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Today, the Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand is thrilled to announce the seven female directors selected for the Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator 2022.

They are Mary-Lyn Chambers, Mīria George, Jolin Lee, Magnolia Lowe, Mia Maramara, Fiona McKenzie and Alison Titulaer.

Now in its sixth year and thanks to ongoing support from Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commision and the Australian Screen Directors Authorship Collecting Society (ASDACS), the Incubator aims to support each talented participant to advance their careers and projects. The programme brings the directors together for five workshops across the year to connect with each other and hear from established screen industry practitioners working in New Zealand and abroad.

We look forward to seeing the participants at our first workshop in May, and extend our thanks to every director who applied.

About the Participants

MARY-LYN CHAMBERS was born in Fiji and raised in Nauru and Aotearoa. She has worked in Los Angeles, London and Doha and is known for narrative stories about inequality in mixed languages. She spent a decade working at the Spirit Awards and the LA Film Festival. She is a directing Fellow from the Sony Pictures Television Diverse Directors Program, Film Independent, and the Alliance of Women Directors.

Prior projects include Karanga, a collaboration with choreographer Merenia Gray funded by CNZ and screened on Sky TV. Her Imagen Award-nominated pilot Tijuana screened at Slamdance, Bentonville, HollyShorts and Content London. Plural of Blood won Best TV Pilot at the 2018 Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival. Debris participated in the UN’s Refugee Voices in Film Conference at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Mary-Lyn is known for hiring women and minorities.

MĪRIA GEORGE (Ngāti Kearoa, Ngāti Tuara; Tumutevarovaro, Enuamanu, Kuki ‘Āirani) is a playwright, screenwriter and a director and producer of theatre and film. The portmanteau feature film VAI (Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions) premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2019, and marked Mīria’s debut as a writer and director of film.

Originally a live performance installation, Mīria wrote and directed the award-winning short film fire in the water, fire in the sky (Tawata Productions) that premiered at HIFF and screened at NZIFF in 2021. fire in the water, fire in the sky was awarded Special Recognition for Cinematography at the NZIFF. The film will continue to screen around the world in 2022.

Mīria has also created and directed digital content including Big Hair, Don’t Care, a web-series that documents conversations with Māori, Pasifika and Women of Colour artists of theatre and film; and is producing the 15-part series Ahi Kā for the online platform Moana Nui.

JOLIN LEE is an emerging writer/director of Singaporean-Chinese heritage based in Tāmaki Makaurau. She has been working in Aotearoa’s screen industry for the past six years after pivoting from her journalism roots in 2015, directing a number of music videos and short films. Her short film Ur Dead To Me was selected for the Palm Springs Shortfest in 2018.

Jolin also works prolifically in Tāmaki’s commercial industry as a writer and editor, and has found success in this space, going on to work on some of Aotearoa’s best ad campaigns, from the viral Keep it Real Online campaign and educational web series The Eggplant for the Dept. of Internal Affairs, to the widely celebrated Proud to be Māori campaign for Te Whānau o Waipareira. Jolin is also a Creative and Head of Post Production at award-winning Auckland Agency Motion Sickness.

MAGNOLIA LOWE is an award-winning film-maker who is passionate about storytelling. She has a background in directing commercials and is the principal at Magpie Content Creation.

Magnolia’s Newsroom documentary series Water gained official selection in four international film festivals. The series was an award finalist for best direction in the NZ Web Fest, and was best documentary finalist in die Seriale, the Oregon short film festival and the Oregon documentary film festival. She is currently working on her first feature documentary, In the Subduction Zone.

Previous documentaries include Mapping the Messiness, which follows Australian graduate teachers and US and them, a short documentary about the other side of US-Mexico border migration, featuring stories of Americans who left the US to live in Mexico in 1999. Magnolia has also previously written for The Conversation and has co-authored an academic article about documentary film-making as a research method.

MIA MARAMARA is a Filipino-born filmmaker with work that has screened both locally and internationally. Her passion for authentic, trailblazing stories has led her to wear different hats in the industry, most notably as a writer, director, and producer.

In 2021, she wrote and directed Albularyo (Beyond the Veil) for TVNZ OnDemand and TV2, which earned the distinction of being the first Filipino-led drama on New Zealand TV. She also recently directed the short animated documentary Only Human as part of the Loading Docs initiative.

Mia has received funding from the New Zealand Film Commission, New Zealand On Air, Creative New Zealand, and the New Zealand Writers Guild Seed Fund. She has participated in the Fresh Shorts Lab and the Aotearoa Short Film Lab.

