Tag Archive for: factual

The 2023 NZ Web Fest selection is stacked with DEGANZ members, with some nominated for awards!

NZ Web Fest was created in 2015 to celebrate web series and online video content. Over the years, the festival has evolved and was accepted as a participating festival in the Web Series World Cup in 2017 and expanded to include podcasts in 2022. The festival will occur online this November.

Short Film – Narrative


A dark comedy about a desperately lonely security guard who seeks companionship as their playing cards come to life during a game of solitaire.

Writer/Director: Brian Gill

* Nominated for Best Student Film, NZ Short Fiction & Best Performance, NZ Short Fiction


Amelia Merton takes a seemingly casual walk in the wilderness. The innocent and carefree nature of the walk is juxtaposed with the dark secret of the protagonist’s actions, creating a dramatic and unexpected ending.

Writer/Director: Joe Murdie

* Nominated for Best Directing, NZ Short Fiction

The Reunion

Joel is about to walk into a small graduation party he’s having with some friends when he gets the phone call telling him that his best friend, Terry, has died.

Editor: Max Helbick

* Nominated for Best Student Film, NZ Short Fiction


We’ve all been there. The nervousness, the pressure. Making. That. First. Impression. Set in a lush beautiful cafe on the perimeter of Auckland City, an awkward journalist’s first date is upended by a man spotted in the cafe window.

Writer/Director, Producer, & Editor: James Fink-Jensen

* Nominated for Best Writing, NZ Short Fiction & Best Performance, NZ Short Fiction (x2)

Short Film – Documentary

Ultimately Lacks Polish

Freya Daly Sadgrove is an emerging New Zealand poet, riding the success of her collection Head Girl — but acutely aware that something has to come next. With her multi-poet show Show Ponies, she’s determined to jam together poetry, punk, sex, sizzle, and theatre, shaking poetry performance loose from its conventions. But not everyone is supportive of her unconventional ideas.

Director: Kathleen Winter (Incubator 2020)

Editor: Amanda Mulderry

* Nominated for Best Directing, Short Documentary

What’s the Disabili-Tea: Misty Frequency

Drag Icon Misty Frequency’s kaupapa is to celebrate Autistic and Takatāpui excellence. They are looking to storm the stage at the Drag Wars competition with a cash prize up for grabs.

Director: Justin Scott

Editor: Brendon Chan

Assistant Editor: Laura McBeath

* Nominated for Best Directing, Short Documentary & Best Film, Short Documentary

Music Videos

Boofhead – Ingrid and the Ministers

Co-Director & Editor: Kathleen Winter (Incubator 2020)

* Nominated for Best Music Video, NZ

Don’t Expect the World – Gina Malcolm

Director & Editor: Joe Murdie

* Nominated for Best Music Video, NZ

Web Series – Pilot

Te Pāmu Kūmara

A live-action children’s drama about Tai and her superman whānau who run their local vege shop from their kūmara farm.

Editor: Te Rurehe Paki

Well, Well, Wellness

A comedy taking the mickey out of a bunch of wellness nerds running a dire silent retreat.

Co-Creator: Jack Nicol

Web Series – Narrative


Follow a crazy group of city-based rangatahi, they’re young, kura kaupapa raised and dangerously onto it. Their world orbits around getting cash, cutting corners, and charging their phones.

Editor, Writer, Storyliner, & Script Editor: Onehou Strickland

1st & 2nd Assistant Director: Maza White

Web Series – Factual

2000s Baby

You’re invited to Misha, Rāwhiti, Poe Tiare, Alison, and Tristan’s 21sts, getting a snapshot of what it looks like to become an adult across different walks of life in Aotearoa.

Editor: Damian Golfinopoulos


A silly, joyful, tongue-in-cheek investigation series into the why, how, & what the ?! of some of NZ’s most outrageous conspiracies.

Creator, Director, Co-Producer: Jaimee Poipoi (Incubator 2023)

Conversations with My Immigrant Parents

Immigrant whānau across Aotearoa have frank conversations covering love, ancestry, home, food, expectation, and acceptance.

Co-Director: Julie Zhu

Editor: Josh Yong

Dating While Asian

Pan-Asian New Zealanders tell stories from their love lives on their own terms, from situationships and mediocre hookups to devastating breakups and complicated emotional needs.

Editor: Josh Yong

Assistant Editor: Frangipani Foulkes

Additional Editing: Damian Golfinopoulos

Fight or Flight

A partly animated doco series about resilience and anxiety, Fight or Flight interviewed 12 young people about their challenges with anxiety or depression.

