘actor’s director’ due to his particular strength in directing actors and getting extraordinary performances. 

Danny has directed award-winning television dramas (One Lane Bridge, Jonah, Runaway Millionaires), feature-length documentaries and episodic documentary series (The Kick, Why does love?, Hillary), and smash hit theatre productions. In the 2020 New Zealand Television Awards, Danny won Best Feature Drama for the TV movie Runaway Millionaires

Danny is currently editing Under the Vines, which he co-directed with Erin White. The film’s set in Central Otago and stars Rebecca Gibney (Wanted) and Charles Edwards (The Crown).  


Selected directors and actors will be expected to do some script prep beforehand. DEGNZ will provide the scene at least one week in advance.


DEGNZ / Equity NZ member – Free
Ngā Aho Whakaari Full member – Free
Non-member – $69
(Includes lunch and tea/coffee)

Register your interest:

Registrations close Wednesday 12 May, 11pm.
Spots are limited to four directors and eight actors. If your name is selected, DEGNZ will contact you directly to confirm your participation.


When: Sat 22 May, 9:30am – 2:30pm
Where: MTG RM, 2 Kingsland Terrace, Kingsland, Auckland

Register now for Auckland


When: Sun 23 May, 9:30am – 2:30pm
Where: Massey University, Wallace Street, Mt Cook, Wellington 6021, NZ

Register now for Wellington


The Rehearsal & Performance series is hosted by Directors & Editors Guild of NZ with the support of Equity New Zealand and funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.