In the Philippines, she trained under award-winning producer Bianca Balbuena and worked as a production assistant on Pepe Diokno’s film Above the Clouds.

FIONA MCKENZIE, after gaining her degree, began work with TVNZ in Dunedin, writing and field directing for the children’s department. After her OE and time as a regional TV journalist, she moved to Auckland in 1995 and trained as a Drama Director with South Pacific Pictures. As a freelancer in the late 90’s she directed a variety of programmes and genres including documentary, drama, multi-cam and sketch comedy.

In 1998 her first child was born, with significant disabilities, so work took a back seat and she and her family moved back to rural South Island, from where she continued to make films for galleries, museums, disability groups and other clients.

In 2019/20 she wrote and directed her first narrative short film, Peninsula, which premiered at Tribeca (New York) in June 2021, won its section at Bengaluru and played at Aesthetica and NZIFF that same year.

ALISON TITULAER started in the film and TV industry in front of the camera, studying acting in Auckland, New York, and Vancouver, while gathering experience in the many facets of production by working a variety of crew roles. Learning what makes a great script and an honest performance, Alison naturally switched to the other side of the camera.

She has written and directed several short films, and received the Gaylene Preston WIFT Best Female Director award at the 2018 48 Hour National Finals. Her NZFC Fresh Short funded film, Stella, is embarking on its international festival run, and she is developing her first feature.

Alison freelances as a creative producer and director of commercial content and is one half of the production company Citizen Creative. She lives on the Coromandel Peninsula, is step-mum to 9-year-old Ophelia, and mum to 4-month-old Xavier.


Made possible with the financial support of

NZFC

ASDACS logo

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

In 2022, the talent-focused development programme will mentor a handful of selected female directors from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Background

The overall vision of the Incubator is to empower the participating directors with the confidence, knowledge and connections that they can use to go on and direct a feature film, drama or scripted series.

The Incubator is intended primarily for emerging debut directors of feature film (drama or documentary), but will also consider those wishing to establish careers in TV drama and scripted content.

Applicants must apply with a project, but the Incubator is primarily focused on filmmaker development, not project development.

The objectives of the Incubator are:

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

Workshops

Participants will attend five one-day workshops across 2022 with the first scheduled to take place in May. All workshops are intended to be held in Auckland, and a travel allowance will be available for participants based in other regions. For safety reasons, all applicants need to have had at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Participants need access to a computer to participate via Zoom if the workshops are affected by COVID-19 traffic light settings.

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 undergo constant change, DEGANZ will remain flexible as to the actual content of the programme, seeking to incorporate information and opportunities that are relevant.

 


Eligibility

All applicants will be expected to have a good 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 at first draft script but if not available, there must be a detailed Writer’s Treatment for the project. A Director’s Treatment that includes style, tone, imagery, etc. is NOT requested. The applicant does not have to be the writer on 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.
  4. For feature film, be a debut director.
  5. Be available to participate in all workshops and have a valid My Vaccine Pass.
  6. Identify as female.
  7. Be a NZ Citizen or permanent resident.

Membership

Selected participants must be DEGANZ Full members for 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-March. Getting an interview does not imply that you have been selected for the Incubator.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to immediately supply prior to the interview a detailed Writer’s Treatment of your active project (different to your 1-page synopsis). The treatment needs to be within a minimum of 5 pages to a maximum of 10 pages.

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, Friday 18 February 2022

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 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:
(YourName)_DEGANZWomenFilmmakersIncubator_2022

Send your application to admin@deganz.co.nz with DEGANZWFI2022 in the subject line.

* Online PDF merge tool

 

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

NZFC


Questions about the Incubator?

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director
tui@deganz.co.nz
+64 21 659 950

Congratulations are in order for member Michelle Ang, an alumni of DEGNZ’s Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator, as NZ On Air has confirmed funding for Riddle Me This, an animated journey of eight four-minute episodes that chronicle tamariki using their powers of critical thinking and imagination to solve intriguing riddles.

Michelle’s A Grain of Rice Productions received $265,950 in funding. The series will be released on NZ On Air and TVNZ’s HEIHEI channel.

DEGNZ is pleased to announce the participants for the 2021 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator. The Incubator is a year-long programme of five workshops intended to advance the projects and careers of female directors.

Established screen industry practitioners from New Zealand and Australia come into the Incubator to provide insight into forging sustainable careers as a director through interactive discussions, practical exercises and in-depth information, at the same time expanding the networks of our directors throughout the film, TV and online sectors.

After considerable discussion, a panel of four external selectors and DEGNZ’s Executive Director settled on seven participants for the 2021 Incubator. They are:

Matasila Freshwater, Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, Niva Kay, Nahyeon Lee, Hweiling Ow, Cian Elyse White and Zoey Zhao.

The DEGNZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator is made possible through the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission.

 

MATASILA FRESHWATER (Solomon Islands/Pākehā) is a writer/director passionate about exploring cultural complexities through storytelling. Matasila was responsible for the Solomon Islands section of award-winning feature, Vai (2019), which premiered at Berlinale, featured at SXSW and won a Special Jury Award at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Best Feature Narrative at DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. Her first film Shmeat (2016), was a finalist in NZIFF’s Best Shorts programme, competed at the Sitges International Fantasy Film Festival, and won Best Animation at A Night of Horror Film Festival in Sydney. Recent projects have included writing/directing on The Feijoa Club Season 2, and Prime horror anthology series, Teine Sā: The Ancient ones with her short piece Hiama. Mata is show-running her first animated series ENDLING, currently in preproduction for TVNZ HeiHei.

Mata holds an MA in Scriptwriting from Victoria University IIML with a feature film selected for Script to Screens’ 2020 Film Up programme. In 2019 she was awarded a special grant through the NZFC Annual Gender Scholarship, won SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year, and in April 2020 became one of the inaugural Arts Foundation Springboard recipients, under the mentorship of Tusi Tamasese.

GHAZALEH GOLBAKHSH is an Iranian-New Zealand writer, filmmaker and Fulbright scholar.

Ghazaleh has made various short films including the recent documentary This is Us which centred on Muslim New Zealanders for RNZ and NZ On Air. She is currently developing her first comedy feature with Ainsley Gardiner and Georgina Conder. Other upcoming projects include directing the first ever PASC funded short film Night Visions and co-producing the NZ On Air documentary series Hair Now for the Spinoff. Ghazaleh recently finished her PhD in Media and Communication.

NIVA KAY is a filmmaker passionate about storytelling, environmental and social justice. She is the co-founder of The Rebel Film Collective, which is behind the co-creation of the feature documentary High Tide Don’t Hide. Niva has built a successful career as a digital producer, creating content in various media forms, including writing, photography, videography and graphics.

She is co-author of the number one best selling book ‘The Abundant Garden’. Niva and her partner established Pakaraka Permaculture, a regenerative market garden and education centre on the Coromandel Peninsula.

NAHYEON LEE is a writer and director raised in Aotearoa with Korean heritage. Since graduating with a Master of Arts in drama directing, Nahyeon has been attached to screen and stage productions that champion underrepresented voices; engaging with the breadth of experiences in the Asian diaspora.

She created and directed the anthology short film for TVNZ OnDemand, Myth of the Model Minority, and her MA thesis short film Sixteen was selected for the San Diego Asian Film Festival and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival’s 2020 programme. She was one of the the directors for the CNZ funded Portraits; a series of short documentaries centred on Asian creatives in Aotearoa. Current projects include writing her debut play for Proudly Asian Theatre (PAT) called The First Prime-Time Asian Sitcom that has undergone development with PAT and Auckland Theatre Company’s Here and Now Young Writer’s Table. Nahyeon has attended various directing and writing workshops with Script to Screen, DEGNZ and PASC including Story Camp, Before Fade In and Short Cuts.

HWEILING OW, upon arriving to New Zealand, was bitten by a radioactive Weta that made her fall stupendous in love with film-making. She has since developed muti-hyphenated skills in the areas of producing, writing, directing and acting, and has been taking the world by storm with her online digital series and short horror films that have garnet millions of views. She has also successfully received New Zealand funding for numerous local productions. Like a moth drawn to a flame thrower, she is attracted to telling genre stories with a migrant twist. Her quirky cheery view of the world influences the type of projects she is captivated by.

CIAN ELYSE WHITE has had an extensive career in professional theatre, TV and film as an actress. In 2017, Cian wrote her Te Reo Māori short film Daddy’s Girl (Kōtiro) which received the Fresh 30K grant in 2018 and won the 2020 NZIFF Best Shorts audience award. Daddy’s girl (Kōtiro) has also been selected for Show Me Shorts, ImagiNATIVE, Asinabka, Hawaiian International Film Festival and was the first NZ film to be selected for Geena Davis Bentonville Film Festival in August this year.

Cian has a burning desire to tell stories that uplift the Māori voice and explore themes that are topical and relevant to our current social climate. In March 2020, Cian was one of 8 selected to partake in FilmUp run by Script to Screen. Cian has been working on her next short film, PUHI, and has completed a DEGNZ TV Drama Director Attachment on Vegas, shot in her home town of Rotorua.

