Tag Archive for: feature film

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 with scripted content, 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

An exciting update of DEGANZ member Loren Taylor‘s directorial debut: The Moon is Upside Down won Best First Feature Film at the PÖFF Tallinn Black Night Film Festival! The film screened in the First Feature Competition, a collection of first features by promising global talents.

The jury commented:

The film is a bittersweet, multi-layered combination of three stories intervending in a perfect way about people who try to find their place in the world. Shot magnificiously in the outbacks on a distant land in a very impressive and smart way, especially for a first feature.

Along with the accolade, Taylor won a grant of €5,000 to be shared with the film’s producers Phillipa Campbell and Georgina Conder.

PÖFF is one of 15 festivals with an International Federation of Film Producers Association credential. Other festivals in this A-list group include Cannes, Venice, and Berlin.

Keep an eye out for The Moon is Upside Down when it hits screens in Aotearoa in 2024.

Congratulations, Loren and the team!

Script to Screen announced the 2024/23 FilmUp participants, with five of the eight being DEGANZ members. Writer/directors Pulkit Arora, Ella Gilbert (Incubator 2023), Maza White, and Harry Wynn, with 2019 Incubator alum Anna Rose Duckworth, will partake in the six-month professional development and mentorship programme.

FilmUp aims to aid filmmakers in taking the next step in their careers. Through the programme, participants are paired with an industry mentor to receive support for their feature film projects, currently in development. They will also attend three FilmUp Hubs, which include round tables, group workshops, and guest speakers.

Check out the DEGANZ members’ projects and bios below, or see the complete list of participants here.

Pulkit Arora

Soft – Feature Film

Ella Gilbert (Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Kaipoho, Ngāti Kahungunu)

The Desert Road – Feature Film

Ella is an actor, acting coach, and filmmaker from Pukerua Bay. She is committed to making movies that centre on women and celebrate everyday people in Aotearoa. Ella discovered the joys of creating her own work whilst studying at Toi Whakaari. This year, she was selected for DEGANZ’s Emerging Women Directors Incubator and the Write Room Wellington, through which she completed draft one of her debut feature screenplay, The Desert Road. She was also the Director’s Attachment for Rob Sarkie on his feature film, PIKE. In 2022, her short film Mary Mary (funded by Someday Stories) was selected for the Clermont-Ferrand Festival (Short Film Market Picks 2023) and The Sydney Women’s International Film Festival. Her previous films, made on Super8mm, have screened and successfully competed in London, Portugal, Mumbai and Aotearoa.

Maza White

Ruptured – Feature Film

Maza is a writer and director with a rich multicultural perspective, weaving impactful storytelling into diverse narratives. Whether through comedy or drama, Maza draws from her personal experiences to shed light on poignant issues, focusing on those affecting women of colour. Originally from Iran, she earned First Class Honours for her Master’s in Creative Writing from AUT. Her NZFC-funded short film Daughter of God recently secured the Best Screenplay award at the Show Me Shorts Festival and was selected as one of six for NZIFF’s New Zealand’s Best. Currently managing a full writing slate alongside her commissioned TV writing contracts, she is deeply immersed in the development of multiple feature films and TV series across different genres, with the aim of directing some of these projects.

Harry Wynn

Zyzz (Working Title) – Feature Documentary

Harry is a filmmaker from Tāmaki Makaurau. His filmmaking journey began with the documentary Three Ticks Chlöe, produced by The Spinoff and Wrestler, about ChlöeSwarbrick’ss campaign for Auckland Central and the Cannabis Referendum. Young & Hooked on Chemsex, his second documentary, shed light on Auckland’s hidden world of methamphetamine-driven ” party and play’’ scenes. His third documentary, Shred, explored the teen bodybuilding community and the growing issue of ‘bigorexia’’ illuminating a global trend fuelled by platforms such as TikTok. Additionally, TVNZ has picked up Harry’s original concept docu-series, We’ve Always Been Here, which highlights Aotearoa’s queer history through comedy. He is currently developing a feature-length documentary focused on the world-famous bodybuilder and social media star Zyzz, with the support of development funding from Screen Australia.

