Tag Archive for: LGBTQIA+

Web series TransGenerations won Best Web Series at the Berlin Short Film Festival. The production’s core team is chock full of DEGANZ members, with Naashon Zalk as Producer and DOP, Jai Waite as Editor, and Ramon Te Wake as Executive Producer.

Since its release, the series has screened in a plethora of festivals ranging from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Korea, and now Germany.

The series platforms trans rights activists to share their stories and shine a light on trans experiences in Aotearoa. Across eight parts, trans people in their 20s to their 70s talk openly about their lives, identities, and passions, while discussing stereotypes, politics, and prejudice.

In an article with the NZ Herald, Naashon shared that the series came at an important time, saying:

In the past few years, there has been an alarming international rise in anti-trans rhetoric, anti-trans violence and anti-trans legislation. We hope this series helps, in its own small way, to counterbalance that by showing the realities of what it means to be trans in this day and age.

Congratulations to the team on the win!

Mysterious Ways, a new feature film edited by Peter Roberts (DEGANZ), is celebrating its world premiere in August!

It will make its festival debut at the Chichester International Film Festival in the UK as part of the Window on the World collection. Established in 1992, the festival brings cinema, both new and archival, to the south coast of England. Mysterious Ways is also celebrating its premiere here in Aotearoa with a charity screening with Rainbow Auckland where all ticket sale proceeds will be donated to the Burnett Foundation. Grab your tickets here to show your support!

The film follows Vicar Peter Simmons as he grapples with the backlash and media circus surrounding his engagement to his Samoan boyfriend, Jason. Unpacking taboos of homosexuality within the Anglican church and Samoan culture, the film offers a look into a side of the LGBTQIA+ community rarely seen on screen.

Congratulations to Peter and the rest of the Mysterious Ways team!

Inky Pinky Ponky, co-directed by Ramon Te Wake (DEGANZ), offers a new take on the classic high school romcom, cementing itself in the hearts of young LGBTQIA+ and Pasifika viewers.

Based on the real-life experiences of co-writer and lead actress Amanaki Prescott-Faletau, the show opens as Lisa, a fakaleitī (transgender) student, starts at her fourth high school after countless struggles with bullying. However, this year looks like it could be different when the captain of the first XV rugby team, Mose, takes an interest in her. Unknown to Lisa, Mose’ friends dared him to make her fall in love with him. Surprisingly to Mose, he catches genuine feelings for her in the process.

Through the single hour-long episode, Lisa navigates intolerance, ignorance, and bigotry in her day-to-day life as a high school girl. In addition to typical struggles teenagers face, like insecurity and self-discovery, Lisa grapples with bathroom politics and the school’s use of her dead name. The show also explores the early stages of Lisa’s relationship with Mose, highlighting how the relationship will come with more baggage than the typical high school relationship.

Lisa’s home life is also highlighted through her strained relationship with her conservative Catholic Tongan mother, who struggles to accept Lisa’s identity.

The show has received great praise for its accurate and authentic representation of the Pasifika and rainbow communities. While acknowledging Lisa’s traumas, the show ultimately celebrates the triumphs of queer adolescence.

You can watch Inky Pinky Ponky on MĀORI+2 now before it streams internationally on The Coconet TV on 20 July!

Look no further for LGBTQIA+ content to check out this Pride Month! We’ve compiled a list of LGBTQIA+ projects by or featuring DEGANZ members:


Fiona Clark: Unafraid

This feature documentary celebrates one of Aotearoa’s most renowned and radical photographers, Fiona Clark. Best known for her portraits of the drag community in the 1970s, Fiona’s work challenged prejudices and gave visibility and voice to the socially marginalised. Fiona reveals the stories behind her iconic and haunting art and the personal stories that underpin them all. DEGANZ member Shailesh Prajapati worked as the film’s assistant editor.

Watch it now on NZ Film On Demand.

Daughter of God

DEGANZ member Maza White‘s short explores the familial relationship of an Iranian-Kiwi daughter. When her parents spring an arranged marriage on her, Zarah calls her girlfriend for help but is forced to choose between family and the love of her life.

Don’t miss the film’s premiere at NZIFF in New Zealand’s Best programme.

Nathan Joe: Homecoming Poems

Directed by DEGANZ member Nahyeon Lee (Incubator 2021), this short film meditates on poet Nathan Joe’s sense of home and homecoming. Through three poems, he explores queerness, being Chinese-Kiwi, and feeling caught between Christchurch and Auckland.

Available to watch on Nathan’s website.

Joey’s Heart

This short, directed by Louise Lever (DEGANZ), follows Joey, a self-proclaimed ‘gay Bridget Jones’ who’s rapidly losing hope of finding her special someone. Then she meets Alice, and suddenly she thinks maybe her luck will change.

Watch the trailer and keep an eye out for any screenings near you.



Burnt-out trans activist Caz Davis returns to the rural dairy community of Rūrangi to reconnect with his estranged father, who hasn’t heard from him since before Caz transitioned. While there, Caz finds himself swept up in the environmental fight that politically divides the town, and reconnects with old friends. Not only is it Aotearoa’s first transgender drama series, but the production also has one of the most gender-diverse casts and crews in the industry. The series is directed by DEGANZ member Max Currie.

You can find seasons 1 and 2 on Neon now.

