Tag Archive for: drama

The Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand is now accepting applications for the eighth Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator.

In 2024, the talent-focused development programme will mentor a selection of women directors from Aotearoa New Zealand.


The vision of the Incubator is to empower participating directors with confidence, knowledge and connections. The Incubator is intended for emerging debut directors of feature film (drama or documentary) and will also consider those wishing to establish careers in TV drama and scripted content.

Applicants must apply with a project; however, the Incubator will be focused primarily on the filmmaker’s development rather than project development.

The objectives of the Incubator are:

  •   Increase the number of women directing features and TV dramas.
  •   Connect producers, broadcasters, funders and other industry professionals with women directors to get stories from women’s perspectives into and through development.
  •   Create networking opportunities for women directors to further their projects and careers.
  •   Inspire and encourage directors to passionately pursue feature film and drama directing careers through interaction with successful filmmakers who serve as role models.
  •   Improve directors’ understanding of the business of film and television drama.


Participants will attend five one-day workshops across 2024, the first of which is scheduled to take place in March. All workshops are intended to be held in Auckland, and a travel allowance will be available for participants based in other regions.

The workshops are individually themed to provide specific knowledge, networks, skills, and inspiration that enable participants to advance themselves and their careers. As the global screen industry continues to change, DEGANZ will remain flexible as to the content of the programme and aim to incorporate information and opportunities that are relevant.



All applicants should have a considerable level of directing experience, such as acclaimed web series, shorts with festival success, TV commercials, or broadcast content. 

Applicants must:

  1. Have an active project (feature film, documentary feature, telefeature, TV/online drama or scripted series) in development that has never been presented to a broadcaster or funder. It is preferable that the project is at least a first draft script but if not available, there must be a detailed Writer’s Treatment (10 – 20 pages) for the project, if a narrative feature, or a pitch document for a documentary feature. A Director’s Treatment that includes style, tone, imagery, etc. is not requested but can be supplied in addition to the Writer’s Treatment. For a TV or web series, a pitch deck with a series outline, character descriptions and synopsis of the first episode is required. The applicant does not have to be the writer of the project.
  2. Have experience as a director of scripted content (drama, comedy) or documentary in the form of the project they are submitting (i.e., if you are applying with a narrative drama project, you must have experience directing narrative drama, or if it’s comedy, experience directing comedy, etc.)
  3. Have a directing credit on one of the following:
  • a short film selected for one of the NZFC’s Recommended Short Film Festivals, the New Zealand International Film Festival, Show Me Shorts Film Festival or Doc Edge Festival.
  • a commissioned, scripted one-off or series by a broadcaster or digital platform.
  • a self-funded web series that has won or been nominated for an award at a recognised festival.
  1. For feature films, applicants must be a debut director.
  2. Be available to participate in all workshops.
  3. Identify as a woman.
  4. Be an NZ Citizen or permanent resident.


Successful applicants must be DEGANZ Full members for at least the duration of the Incubator programme.


Selection Process

A selection panel will shortlist candidates. Shortlisted candidates must be available for a one-on-one interview via Zoom in mid-February. Getting an interview does not imply that you have been selected for the Incubator.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to immediately supply the required written documents prior to the interview.

The Incubator participants will be selected from the shortlist following the interview.

Decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.


How to Apply

Application Deadline: 10AM, Wednesday 31 January 2024


Application Requirements:

  1. A completed DEGANZ Women Filmmakers Incubator Application Cover Sheet.
  2. A 1-page synopsis of the project with the ending revealed.
  3. A maximum 2-page letter stating what your career goals are and why you want to participate in this Incubator.
  4. A 1-page bio (not a CV).
  5. A filmography and any additional links to completed work that supports your experience and the project you are including with this application.


Compile your documents into a single PDF file* in the order matching requirements 1 – 5.

Give your PDF the following naming convention:




Send your application to admin@deganz.co.nz with DEGANZWFI2024 in the subject line.

* Online PDF merge tool


The Incubator is made possible thanks to the generous support of the New Zealand Film Commission.


Questions about the Incubator?

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director
+64 21 659 950

NZFC announced their August funding decisions, with multiple DEGANZ members attached to projects as writer/directors.

Feature Film Production Investment



Logline: Experience the unstoppable force of Jonah Lomu, the greatest rugby player to walk the planet, whose indomitable spirit reshaped the game forever.

Writers/Directors: Vea Mafile’o and Gavin Fitzgerald

Early Development Funding Decisions



Logline: When a wealthy doctor suffers a serious stroke, the perfect lives of his wife and entitled adult children are turned upside down. But when they discover he has a secret family, all hell breaks loose.

Writer/Director: Jesse Griffin



Logline: Struggling to accept the disability that detonated her Olympic dream, an ambitious low-vision cyclist finds a tandem pilot to steer her to victory, but their co-dependent relationship soon veers violently off-course.

Writer/Director: Pennie Hunt (Incubator 2020)


You can find the rest of the funding decisions on the NZFC website.

Congratulations to DEGANZ members Joe Murdie, Sophie Black, and James Fink-Jensen for their success at the 2023 Vision Feast awards!

Joe won big with the Rubber Monkey Best Aotearoa Project Award for WALK. Along with the accolade, he received $3000 worth of rentals from Rubber Monkey and the festival’s iconic Golden Chompy trophy. Written and directed by Joe, the short follows Amelia on a seemingly casual stroll in the wilderness. However, the innocent and carefree nature of the walk grows increasingly at odds with the protagonist’s actions.

Sophie’s animation-hybrid Believing is Seeing earned her Best Documentary. Joined by Dr. Robert Bartholomew, the world’s leading expert on mass psychogenic illnesses, the film investigates the mysterious outbreak of tic disorders on TikTok. You can watch Believing is Seeing on Youtube and Vimeo now!

