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Documentary series Takeout Kids is now available to watch in its entirety on The Spinoff. Well done to DEGANZ members director Julie Zhu and editor Josh Yong.

The four episode series follows four young New Zealanders growing up in their parents’ restaurants or takeaway businesses. In the first episode we meet Rama, a 12-year-old who enthusiastically takes orders at her family’s Jordanian restaurant in the Auckland suburb of Kingsland.

Speaking to 1News, Julie states that she wanted to make this observational documentary series “to really showcase the variety of communities that we have here in Aotearoa”. She wanted to explore families who “run restaurants and showcase their lives beyond what is seen when people pick up their takeaways”.

Watch Takeout Kids online now

Our congratulations goes to the DEGANZ members whose work featured among the finalists for the 2021 NZ Web Fest Awards.

Taking out the award for Best NZ Pitch was Léah McVeagh (DEGANZ) for her pitch I Choose. Another special shout out to the runner up of that prize category, which went to fellow member Taylor Nixon for his pitch Roadie.

The five-part documentary series 100 Year Forecast, edited by Ben Chesters (DEGANZ) received a Special Mention under the Best Show – NZ Factual category. The Spinoff produced the online series, which explores the implications of climate change for Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as discussing potential action moving forward.

This year’s list of #NZWF21 award nominees also included other work from our members. Rachale Davies’ The Collective was a nominee for the Best Show – NZ Factual Award. Meanwhile, under the Best Pilot (NZ) category, both Anton Steel’s Chloe and the Crash Test and Samuel Shelton’s The Handy Circle were finalists.

Read the full list of winners on the NZ Web Fest website.

Well done to our member Becky Kuek, who has just been announced as a recipient of the very first Every Voice initiative, run by NZ On Air, Screen Australia, and Tik Tok. Becky has received funding for her 10-part scripted comedy series Long x Xia, which she will be co-writing and co-directing alongside Gwen Lin.

Long x Xia follows Ruby and CJ (a.k.a Long and Xia), two cousins who find themselves embracing the vigilante life after hijacking a live lobster from a Chinese restaurant.

Every Voice is aimed at supporting “diverse and distinct creators” to create innovative content exclusively for the platform TikTok. Four teams from New Zealand have been chosen and three from Australia. Each team receives up to AUD $50,000 to cover development and production costs for their projects. In addition to this funding, recipients like Becky will participate in virtual workshops to develop their storytelling skills, and learn how to create the best content for TikTok.

Amie Mills, Head of Funding for NZ On Air says they are “thrilled to support each of the talented emerging creative teams to tell their unique stories, in their own voices, in authentic and exciting new ways.”

Lee Naimo, Screen Australia’s Head of Online, sees exciting potential in supporting the development of these projects; “These distinct scripted and documentary series all reflect one of the greatest strengths of TikTok – that it is a platform for creators to connect with audiences and build their online communities.”

Spotlighting Asian Artists in Aotearoa, Portraits is a new 12-part micro-documentary series with six episodes directed by DEGANZ member and participant of the 2021 Emerging Women Filmmakers Incubator, Nahyeon Lee.

Presented by Asian arts organisation Oryza, Portraits is a nuanced snapshot of Asian Artists in Tāmaki Makaurau and the intersection of creativity and identity in the diaspora. Filmed last year, the series has just launched the first episode, directed by Nahyeon and featuring Rosabel Tan, the founding editor of Pantograph Punch.

“It started with the big questions that I’m always asking myself, about how to respectfully tread the intersection between identity and creativity, how to ensure the artists are uplifted in the process, not flattened into a prescribed identity,” writes Nahyeon.

“I wanted this process to be a collaboration, where I would let the artists lead the conversation on how they wanted to define themselves and their work instead of thrusting assumptions and labels onto them.

“I’m so proud of this lil series and feeling really grateful for all the artists who trusted me and let me into their worlds to discuss their work.”

Nahyeon also directed episodes with filmmaker Roseanne Liang, interdisciplinary designer Michael McCabe, producer Puteri Raja Ariff, actor Pamela Sidhu and zine-maker Helen Yeung. Well done Nahyeon!

Episodes drop weekly on Oryza’s Instagram and website.

DEGNZ member Gal Hochman has directed, written and produced the third episode of Re: and TVNZ’s documentary series, Young and… Titled Young and Can’t Cum, Gal talks to a group of women to uncover what is really happening under the sheets, and why women struggle to orgasm. Gal has also written a companion piece for Re: News, involving the women from the documentary.

The series follows a range of young voices, offering a unique and fresh perspective on what it’s really like to be in your twenties in 21st century Aotearoa, in this collection of compelling, stand-alone documentaries.

Watch it here