Tag Archive for: feature documentary

The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) has offered equity investments to two feature films with DEGANZ members Rebecca Tansley and Rouzie Hassanova involved.

My Name is Pati is a feature documentary with Rebecca as the writer/director and producer. The film will receive up to $865,638. The project is about “The remarkable story of Samoan brothers who sang their way onto the world’s greatest opera stages.”

Fellow member Rouzie is one of three producers for Mārama, a feature drama also granted funding of up to $2,420,000 from NZFC. The film’s logline is “1859. When a young, Māori woman is summoned under mysterious circumstances from New Zealand to North Yorkshire, she uncovers the horrifying truth of her colonial heritage and must destroy the titled Englishman who has devastated her family.”

Read more here.

The International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival (FIFO) returns for its 21st run with multiple DEGANZ members’ work featured! Each year, the festival aims to celebrate and amplify the voices and cultures of Oceania on screens locally and worldwide. FIFO is also a pillar in film development in the Pacific, annually bringing filmmakers and key players in the international audiovisual industry together in Tahiti.

Competing Category

Only 10 films were selected for the festival’s main category. FIFO describes these films as ‘making up the very essence of the festival, showcasing both ‘the great diversity of Oceania [and] the technical quality of film productions in the region.’

Family Faith Footy – A Pasifika Rugby Story

Directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti (DEGANZ), this feature documentary offers unique insight into the stories of some of the most celebrated rugby players, inviting viewers into their daily lives. It’s a story about ‘small islands, big dreams, and the sacrifices made by many to produce some of the world’s greatest players.’

Non-Competing Category

A selection of complementary films, shedding new light and approaches on issues of the Pacific.

Ms Information

DEGANZ member Gwen Isaac takes on COVID’s impact on Aotearoa through the lens of non-conformist, pink-haired scientist Dr. Siouxsie Wiles. The film tracks Siouxsie’s trajectory from pre-pandemic times to her catapult into the limelight while advising Aotearoa on the growing health crisis. Viewers follow her ‘transition from a feminist icon to a target for violence and threats’ and how she presses forward with ferocity and heart.

14th Oceanian Fiction Night

Despite FIFO’s focus on documentary, the festival opened its screens to short fiction films in 2007. They showcase diversity, creativity, originality, traditions, and modernity within the region.

I am Paradise

Edited by Abi King-Jones (DEGANZ) and life member Annie Collins, this short follows Paradise, a young single mother ‘living on the bones of her ass’. With a boyfriend in prison and a mother who neglects her, she finds solace in the two people in the world who love her unconditionally: her children.


Written, directed, and edited by Board Member Celia Jaspers, this feel-good short celebrates a small act of kindness. When a young girl sees an elderly man unable to pay for his milk, she sacrifices her hard-earned treats at the local dairy to help him out.

The Polycees

Also from Celia, this short is a whimsical adventure of the secret world beneath Parliament. When the new Prime Minister’s daughter is left to explore her dad’s office, she discovers she isn’t alone when she meets the cheeky creature, Spooo.

Congratulations, Harry Wynn (DEGANZ), for winning the Screen Production and Development Association’s (SPADA) 2023 New Filmmaker of the Year Award! SPADA grants this award to honour excellence, talent, and creativity in filmmaking.

Along with the accolade, Harry received $2,500 of development funding and a complimentary registration to next year’s SPADA Conference.

Harry has made a name for himself in the documentary space over the past few years. In 2022, he released Shred, a short about a teenage bodybuilder who takes drastic measures in pursuit of winning his first bodybuilding competition. In the same year, he produced What’s the Disibili-tea, a docu-series profiling young queer people living with disabilities in Aotearoa, directed by DEGANZ board member Justin Scott. His other titles include Young & Hooked on Chemsex, released on TVNZ+, and Three Ticks for Chlöe for the Spinoff.

Harry is currently developing his first feature-length doco with funding from Screen Australia. He also has been selected for the next round of Script to Screen’s development and mentorship programme, FilmUp.

Harry is in good company as fellow member Mia Maramara won the same award for 2021, which she was awarded at the 2022 conference last year.

Vanessa Wells (DEGANZ) and The Climate Canary team are in the final stretch of post-production and are crowdfunding to help cross the finish line.

The 90-minute documentary highlights three remarkable women from differing generations and their scientific work in Antarctica. Oceanographer Dr Natalie Robinson leads a team of ten scientists on an epic world-first research trip to McMurdo Sound. Jacqui Stuart, a biologist and self-confessed algae geek, is on her first trip to Antarctica. Meanwhile, Emeritus Professor Patricia Langhorne mentors them both from Aotearoa after more than 25 deployments to the Poles. The film asks if meaningful social change is possible and how these women tenaciously hold onto hope. For scientists on the frontline of climate change, their surprisingly refreshing attitudes are raw and heartening.

Vanessa, as director and producer, pitched the film at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) in the Central Showcase earlier this year, garnering interest from distributors, agents, and broadcasters.

Now, the team is adding the finishing touches, with its $10,000 stretch goal going directly to animation costs. To make the film’s complex science more accessible, the team is utilising animation to convey it in delightful and comprehensive ways.

Director and producer Vanessa says,

With NZ making some difficult u-turns in the environmental space right now, this documentary feels even more important to finish as soon as possible!

They hope to release the film in 2024.

Find out more about The Climate Canary on the Boosted page HERE!

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, Monday 5 February 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 your career goals 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