Anna Rose Duckworth

Put a Baby in Me – Feature Film

Anna has worked in film and television for a decade, both in NYC and Auckland. She adds a distinctly Kiwi sense of humour and explores taboo or challenging themes. Anna has written and directed several short films, including NZFC-funded Pain – screened as part of 2020NZIFF’ssNZ’ss Best Programme, and has gone on to be selected at over 30 international festivals. Anna has also written and directed several self-funded short films: Full V (2021), selected for the Aesthetica Film Festival, and Mum Jeans, which screened at NZIFF 2018. Directing the comedy web series Psusy S2, she won the Best Episodic Jury Prize at the 2018 LA Film Festival. Off the back ofPsusy’ss success, she wrote and directed TVNZ-funded comedy web series Butt Dial. Recent highlights include being awarded an NZWG Seed Grant to develop the feature Put a Baby in Me about queer motherhood and winning the People’s Choice Award for her rom-com short Just Kidding I Actually Love You at Show Me Shorts 2023.

The Misty Flicks Film Festival is featuring multiple DEGANZ members’ mahi this November. The festival highlights films shot in the Waikato and Central Aotearoa regions or that have a connection with these regions through cast and crew. Other films can also screen at the festival if the team behind them will attend the festival to present a workshop at the festival.

The programmers chose films of various genres and styles to bring an eclectic visual experience for festival attendees. Along with the numerous screenings, the festival also hosts workshops, panels, and social events for filmmakers and film buffs to enjoy.

Shorts Programme 1

Mothering Sunday

A horror, dark comedy short where terrifying revelations are made during a Mother-Daughter argument.

Director: Liv McClymont

Under Cover

In this dark comedy thriller, two women are tasked with unravelling the mystery behind their friend’s shady boyfriend, only to stumble upon a web of shocking secrets.

Director: Guillaume Arnoulet

Minimally Invasive

An anxious patient fears his concerns are being ignored when his routine operation yields unexpected findings.

Director & Editor: Adam Harvey

Shorts Programme 2

Proud Hooligan

In this AI-generated story, James and his unlikely companion, Helen, must stand up to the proud hooligan, Roy Randall. I mean, who else is going to defend those elderly ladies? Along the way, James learns about love, true friendship, and the need to get better at hiding his deadly knives.

Director & Editor: Guillaume Arnoulet

For Thom

An isolated teenage girl suffering from suicidal thoughts and depression tries to reconnect with her best friend Milly in an attempt to fix her fragile mental state.

Director: Rafa Yam

Editor: Guillaume Arnoulet

Feature Film

Real Cowboy

A fresh new comedy! Jimmy wants to be a Real Cowboy, but there is so much to learn, staying on your feet and well, staying alive for a start!

Director: Kevin R. Luck


In addition to screening in their respective programmes, both Minimally Invasive and Proud Hooligan are featuring in the festival’s Short Film Showcase. These films represent the best of the shorts programmes and are finalists for the Best Short award this year.

Congratulations to everyone selected!

Hey there! I’m Luke Haigh, a freelance film editor who’s worked in both the commercial and feature film worlds for the last 20 years.

I first fell in love with editing around the age of 15 or 16. It was a Media Studies class in high school in the UK. We were editing linear style from S-VHS decks. It was slow and tedious, and the work was embarrassingly terrible. That was all overshadowed by the art of editing with its magic equation—the process of simply placing two shots next to each other and the sum of their parts wondrously being infinitely greater. Well, it had me hooked…

My first proper break in the industry was in 2002–2003. At age 22, I’d just emigrated to Aotearoa after studying a bachelor’s in film in the UK. I did the usual rounds, hitting up all of the production companies and post houses I could find in Auckland. But to no avail. I filled my time that summer driving a tractor on an avocado farm in Pukekohe. Fortunately for me, a friend of a friend heard of a full-time role working as a Directors Assistant at an Auckland commercial production house called Curious Film. It wasn’t editing, but it was a foot in the door.