ZOEY ZHAO is an Auckland-based filmmaker of Chinese descent. She gained a Masters in Screen Production at the University of Auckland in 2020. Fuelled by a never-ending urge to challenge herself, Zoey not only directed but also produced her graduation film, Foods For Coping. This film was selected to screen at the Show Me Short Film Festival around the country and it also screened internationally in the Miami Film Festival, WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival and awarded a Certificate of Merit for Solo Filmmaking by the Rochester International Film Festival.

From her background of working on-set and behind the camera, Zoey is capable of giving the audience a comprehensive and fulfilling experience by focusing on a modern social issue and the relationship upheaval surrounding it. She greatly admires working with female leaders in the field and she has a passion for developing fellow women. Zoey’s imagination and dedication are her greatest strengths. She always aims to give her best – expect nothing less.

For the first time in its five-year history and as part of its Diversity focus, the DEGNZ Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator for 2021 will focus solely on a Diversity call for applications.

The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ welcomes applications from Māori, Pacific Island, Pan-Asian and other POC female directors to take part in this talent development programme.

Background

The overall vision of the DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator is to empower the participating directors with the confidence, knowledge and connections that they can use to go on and direct a feature film, drama or scripted series.

The Incubator is intended primarily for emerging debut directors of feature film (drama or documentary), but will also consider those wishing to establish careers in TV drama and scripted content.

Applicants must apply with a project, but the Incubator is primarily focused on filmmaker development, not project development.

The objectives of the Incubator are:

  • Increase the number of women directing features and TV drama.
  • Connect producers, broadcasters and funders with female directors with a view to getting more female-centric stories into and through development.
  • Create networking opportunities for women directors to further their projects and careers.
  • Inspire and encourage women directors to passionately pursue feature film and drama directing careers through interaction with successful women who serve as role models.
  • Improve directors’ understanding of the business of film and television drama.
Workshops

Participants will attend five one-day workshops across 2021 with the first scheduled to take place in late April. All workshops are intended to be held in Auckland, and a travel allowance will be available for participants based in other regions.

Participants need access to a computer (recommended) or another device to participate online via Zoom, if the workshops are affected by COVID-19 Alert Levels.

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 undergoes constant change at this time, DEGNZ will remain flexible as to the actual content of the programme, seeking to incorporate information and opportunities that are relevant.

 


Eligibility

All applicants will be expected to have a good 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 at first draft script but if not available, there must be a detailed Writer’s Treatment for the project. A Director’s Treatment that includes Style, Tone, Imagery, Look & Feel, etc. is NOT requested. The applicant does not have to be the writer on 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 any regional film festival in New Zealand. You need to supply in your filmography and links section the Festival Name, Year of Selection, and a link to the full film or content selected, for viewing purposes.
    • a commissioned scripted one-off or series by a broadcaster or digital platform. You need to supply in your filmography and links section the Broadcaster or Platform Name, Year of First Broadcast/Play, and a link to content commissioned, for viewing purposes.
  4. For feature film, be a debut director.
  5. Be available to participate in all workshops.
  6. Identify as female and be of Māori, Pacific Island, Pan-Asian or other POC heritage.
  7. Be a NZ Citizen or permanent resident.
Membership

Selected participants must be DEGNZ Full members for the duration of the Incubator programme.

 


How to Apply

Application Deadline: 9AM, Monday 12 April 2021

Application Requirements:

  1. A completed DEGNZ Women Filmmakers Incubator Application Cover Sheet (PDF 291KB).
  2. A one-page synopsis of the project with the ending revealed.
  3. A maximum two-page letter stating what your career goals are and why you want to participate in this Incubator.
  4. A one-page bio (not a CV).
  5. A filmography and links to completed work that supports the project you are including with this application. Include details as per eligibility requirement 3.

Compile your documents into one single PDF in the order matching requirements 1 – 5.

Give the single PDF the following naming convention: (YourName)_DEGNZWomenFilmmakersIncubator_2021

Send your application to admin@deganz.co.nz with DEGNZWFI2021 in the subject line.

Selection Process

A selection panel will shortlist candidates. Shortlisted candidates must be available for a one-on-one interview via Zoom to be held in the week of April 12. Getting an interview does not imply that you have been selected for the Incubator.

If shortlisted, you will be expected to immediately supply prior to the interview a detailed Writer’s Treatment of your active project (different to your 1-page synopsis). The treatment needs to be within a minimum of 5 pages to a maximum of 10 pages.

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

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

 

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

NZFC


Questions about the Incubator?

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director
tui@deganz.co.nz
+64 9 360 2102