Director: Michelle Mae Cameron

K’ Road Chronicles

A look at homelessness from the inside. A colourful, diverse, harsh, and often tragic world of the people living on and around Auckland’s Karangahape Road.

Assistant Editor: Benjamin Murray

No Place Like Home

Following the 2020 Covid travel restrictions, No Place Like Home follows six couples as they return to New Zealand after those years spent abroad to rebuild their lives, often from scratch. Their stories are in turn uplifting, challenging, heart-breaking, and joyful.

Director & Producer: Naashon Zalk

POV (Point of View)

A docu-series that tries to figure out what’s going on with young people post-2020 f**kery. How do Aotearoa’s rangitahi feel about “these unprecedented times”? Do we fixate on the demise of civilization every night before bed? More importantly, what do we care about? Seventeen participants spread across seven small towns and one big town make up this intimate, funny, and thoughtful series.

Director: Jaya Beach Robertson (Incubator 2023)

Editor: Sam Small


An eight-part web series, that tells the stories of transgender Kiwis from their late 70s to early 20s, documenting the history of trans experience in New Zealand and dispelling stereotypes about who trans people are.

Editor: Jai Waite

Assistant Editor: Charlotte Evans

Executive Producer: Ramon Te Wake

What’s the Disabili-Tea: Misty Frequency

Drag Icon Misty Frequency’s kaupapa is to celebrate Autistic and Takatāpui excellence. They are looking to storm the stage at the Drag Wars competition with a cash prize up for grabs.

Editor: Brendon Chan

Assistant Editor: Laura McBeath

* Nominated for Best Directing, Short Documentary & Best Film, Short Documentary

While we wait for season 2 of Down for Love, season 1 of the wholesome reality series, produced by DEGANZ board president Robyn Paterson, caught the eye of Netflix and is now internationally available on the streaming service!

As described in the show’s logline, the “heartwarming quest for love […] follows several people with Down Syndrome as they navigate the trials and triumphs of dating.” The show takes you along on a series of dates between the singletons as they search for their right match.

While adhering to the match-making reality TV genre, the series is uniquely personal to the participants due to the production’s dedication to thorough research of what each person was looking for in a partner, what sort of date activities they’d enjoy, and their plans for the future. In an interview with The Spinoff in 2022, Robyn shared that the show’s match-making strategy was based on pairing people with similar lifestyles and interests, not what would create the most drama. She commented,

[A]t the very least, if there wasn’t a romantic connection they would get a really solid friendship.

In the same interview, Robyn shared how the entire production had an extended duty of care, from comfortable scheduling for the participants to having disability-specific counsellors available. She also explained that allowing the participants control over their own stories was crucial. She said,

We really wanted people to stay in the driver’s seat of their own stories. Especially with intellectual disabilities, because people aren’t often afforded the right to tell their own stories.

Audiences were perceptive to the production’s care for the participants, causing the show to amass a strong following of viewers from its debut season.

Congrats to Robyn and the team! It’s great to see a Kiwi show earn its spot on such a popular international streaming service.

Kiwi audiences can watch season 1 of Down for Love on TVNZ+, while the rest of the world can catch it on Netflix.

I’ve always been a tinkerer.

Growing up, I spent most of my time drawing, carving, and making things. I would pick up the tools and teach myself by doing, feeling my way through it. As an editor, it’s something I still do to this day.

My career started with my whānau in Tūrangi. My uncle hired me to be his graphic artist and edit a tamariki show he was producing in preparation for the launch of Whakaata Māori. It was an opportunity to ‘learn while you earn’, and I found huge satisfaction in crafting images with sound. I equally enjoyed learning about the tools.

By day, I was cutting. By night, I was researching components.

Soon after, I met a DOP named Mike Jonathan. I moved to Rotorua and started cutting shows with him and Hula Haka Productions. I got to cut a range of genres and work with different directors and producers. They gave me the freedom to try new things, which was important groundwork for figuring out my style as an editor.

Editor Te Rurehe with his daughter while working on ‘Ka Haku Au’ in 2008

Like many, I was drawn to the creative energy of Wellington. From musicians to writers to animators, the city was bursting with expression. It was infectious. I hit the streets, knocking on doors and saying yes to anything from cutting news and current affairs to adverts, web series to new series. By default, I set myself up as a business, which made it easier to freelance around town. In my downtime, I sharpened my tools, kept up to date with new tech and software programmes, bought new (and second-hand) computer parts, and started designing systems. I trained myself to use everything; the industry demands relentless evolution. It pushed me to broaden my skills from the basic NewTek system to Adobe Suite, Avid, DaVinci Resolve, Blender, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and many others that came and went. I honed my craft, learning from incredible storytellers like Annie Collins, Tainui Stephens, Fiona Kupenga, Tina Wickliffe, Ngahuia Wade, and Maramena Roderick (my now mother-in-law). It was years of hustling, layers of grunt work, and a special time with incredible people.

