Tag Archive for: covid-19

After premiering at Whānau Mārama NZIFF this year, Ms. Information, directed by Gwen Isaac (DEGANZ), is now playing in cinemas nationwide.

The feature documentary is a visceral and intimate look into the life of the polarising, pink-haired microbiologist, Siouxsie Wiles, during her two years of public appearances around COVID-19. In March 2020, Gwen found herself in Siouxsie’s house as she stepped into the public eye and spoke out about the impending pandemic. What followed is the story of a mother and scientist who became a celebrity during extraordinary times.

The film has an all-woman team behind it, rare especially in the documentary space. Gwen shared with DEGANZ how important it is for her to support women in creative leadership positions in Aotearoa. She said:

So many of our New Zealand stories are totally cinematic and I hope that there are women directors coming up through the ranks – and being given opportunities –  to develop the skillsets to ensure our taonga are seen on the big screen. I did a lot of the filming for Ms. Information on my own […]. Sometimes the situation required crew and I did my utmost to find women soundies and DP’s to help engender the vibe I was going for, ideal for a film with a feminist Kaupapa.

You can check if Ms. Information is coming to a theatre near you here.

Feature documentary River of Freedom, directed by Gaylene Barnes (DEGANZ), premieres on 5 September before its general cinema release from the 7th.

The film gets to the heart of the 2022 COVID mandate protests, told from the inside of the movement. Gaylene and the team documented Aotearoa’s largest protest in recent history, from the nationwide convoy to the 23-day Parliament occupation. They share the stories of the protesters – who they were, why they were there, and what happened on the front lines.

To cover such an expansive protest, the team divided and conquered, documenting the movement from different parts of the country. While Gaylene went to Bluff to film the key organisers and the convoy’s inception, cinematographer Mark Lapwood captured Cape Reinga’s convoy. The film also thanks all the independent media and filmmakers who contributed.

The film is entirely crowdfunded, having raised over $100k through their Buymeacoffee campaign. The team received support from over 1,600 people with most donations spanning between $25 and $200.

Check here to see when you can catch River of Freedom in your local cinema.

Red traffic light against clouds in the sky

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

As of 11:59pm on Monday 12 September, the COVID-19 Protection Framework (AKA the Traffic Light System) ended. With case numbers falling, a highly vaccinated population, and increased access to antiviral medicines to treat COVID-19, public health experts say it is safe to remove most COVID-19 rules and end border restrictions.

This means that for most settings, including work places and film shoots, we can go back to “life as normal”. Mask wearing, physical distancing, testing, etc. is no longer a Government requirement in most situations. Though don’t be surprised if you are still asked to wear a mask. And some people will still chose to wear one.

Safety Protocols for the Screen Industry

As of Monday night the ScreenSafe COVID-19 Protocols are no longer valid. But please note that COVID-19 has by no means been eradicated. And it will still be part of our lives for the foreseeable future.

Depending on the individual needs of a production, the specific requirements of a scene or location, or the personal situation of a crew or cast member, some productions may still need to utilise some of the many safety measures we’ve gotten used to over the last few years, including mask wearing, testing, vaccination status and the use of health declarations and release deeds. It’s up to each production to clearly state their intention. If a production sees the need for putting in place additional COVID-19 safety measures, we recommend that they engage with the crew and the safety team as early as possible.

Personal Responsibility

While regular testing and mask wearing will not be mandatory for most productions, personal responsibly for yourself and your colleagues will become more important.

Most of us are freelance contractors and don’t have the safety net that employees have with sick days, etc. So if we can’t work, we don’t get paid… This goes for both yourself and your colleagues.

If you feel sick, please notify production and/or safety. Please test when unwell or if you are a household contact.

Where is Mask Wearing Still Mandatory?

Masks will still be required in hospitals and other healthcare facilities like medical centres, pharmacies, A&E, etc.

New Rules for Household Contacts

Positive cases must still self-isolate for at least 7 days, but Household Contacts no longer need to isolate. If you live with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, we recommend you:

  • take a rapid antigen test (RAT) each day for 5 days in order to go to work
  • avoid contact with the person who has COVID-19

Travellers Arriving Into New Zealand

Vaccination requirements for travellers arriving in New Zealand will end, including air crew.

People entering New Zealand will be given free RATs and are recommend to test on the day they arrive and on day 5 or 6.