What’s the Disabili-Tea

Executive produced by DEGANZ Board President Robyn Paterson and edited by fellow member Brendan Chan, this docu-series explores the lives of queer and disabled people in Aotearoa. While highlighting issues of accessibility, like being misgendered in the healthcare system, the series ultimately celebrates and uplifts the queer disabled community.

Catch the series on Attitude.


Current Incubator participant Victoria Boult‘s TikTok series opens strong with gay fan fiction. This part of the anthology series, set in the early 2000s, dives into Nikau’s fantasy of his crush, Tāmati, and revels in the embarrassing and awkward moments of teen love. The show is now heading to ThreeNow and Three as a new comedy series with Great Southern Television.

Check out season 1 on TikTok for more Y2K shenanigans.

The Creature

Jake Tabata (DEGANZ) is making his directorial debut with this coming-of-age horror web series. Aidan is ecstatic when he matches with his ‘dream man’ after being stuck in the online dating rut of endlessly swiping with no results. But in order to leave for his date, he must first face the perturbed Creature that lurks in the dark. The series explores grappling with relationship anxiety in the digital era.

The Creature is currently in post-production with plans to release later this year. In the meantime, you can follow the project’s Instagram.

Self Help

This web series, co-directed by DEGANZ member Michelle Ang (Incubator 2020), comedically unpacks the growing pains that stem from young heartache. After being dumped by his boyfriend, Nikau fumbles through the advice of his friends and whānau as they try to pull him out of the heartbreak rut. He tries everything from getting ripped to floating in a sensory deprivation tank as he navigates the healing and self-improvement journey.

Watch the eight-part series on YouTube now!

Inky Pinky Ponky

When a young fakaleiti (transgender) high school student falls in love at St Valentine’s Highschool, she must navigate her way through a world of intolerance and bigotry to find happiness – in an unexpected place. This single hour-long episode co-directed by DEGANZ member Ramon Te Wake, offers a new take on the classic high school romcom, cementing itself in the hearts of young LGBTQIA+ and Pasifika viewers.

View it now on MĀORI+2 before it streams internationally on The Coconet TV on 20 July!


Are you a DEGANZ member and have worked on LGBTQIA+ content? Flick admin@deganz.co.nz an email, and we’ll add you to this list!

Happy viewing!

When I was in primary school, I never knew I was Māori, or should I say I never understood what being Māori was. I always thought I was a little bit darker than a lot of the other kids, but that was ok. I was introduced to te reo Māori and kapa haka at primary school, and I felt like a gap was being filled. I carried on learning te reo Māori and doing kapa haka at college.

From a young age, I always thought I would be a teacher because I had some cool teachers, and I just thought I wanted to be like them when I grew up. Then in my senior years at Kapiti College, that changed as I found a love for Māori performing arts. Nearing my final year at college, I came across a one-year course in Film and Television at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua. What really caught my eye was that it incorporated Māori culture, and I thought if I didn’t like Film and Television, I could always go and do the Māori performing arts course. That one-year course set me on a path that changed my life, with a job offer in Auckland.

Editor Rāhera Herewini-Mulligan / Photo: @tuhoemaiden

At just 19 years old, I made the move to the big smoke, with no immediate family residing in Auckland. It was 1999, and my editing career had begun as an assistant editor on a new te reo Māori kids show known then as Tumeke. After one season, this was renamed Pūkana and is still in production today. I was fortunate to work with and learn from Francis Glenday, who taught me processes and structure, which I added to my editing foundations and still use and live by today. 

After just five months of being on the job, Francis fell ill, and I was asked if I would step up from assistant editor to editor. I must admit I was freaking out and had major doubts that I really wasn’t ready to step up. My director at the time, Hira Henderson, pulled me aside and said, “We will do this together,” and that gave me comfort that support would be there for me. So I asked myself, “Do you want to sink or swim?” and decided to swim.

That decision threw me into the longest week of my life as I worked as the show’s, now, only editor. But with the awesome support from my colleagues, I survived to tell the story and complete my first solo episode edit ever. And I was buggered! I continued work on the show into its 3rd series before moving on to TVNZ, where I would edit shows like Waka Huia, Marae, Mai Time, and Tagata Pasifika. This extended my editing knowledge base and introduced me to more Māori within the industry. After two years at TVNZ, I ventured out into the freelance world and haven’t looked back.

Sneak peeks into the Mokomoko Media editing suite, Rāhera’s editing team with her wife, Janice / Photos: @mokomokomedia

That’s my humble beginnings as an editor. Back then, I never realised I was part of a small group of Māori editors and an even smaller group that could kōrero Māori, which today I hope to help grow even more. I have worked with and alongside some of the best Māori in the Film and Television industry and am forever grateful for their teachings. One being we are a community that does this together.

‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takatini engari he toa takatini.’
My strength is not as an individual but as a collective.

About Rāhera Herewini-Mulligan

Rāhera is a field director and editor who is a fluent speaker of te reo Māori with 20+ years of experience in the television industry. As an editor, she has a wealth of experience across documentary, reality, children, and magazine-style genres from Police Ten 7 (TVNZ) to Moving Out with Kanoa (Three) and many shows for Māori Television. She is also passionate about Kapa haka and is an event/stage manager for Primary School, Secondary School (ASB Polyfest), and Senior Kapa Haka competitions across Tāmaki Makaurau.

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.