Tag Archive for: directing

Congratulations to DEGANZ member and Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator alumna Mia Maramara who took home the 2021 SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year award at the SPADA Screen Industry Summit this past Friday.

The award is sponsored by Fulcrum Media Finance and honours excellence, talent, and creativity in filmmaking. The judges noted that “Mia is making an impact in reaching broad audiences and cresting content that allows the Asian community to see themselves on NZ screens and within NZ contexts. This is by no means an easy feat and the quality of her work, and consistent improvement between projects, demonstrate genuine talent”.

Mia awarded the 2021 SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year Award at the 2022 SPADA Screen Industry Summit / Photo: SPADA

Mia receives a complimentary registration to the 2023 SPADA Conference and a cash prize of $5,000, which she will put towards writing a feature film version of Albularyo: The Witch Doctor.

Congratulations to DEGANZ members Robyn Grace and Toa Fraser who have been nominated for a Children’s & Family Emmy Award for their work on Netflix series Sweet Tooth. Alongside Jim Mickle and Alexis Ostrander, the Sweet Tooth directing team have been nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Single Camera Program.

Sweet Tooth has also been nominated for Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Editing and multiple Creative Arts Emmys. Based on the comic book by Jeff Lemire, the series follows a loveable half-human and half-deer boy as he embarks on a dangerous adventure across a post-apocalyptic world. Season two is currently in production.

The first annual Children’s & Family Emmy Awards will be presented on Saturday, December 10 (Creative Arts) and Sunday, December 11 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.

Good luck to Robyn and Toa!


Created, written and directed by DEGANZ member Kishan Raman alongside Reneel Singh, web series The Sunny Side of Ngongotaha has released its official trailer.

Filmed in the Waikato, Ngongotaha and Rotorua, the independent production is Aotearoa’s first ever web series created by Fijian Indians about Fijian Indians. The creators have shared how proud they are to present a unique perspective of storytelling from one of the most underrepresented communities on screen.

The Sunny Side of Ngongotaha follows Rav, who is desperate to avoid the prospects of an arranged marriage, so he enlists the help of his crazy cousin Ron to find a girlfriend in their hometown of Ngongotaha. The series was edited by Reneel Singh, who also produced it with Kishan and Rajneel Naickar.

The web series will be available to watch on YouTube from December 12.

Congratulations to Kishan and the team!

The latest Loading Docs season titled The Power of Emotion has been released on the Loading Docs website. Eight short documentaries make up the collection, including films made by DEGANZ members Sophie Black, Harry Wynn, Ashley Pitman, Rajneel Singh, and Vea Mafile`o.

Sophie Black directed Believing is Seeing, which explores the mysterious phenomenon of mass psychogenic illness. With the help of Dr. Robert Bartholomew, this short discovers the effect of technological advancement on our brains–Is social media making us sick?

Believing Is Seeing Directed by Sophie Black

Harry Wynn directed Shred, which follows male bodybuilders as they prepare for a local competition. Pushing the pursuit of looking good to the extreme, these young men deal with the pressure of social media as they try to achieve an unattainable physique.

Shred Directed by Harry Wynn

Ashley Pitman directed The E Blacks follows kiwi video gamers as they fight for the chance to represent their country at the Commonwealth Games. For the first time ever, Esports will be included in a major international sporting event and the pressure is on to level up for the event. The E Blacks was produced by The Unkindness (Rajneel Singh and Annamarie Connors).

The E Blacks Directed by Ashley Pitman & Produced by The Unkindness (Rajneel Singh and Annamarie Connors)

Vea Mafile`o produced Beneath the Surface, which follows a world champion swimmer as she prepares for the Commonwealth Games. Revealing hidden truths about her experiences and motivations, the short is as much about equality as it is about the pool.

Beneath The Surface Produced by Vea Mafile`o

Co-founded by DEGANZ member Julia Parnell, Loading Docs is a unique initiative that produces short documentaries that captivate and inspire audiences locally and internationally, while developing and promoting New Zealand filmmaking talent.

Uniquely Indigenous drama film, We Are Still Here, wins big at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, taking home the Dramatic Feature Award. Congratulations to DEGANZ members Chantelle Burgoyne, Tim Worrall, and Renae Maihi who were on the directorial team alongside Richard Curtis, Miki Magasiva, Mario Gaoa, Beck Cole, Danielle MacLean, Dena Curtis, and Tracey Rigney.

The film premiered at NZIFF, and screened at multiple international films festivals including the Melbourne International Film Festival, and at the opening night of the Sydney Film Festival.

We Are Still Here is told through the perspectives of eight protagonists across 1,000 years, spanning past, present and future. It explores themes of kinship, grief, and resilience. The interwoven stories highlight the strength of love and hope over the trauma that Indigenous people in the Pacific share. The film seeks to remind viewers that despite colonialism, racism, imperialism, and the attempted erasure of lives and culture, Indigenous people are still here.

imagineNATIVE is the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. The festival takes place every October in Toronto.