Tag Archive for: nz film

Congratulations to our members who will have their films seen by audiences at the Māoriland Film Festival in Ōtaki (June 29 – July 3).

Feature film Millie Lies Low, co-written and directed by Michelle Savill will play at MFF, while feature documentary Whetū Marama: Bright Star by Aileen O’Sullivan and Toby Mills is the Closing Night film.

Short documentary Vaka, directed by Kelly Moneymaker, will screen as part of the Whenua Shorts programme. Vaka reveals the energy and resilience of the Tokelauan people as they weave their customary-wisdom regarding the environment with modern eco-technologies to respond to climate change. Vaka was made by Kelly Moneymaker and other students at Massey University as a third year project in Creative Media Production.

Matasila Freshwater (DEGANZ 2021 Incubator alumna) will have her film Hiama screen as part of The Spiritual Constant programme.

Karanga by Mary-Lyn Chambers will play as part of the Whakapapa Shorts programme. Karanga is a love letter to the late Tiahuia Te Puea Herangi Ramihana Gray explored through dance and spoken word, choreographed by her daughter.

Kath Akuhata-Brown’s Washday will feature in the Aotearoa Shorts programme. The short film follows a father who turns his car into a water pump while his young daughter becomes a force of nature.

Māoriland is the largest Indigenous film festival in the Southern Hemisphere. Take a look at the full programme here.

The Wairoa Māori Film Festival is back on this Queen’s Birthday weekend (June 3-6) with a long list of great films featuring on their programme, including short films created by some of our members at DEGANZ.

Perfect Storm, directed and edited by Morag Brownlie, and Mary-Lyn Chambers’ Karanga will screen as part of the Made in Aotearoa Shorts programme.

Chantelle Burgoyne’s Sista, edited by board member Annie Collins, will feature in the Moana Nui a Kiwa Shorts programme, while, Washday by Kath Akuhata-Brown screens in the Mana Māori Shorts programme.

Two members’ films will screen as part of the Mana Wahine Shorts programme, Michelle Savill’s Ellen is Leaving (2012) and Mary-Lyn Chambers’ Karanga.

Congratulations to our members!

If you are in Wairoa this weekend, make sure to support all the films screening. View the full programme here.

The New Zealand International Film Festival has announced a line-up of exciting New Zealand feature films that have been selected to screen at the festival so far. Part of the excitement of these two anthology films is how they spotlight many of our talented local filmmakers and present a diverse range of experiences and perspectives among our indigenous and people of colour.

World Premiere for Kāinga

Following the success of Waru and Vai, the trilogy completes with Kāinga. Eight Pan-Asian female filmmakers craft unique stories that chronicle the diverse, ever-changing experiences of Asians trying to make Aotearoa New Zealand their home.

In this anthology film set in a single house, DEGANZ members Michelle Ang, Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, Julie Zhu and Nahyeon Lee each directed one of the eight stories, alongside HASH, Angeline Loo, and DEGANZ alumni Asuka Sylvie and Yamin Tun. Nahyeon and Ghazaleh also wrote on the project, as well as fellow member Mia Maramara. The screenplay was also written by Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen, Asuka Sylvie, Shreya Gejji, HASH and Angeline Loo.

NZ Premiere for We Are Still Here

This film is an unparalleled First Nations celebration. It interweaves eight stories by 10 directors from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. That includes DEGANZ members Tim Worrall, Chantelle Burgoyne and board member Renae Maihi.

We Are Still Here is a poetic and powerful statement of resistance and survival, conceived as a cinematic response to the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in this region. The movie is a joint indigenous initiative between Screen Australia’s First Nations Department and the NZ Film Commission. The other directors involved are Beck Cole, Danielle MacLean, Dena Curtis, Richard Curtis, Miki Magasiva, Mario Gaoa and Tracey Rigney.

See the full list of films announced so far at NZIFF.

Shows Rūrangi, Educators and Homebound 3.0 promise entertainment and comic relief for Kiwis with funding from NZ On Air.


The award-winning Rūrangi has been greenlit for a second season (5 x 22 mins) with recent funding from NZ On Air. DEGANZ member Max Currie directed and co-produced the first season, which tells the story of a transgender activist who returns home to the remote, politically divided dairy community of Rūrangi in hopes of reconnecting with his estranged father.

Season 2 will screen on Prime and Māori Television. Hulu picked up the first season for distribution in the US, among other international sales to Australia, the UK and France.

Rūrangi is a finalist in the 2021 New Zealand Television Awards for NZ On Air Best Drama Series.

The series was also cut into a feature film that screened at NZIFF in 2020 and the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, winning an Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. The film recently took home the award for Best International Feature at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.


Returning for a third season is the hit improvised comedy show, Educators. Set in a secondary school, the show centres around the dysfunctional teachers in charge of educating the next generation.

Entirely unscripted and featuring some of New Zealand’s top comedians, Educators is directed by Jesse Griffin (DEGANZ) who also co-writes the storylines. Recently, we hosted an online talk with Jesse and Educators editor Stuart Boone, delving into their process of writing, directing and editing the series. The talk was recorded for the DEGANZ podcast so if you missed it, you can catch it online or wherever you get your podcasts!

Homebound 3.0

DEGANZ 2021 Incubator alumna Hweiling Ow is part of the team behind new comedy Homebound 3.0, written by writer/actor Sam Wang. The project won the South Pacific Pictures Big Pitch at the 2019 SPADA Conference and will now become an exciting reality produced by Kevin and Co for Three.

The half-hour comedy revolves around a struggling 30-something unpublished writer forced to move back home and deal with the disappointment of his Chinese parents.

Read more on NZOA’s funding decisions

Jan Oliver Lucks, DEGANZ member and director of the critically acclaimed documentary There Is No I in Threesome, has signed with ICM Partners, a Los Angeles based talent and literary agency with offices in New York, Washington D.C and London. Including representing clients in motion pictures, ICM also has clients in television, music, publishing, live performance and new media.

Having premiered on HBO Max earlier this year, There Is No I in Threesome, a film about an open relationship, is having its theatrical release at this year’s Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF).

Jan Oliver has a new series in the pipeline, a road trip buddy comedy that follows him and his best friend, Wilbur, as they embark on a quest to discover healthy masculinity.