The ScreenSafe COVID-19 Group
Email: info@screensafe.co.nz

I’ve been at three screen events in the last week where people close by are sniffing, coughing and doing it without masks.

Why are they even there?!

At our events and many others, organisers ask for people who have COVID-like symptoms, which include those of colds and flu, to stay home. They absolutely should.

Nearly all of us are contractors. If we get sick and have to take days off, we go unpaid. Those people who turn up to events showing symptoms are selfishly impacting on all of us, even though they may think they are no longer infectious.

We now have a new COVID variant to contend with and cases are on the rise. The Government is about to announce measures to try and alleviate the increase in infection numbers and hospitalisation cases. Things are getting worse again, people.

I had one friend recently who caught the flu. He said it’s the sickest he’s ever been in his life. I said he should have gone to hospital.

It’s obvious though that the general public, and that includes many of us, have become increasingly lackadaisical when it comes to COVID prevention. People aren’t wearing proper masks in public places, and those who wear masks under their chins or just covering their mouths are only doing one thing—contributing to the pile of PPE waste. Thankfully, our COVID protocols on set are being strictly managed on professional productions. If they weren’t, producers would likely run out of crew to replace those they are losing now in significant numbers.

Every individual has the right to make a choice about their own health, but you need to be considerate and follow basic health guidelines that help prevent others from getting sick. Please:

    • Wear a mask in public when indoors
    • Don’t attend events if you have symptoms
    • Isolate if you have COVID, a cold or the flu
    • Wash your hands frequently

I at least thank you in advance for doing this.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Friday 1 July 2022

This is a reminder to all of the New Zealand Screen Sector that the ScreenSafe COVID-19 Protocols are still in place to make sure you keep each other safe on set.

We understand that it is tough keeping productions going under the current climate but we want to remind everyone that your health and safety is important. COVID is impacting on our sets around the country so please if you are unwell – please don’t come to work. Even if you are testing negative and you have symptoms we advise you to please stay at home.

Please continue to register your production on the ScreenSafe website registration form.

Here are the links to all of the information you need to follow the protocols:

ScreenSafe COVID 19 Toolkit

ScreenSafe Department Roles

ScreenSafe COVID 19 Production Registration Form

The key updates are:

No Requirement to Use QR Codes or to Contact Trace

Businesses no longer have to display a QR Code poster, although some businesses may still choose to use them. Productions are still encouraged to have contact tracing of some sort in place to prevent a wider production outbreak, but it is no longer a Government requirement.

No Requirement to Use My Vaccine Pass

There is no longer a requirement to use My Vaccine Pass. The Non-Vaccination Passport sections of the Protocols have now been removed and all productions will work under the same regulations.

If productions choose to use vaccination passports, they must undertake a robust health and safety risk assessment, along with any other relevant legal assessment, to ensure they are not unlawfully discriminating against workers within the workplace. A production must undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment to ascertain if there are any roles within production that require vaccination. A risk assessment might identify that some work can only be undertaken by a vaccinated employee for work health and safety purposes – for example, where the risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 at work is higher than it is in the community. Productions should follow WorkSafe’s advice and guidance in respect of how to conduct a health and safety risk assessment, and may also wish to seek independent legal advice.

Updated Testing & Isolation Requirements

Updated as per current Government guidelines. The self-isolation period is now only 7 days. This applies to Household Contacts, but not Close Contacts. Close Contacts should monitor for symptoms for 10 days.

Long COVID & COVID-19 in the Workplace

Updates on managing an outbreak in the production, including information about Long COVID and its potential impact on a workforce.

Immigration, International and Domestic Travel

New Zealand has reopened its borders to the outside world. These sections of the protocols have been almost completely rewritten, but we urge you to also seek out the latest Government information. Things are constantly changing in regards to immigration and international travel requirements.

Mask Wearing is Still Crucial

With many productions choosing not to use vaccination passports, the use of face masks is more important than ever. Please wear a mask to protect your colleagues, yourself and your family. Wearing a face mask will assist with the productions continuation when there are undetected positive case within a production.

If you do test positive or are a household contact you can receive financial support here.

While some productions will choose not to use QR Codes and Vaccination Passports, please note that our key tools will still remain: mask wearing, physical distancing, hygiene and increased ventilation. And as always – DO NOT come to work if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

The ScreenSafe COVID-19 Group
Email: info@screensafe.co.nz