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DEGANZ member Curtis Vowell is currently directing Seize Them!, a British comedy financed by Entertainment Film Distributors, which will handle the UK and Ireland release. According to Collider, the movie has begun principal photography in London and will take six weeks to shoot in Kent and Wales.

Starring Amiee Lou Wood (Sex Education), Loffy Adefope (Shrills), Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz) and Nicola Coughlan (Bridgerton), the comedy is set in the dark ages and follows Queen Dagan as she is toppled by a revolution led by Humble Joan. Queen Dagan must face up to hardship and danger to win her kingdom back.

Curtis adds Seize Them! to his directorial filmography, alongside New Zealand movies Baby Done and micro-budget feature Fantail.

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At the end of 2021 the Government announced a review of government investment in the screen sector. The review will be led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. There is a document outlining the terms of reference for the review here.

This review is one part of a strategic review of the New Zealand screen industry, primarily focused on the New Zealand Film Commission’s direction and activity, including the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) for both domestic and international productions. However, NZ On Air’s direction and activity obviously falls into this because of the changing nature of the shifts occurring worldwide, as well as the fact that some NZ On Air funded productions utilise the NZSPG.

Our screen industry falls into two camps: domestic production, and international production (and post-production) that takes place here.

International production as we all know provides wonderful opportunities for New Zealand crew, and brings foreign investment to New Zealand. From DEGANZ’s perspective, what it does not do is bring great opportunity for New Zealand directors and editors. Only a very select few Kiwis get to direct, and sometimes edit on these international productions, being the international drama or sometimes documentary series shot here.

While we continue to push for more Kiwi directors and editors to work on these international shows, our main focus has got be on what we can do with domestic production to tell our stories here and internationally, and employ our directors and editors—and our actors, writers, producer and crews—so that they all can have thriving and sustainable careers.

Over the next three months, MBIE and MCH will be conducting a wide consultation with the NZ public and those who make up the NZ screen sector as part of the review. DEGANZ is now formulating its thoughts to bring to MBIE and MCH.

But there is an opportunity for each of our DEGANZ members to share their own thoughts in the consultation process.

When the call comes for submissions, we will inform you. Your voice counts and we want as many of you as possible to have your voices heard. This is a really opportunity for us all to have some influence on the future direction of NZ screen.

 

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

Congratulations to our members involved in bringing Mystic Season 2 to life, as the eight-episode series is now available to stream on TVNZ OnDemand. David Stubbs (DEGANZ) is the series producer, while fellow members Aidee Walker and Caroline Bell-Booth directed on the latest series. Meanwhile, DEGANZ members Kerri Roggio and Peter Roberts served as two of the four editors on the series.

Mystic is an international production between TVNZ and CBBC reaching audiences at home in New Zealand, the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia. It also received support from the Screen Production Recovery Fund and the New Zealand Screen Production Grant.

Shot on location in Auckland, Mystic is an adventure story with a supernatural twist. Teenager Issie and her gang of horse-mad friends will not only have to tackle all the usual trials and tribulations of being a teenager but battle against new and unexpected threats to their beloved stables and local environment.

Production is underway for season 3. All the best to the team!

A new trailer for Mystic Season 2 has recently dropped on CBBC’s Youtube Channel. This season was produced by David Stubbs (DEGANZ), and directed by fellow members Aidee Walker and Caroline Bell-Booth. We would like to extend a big congratulations to the team!

A family thriller with a supernatural twist, Mystic follows London-raised teen Issie who moves to rural New Zealand. After encountering a frightened and mysterious horse in the wilderness, Issie unravels a series of secrets. Mystic was shot on location in Auckland.

The show mixes recognisable kiwi landscapes together with international and local talent. British actress Macey Chipping is the show’s lead, and Kirk Torrance (Outrageous Fortune) plays grumpy stable manager, Sam.

Mystic is an adaptation of the Pony Club Secrets book series by kiwi journalist-turned-novelist Stacy Gregg. The show is an international production between TVNZ and CBBC. Following the success of its first season on TVNZ and BBC iPlayer, Mystic was renewed for a second and third season.

Season 2 will be released for New Zealand viewers next year, but in the meantime, the first season is available to watch on TVNZ OnDemand.

A new multi-million dollar film studio has been given resource consent to begin building in Christchurch. Once fully developed, it would be a $100 million facility that could eventually be responsible for 2000 jobs.

DEGNZ member Jordon Mauger is behind the development. Speaking to Stuff, he states that he is currently talking to investors but the plan is to have the studio operational in early 2022.

There is still big international demand to film in Aotearoa and Mauger believes that this new studio will attract big money into the region.