Editor Te Rurehe at Fifo Film Festival in 2019 after ‘Making Good Men’ won Best Documentary the previous year

A few years ago, I moved to Auckland, ready to do something different. Off the back of some of my long-form factual work, I’ve had the opportunity to work in scripted drama and films. It’s broadened my relationships with Māori creatives, challenged my limitations, and deepened my craft as an artist.

Right now, I am again cutting with Mike Jonathan, this time on his first feature as a director. It’s taken us twenty years of patience and perseverance. Maybe it’s serendipitous. Maybe it’s planned. Maybe it’s whakapapa.

I still love tech. I still love learning new things. I still love to tinker.

Through the grace of many who’ve supported me, I’ve built a career that is all three.

I’m a Māori boy from Tūrangi with no qualifications or formal training who never spoke English until he was 16. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. If I can do it, so can you.

About Te Rurehe Paki

‘Ko te ahi whakakakā, ko te ahi whakahikahika, ko te ahi whakakihihī, hei whakahoro kakā i te manawa. Ka tuu ki te mura o te ahi, pae tu, pae hinga, karawhiua ki ngā pari karangaranga, whakapaohotia atu rā, kia haruru ki te rangi, kia rū ki te nuku, ko Te Rurehe tēnei, e tau nei e.’

Te Rurehe is a video editor and owner of The Suite Limited, the post-production facility that has shaped numerous television series and films including, 2021 NZIFF Jury Award Winner Washday, 2019 Victoria Film Festival Winner Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, and the 2018 Fifo Film Festival Winner Making Good Men. As an editor, he focuses on the narrative and pace of a story, following his intuition that he has honed from working on various formats and genres throughout his career. He approaches each project with a fresh perspective, applying his skill as a storyteller with his passion for computers and technology. He promotes opportunities to do this in his first language, te reo Māori, and share with audiences what was nurtured in him – a unique Māori worldview.

How I Got Started in the Industry is a guest blog series from the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ). Our members reflect on how they made their way into assistant editing, editing, and directing—with no two stories the same. They offer advice for those starting out. Get in touch with admin@deganz.co.nz if you’re a member and would like to share your story.

I am a Film School dropout and my slow but steady trajectory from PA to Director/Producer is the classic example of working my way up from the bottom.

In the mid-eighties I was studying at one of the best TV/Film Schools in Toronto, Canada; an institution formally known as Ryerson. In my first year a Kiwi boy I’d met while traveling in the Middle East the year before turned up on my doorstep. He convinced me to take a year off (it was a 3-year programme) to come with him to NZ. I did, and I never went back.

In NZ I got a job as a production assistant at a company called Northern Television. Northern made TV commercials, broadcast programmes (drama/comedy/entertainment), and corporate videos. I was lucky to work across them all in a junior ‘do whatever is needed’ role. I worked with industry luminaries like Robin Scholes (producer), Andy Shaw (director/TV exec), John Cavill (DOP), and Brian Shaw (Editor). My boss was the extraordinary, smart, and slightly terrifying Linda (Tex) Milton. Sadly, Tex passed away a few years ago but she was a wonderful mentor who was generous with her knowledge and very supportive of my aspirations to learn as much as I could about production.

Director Leanne Pooley in Rome and Africa for BBC documentary ‘God’s Candidates’ in 1994 / Photo: Supplied

After Northern, I became a TPA (Television Producer’s Assistant) at TVNZ and spent four years there working on everything from sports to drama. I was then hired as a trainee director on a programme called First Hand; a series in which directors used new lightweight cameras (Hi-8) to make documentaries. First Hand storytellers filled all the production roles; camera, sound, editing, writing, and directing. We were the original one-person band. It was an amazing opportunity to learn under the tutelage of Richard Thomas and George Andrews; two stalwarts of the documentary genre. Doing every role meant the filmmakers came to appreciate all the components that go into a documentary. We were also faced with our own mistakes in the cutting room, a very steep learning curve indeed. First Hand was responsible for launching the careers of a number of highly successful broadcast professionals. Alan Erson went on to become Head of Documentaries at the ABC. David Ambler is a BAFTA-winning producer at the BBC, Mark McNeil runs the highly successful award-winning company Razor Films, and Peta Carey is a celebrated filmmaker and author. It was an incredible breeding ground for talent and I was very lucky to be part of the First Hand incubator.