I spent my time mainly putting together director’s treatments and preparing the pre-production meeting documents. Casting, locations, art department, etc. The hours were extreme, but the money was not. However, it was the perfect crash course in the industry. I got to see the intense creativity that goes into getting a project on film. It gave me a well-rounded view of the process rather than a singular take, which can happen when you only work in editorial or post-production. But most importantly, I got to meet directors and producers and understand what makes them tick.

After a year of dropping hints and schooling up on Avid in the background, I finally got a shot at some of the small edit gigs. Charity spots and music videos.

As Curious grew, I convinced the owners to support my post-production dreams. We took editorial in-house and grew a full-service post-production arm at both their Auckland and, later, Sydney offices. I started as a DA and Assistant Editor, and about 5 years after starting, I focused on editing and post-production full-time. That eventually saw me in the dual role of Senior Editor and Head of Post-Production.

Curious Film Pre Axis Awards (2015) / Photo: Supplied

I was lucky enough to work alongside some incredible talent during my time there. Taika Waititi, Zia Mandviwalla, Miki Magasiva, Robin Walters, Steven Kang, Tara Riddell, Matt Noonan, Darryl Ward, Seth Wilson, Dan Higgins, Josh Frizzell, Steve Ayson… the list goes on. They gave me my first breaks; we were like family, and those relationships continue in my work today.

I spliced literally hundreds of commercial campaigns during my time there, and we would spend evenings and weekends cutting short films and honing our craft. I cut my first short, USO, with Miki Magasiva in 2006, a raft of others, and finally, in 2011, I cut Blue with Steven Kang, which went on to win La Semaine de la Critique (Critics Week) at Cannes. That was a defining sea change in my career.

In 2014, I landed my first feature film edit, Turbo Kid, with producer Ant Timpson and Canadian director trio RKSS. As I was still full-time at Curious, I also post-produced and post-supervised that project. Brutal. That year was so intense. I was even late to my own New Year’s Eve party as we were racing to get everything delivered by the January deadline. I’ll forever be in debt to colourist Dave McLaren and Flame artist Leon Woods for pulling that one out of the bag. We delivered for the Sundance Premiere in 2015. It reviewed well, and finally, I was a feature film editor…

‘Turbo Kid’ Sundance Premiere (2015) / Photo: Supplied

That same year, Taika was shooting Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I did the same Editor/Post-Producer/Post-Supervisor role on that one. It premiered at Sundance 2016, and it felt like the right project to springboard off. I finally went freelance to focus on editing around June of that year.

Since then, I’ve tried to find a balance between editing commercial campaigns (here in New Zealand and repped in Australia by ARC Edit) and long-form projects. I’ve been lucky enough to edit the Daniel Radcliff action-comedy Guns Akimbo, the US Netflix rom-com The Royal Treatment (line-produced by my good friend and Curious EP Matt Noonan), and most recently Lee Tamahori’s pre-colonial Aotearoa/NZ epic The Convert, starring Guy Pierce and Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, which premiered at TIFF 2023.

I’m currently editing a feature with the director who gave me my very first edit gig at Curious 20-odd years ago. Miki Magasiva. Pretty cool to finally complete a loop on that relationship.

I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up a few awards along the way, only been fired once, collected a bunch of incredible people, and even after 20-odd years, it is still a job that I love.

About Luke Haigh

Luke Haigh is an award-winning freelance film editor. He’s edited feature and short films that have screened globally at A-list festivals and even won Critic’s Week at Cannes. Having cut literally hundreds of commercials, his specialty is the big kind. Beer ads, car brands, soft drinks – often on a global scale. Many go on to become award-winning campaigns – Grand Prix at Cannes Lions, Clio, and D&AD. His work can be both quirky and emotive and he will happily lean into something that’s a little unusual.

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.