James took home the Emerging NZ Filmmaking Talent Award for Strangers, which he wrote, directed, produced, and edited. The film dwells on the nervous pressure of first impressions on a date. With a cast of zany characters, a simple cafe date goes awry on an emotional roller coaster.

Well done to the winners and all the nominated directors. It’s always exciting to see our members recognised for their hard work!

Look no further for LGBTQIA+ content to check out this Pride Month! We’ve compiled a list of LGBTQIA+ projects by or featuring DEGANZ members:


Fiona Clark: Unafraid

This feature documentary celebrates one of Aotearoa’s most renowned and radical photographers, Fiona Clark. Best known for her portraits of the drag community in the 1970s, Fiona’s work challenged prejudices and gave visibility and voice to the socially marginalised. Fiona reveals the stories behind her iconic and haunting art and the personal stories that underpin them all. DEGANZ member Shailesh Prajapati worked as the film’s assistant editor.

Watch it now on NZ Film On Demand.

Daughter of God

DEGANZ member Maza White‘s short explores the familial relationship of an Iranian-Kiwi daughter. When her parents spring an arranged marriage on her, Zarah calls her girlfriend for help but is forced to choose between family and the love of her life.

Don’t miss the film’s premiere at NZIFF in New Zealand’s Best programme.

Nathan Joe: Homecoming Poems

Directed by DEGANZ member Nahyeon Lee (Incubator 2021), this short film meditates on poet Nathan Joe’s sense of home and homecoming. Through three poems, he explores queerness, being Chinese-Kiwi, and feeling caught between Christchurch and Auckland.

Available to watch on Nathan’s website.

Joey’s Heart

This short, directed by Louise Lever (DEGANZ), follows Joey, a self-proclaimed ‘gay Bridget Jones’ who’s rapidly losing hope of finding her special someone. Then she meets Alice, and suddenly she thinks maybe her luck will change.

Watch the trailer and keep an eye out for any screenings near you.



Burnt-out trans activist Caz Davis returns to the rural dairy community of Rūrangi to reconnect with his estranged father, who hasn’t heard from him since before Caz transitioned. While there, Caz finds himself swept up in the environmental fight that politically divides the town, and reconnects with old friends. Not only is it Aotearoa’s first transgender drama series, but the production also has one of the most gender-diverse casts and crews in the industry. The series is directed by DEGANZ member Max Currie.

You can find seasons 1 and 2 on Neon now.

What’s the Disabili-Tea

Executive produced by DEGANZ Board President Robyn Paterson and edited by fellow member Brendan Chan, this docu-series explores the lives of queer and disabled people in Aotearoa. While highlighting issues of accessibility, like being misgendered in the healthcare system, the series ultimately celebrates and uplifts the queer disabled community.

Catch the series on Attitude.


Current Incubator participant Victoria Boult‘s TikTok series opens strong with gay fan fiction. This part of the anthology series, set in the early 2000s, dives into Nikau’s fantasy of his crush, Tāmati, and revels in the embarrassing and awkward moments of teen love. The show is now heading to ThreeNow and Three as a new comedy series with Great Southern Television.

Check out season 1 on TikTok for more Y2K shenanigans.

The Creature

Jake Tabata (DEGANZ) is making his directorial debut with this coming-of-age horror web series. Aidan is ecstatic when he matches with his ‘dream man’ after being stuck in the online dating rut of endlessly swiping with no results. But in order to leave for his date, he must first face the perturbed Creature that lurks in the dark. The series explores grappling with relationship anxiety in the digital era.

The Creature is currently in post-production with plans to release later this year. In the meantime, you can follow the project’s Instagram.

Self Help

This web series, co-directed by DEGANZ member Michelle Ang (Incubator 2020), comedically unpacks the growing pains that stem from young heartache. After being dumped by his boyfriend, Nikau fumbles through the advice of his friends and whānau as they try to pull him out of the heartbreak rut. He tries everything from getting ripped to floating in a sensory deprivation tank as he navigates the healing and self-improvement journey.

Watch the eight-part series on YouTube now!

Inky Pinky Ponky

When a young fakaleiti (transgender) high school student falls in love at St Valentine’s Highschool, she must navigate her way through a world of intolerance and bigotry to find happiness – in an unexpected place. This single hour-long episode co-directed by DEGANZ member Ramon Te Wake, offers a new take on the classic high school romcom, cementing itself in the hearts of young LGBTQIA+ and Pasifika viewers.

View it now on MĀORI+2 before it streams internationally on The Coconet TV on 20 July!


Are you a DEGANZ member and have worked on LGBTQIA+ content? Flick admin@deganz.co.nz an email, and we’ll add you to this list!

Happy viewing!

While Aotearoa trudges into winter, feature films Dame Valerie Adams: MORE THAN GOLD and Red, White & Brass head to the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) 2023 Spring Showcase.

This follows MORE THAN GOLD‘s recent success at the International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival (FIFO) in Tahiti, where it won the 1st Special Jury and the Youth Jury Awards. Edited by DEGANZ board member Margot Francis and produced by fellow member Leanne Pooley, the feature doco follows the candid and inspirational story of Olympic champion, Kiwi icon, and Tongan leader Dame Valerie Adams.

On the other hand, Red, White & Brass, co-edited by DEGANZ board member Ben Powdrell, is just beginning its festival run. The feel-good drama about Tongan pride and community is earning rave reviews following its very recent NZ theatrical release.

Featuring in the HIFF Spring Showcase is incredibly exciting for both films as it will be both of their US premieres. Additionally, this is HIFF’s first run with a completely in-theatre festival after COVID-19.

Along with these two features, NZ-made Muru is also screening in the programme.

Congratulations to all DEGANZ members involved!