Leanne on set for her 2013 documentary ‘Beyond the Edge’ / Photo: Supplied

In 1992 I moved to England where I was hired as a director/camera person on the acclaimed BBC series 40 Minutes helmed by the legendary documentarian Paul Watson. This was the first of many documentaries I made over the course of five years in Britain. I directed films for blue chip series including; Everyman, Omnibus, Frontline, Modern Times, and Eyewitness amongst others. My time in England solidified my position as a documentary filmmaker, I learned from the best in the business and when I returned to NZ to have my first child, I established my company SPACIFIC FILMS (25 years ago).

My trajectory has combined a little bit of study, a lot of luck, and some bloody hard work. It’s been a ride that’s for sure and I’m still with the boy who turned up in Toronto all those years ago.

About Leanne Pooley

A documentary filmmaker for over 25 years, Leanne has directed films all over the world and has won numerous awards (including Best Documentary at TIFF). Leanne is a New Zealand Arts Laureate, a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and was named an “Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit” for Services to Documentary Filmmaking in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List. Her work includes The Girl on the Bridge on suicide survivor and activist Jazz Thornton, We Need to Talk About A.I. for Universal Pictures and GFC, the animated feature documentary 25 April, and acclaimed local box office success Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls. Most recently, she produced Dame Valerie Adams: MORE THAN GOLD on the titular Olympic champion.

How I Got Started in the Industry is a guest blog series from the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ). Our members reflect on how they made their way into assistant editing, editing, and directing—with no two stories the same. They offer advice for those starting out. Get in touch with admin@deganz.co.nz if you’re a member and would like to share your story.

Editing – Cutting a Path

I’ve been an editor for 17 years – and the majority of that is in the documentary space. For those that don’t know me, I am also a wheelchair user – the result of an accident 22 years ago. That hasn’t burdened my career at all. In fact, as a wheelchair user, you have to become a problem solver and think outside the box – a handy skill when you’re trying to connect a scene or thought in a timeline.

Tuning Your Skills

My career began after the 2004 Athens Paralympics. I competed in Wheelchair Rugby, and after returning home with the shiny medal, I received a letter that allowed me financial help to study anything I wanted. I opted to complete a post-grad in film and television. Upon completing my course, I was lucky enough to step into an edit assist role at Attitude Pictures. Initially, my role was ingesting analogue tapes and shot listing. After about 6 months, I had started rough cutting some of the short stories that used to make up the magazine style programming – each roughly 5-6 minutes. The short length meant you had to get creative in transitioning from scenes and joining movement. Here I got to start online editing too. This really fine tunes your eye to any irregularities in shot.

Editor Jai (centre) at the 2004 Athen Paralympics / Photo: Supplied

After 3-4 years of cutting presenter led storytelling – the progression to longer form editing began. Here is where you start to think about story flow and what I like to call ‘riding the waves’ – taking the audience on a ride of emotions. This skill set isn’t something easily developed, and it takes time to know your craft and how to get the best out of the audio and vision. When doing jobs like this, it’s important to talk to your director or producer early on that you need time to work through the scenes. It gets quicker over time, but you need time to try things initially. There’s nothing wrong with kicking people out of the booth to try things on your own.

I feel you really start to trust your instincts by year 10. Again this comes back to how much leeway you’ve been given to tune your skills. It’s equally important to have snowballed all the skills from edit-assist to onlining to editing, so you understand the process and how best to do your job – and not make others’ difficult. You’ll get more work if you’re not costing producers extra $$$ after you’re finished.

Editor Jai at his editing desk / Photo: Supplied

In terms of software – I use it all. There’s no point limiting your potential work by being solely Avid or Premiere. Heck, I even edit in Davinci if I have to (great freeware, BTW).

My best advice is to be open to change and challenge yourself to do it differently.

About Jai Waite

Jai is an award-winning editor with an extensive background in documentary and factual projects, with a particular strength in storytelling. His accolades include two Apollo Awards for Best Editing in a Documentary/Factual film (2014 and 2016) and two Asian Academy Creative Awards for Best Editing (Australia/New Zealand 2018 and 2019). He currently works as a freelance editor and has a production company, Sweet Productions, with fellow member and long-term collaborator, Robyn Paterson.

How I Got Started in the Industry is a guest blog series from the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ). Our members reflect on how they made their way into assistant editing, editing, and directing—with no two stories the same. They offer advice for those starting out. Get in touch with admin@deganz.co.nz if you’re a member and would like to share your story.