Tag Archive for: women

Jaya Beach-Robertson, DEGANZ member and current Incubator participant, has made the cut for Script to Screen’s Series Bootcamp 2023. She is credited as a co-writer with Roo Reihana-Wilson on the drama/comedy entitled Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead.

Series Bootcamp aims to nurture emerging and mid-career writers and producers, selecting six teams to undergo a three-stage development process. The teams will forge pitch decks and scripts, starting with an intensive two-day workshop with guest speakers and advisor sessions. They will receive feedback from a script developer on the quality, originality, and viability of their concept and pilot episode before the final pitching day to industry professionals. They also have the opportunity to pitch in front of commissioners who could help bring their ideas to life.

While not much is available about the projects, Jaya’s protagonists are often outsiders, othered, flawed, and land somewhere from unusual to outright strange. Her previous series work includes her self-funded web series, PSUSY, and RNZ’s TAHI Point of View. We are excited to see how her voice and perspective are reflected in this project.

Best of luck to Jaya and the team for Bootcamp!

Season three of DEGANZ member Julie Zhu‘s podcast and video series Conversations With My Immigrant Parents comes out on 3 April. In addition to directing, producing, and hosting the series with co-creator Saraid de Silva, Julie is also the series’ cinematographer.

The deeply personal series dives into conversations between immigrant parents and their children across Aotearoa. They cover topics of ancestry, home, food, expectation, acceptance, and love. Through these conversations, whānau learn new things about each other and confront complex issues that are deepened by generational and cultural differences. Previous episodes tackle balancing cultures in an Indian-Māori whānau, interrogating colonial tools in NZ within a Zimbabwean family, and divorce with a Korean mum and daughter.

Julie is a Chinese-born, Aotearoa-raised multi-disciplined creative. She is passionate about telling stories that champion marginalised voices and stories, as seen in her work on Conversations With My Immigrant Parents.

Watch the trailer for season three here, or catch up on previous seasons here!

Mothers of the Revolution, directed by Briar March and co-edited by DEGANZ board member Margot Francis, Simon Coldrick, John Gilbert, and Tim Woodhouse, has been shortlisted for a 2022 Grierson Award. Along with seven other films, it is in the running for Best Single Documentary – Domestic.

The documentary delves into the women-led protests against nuclear production during the Cold War. While history has greatly minimised their efforts, the film uncovers the mystery behind the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp and highlights the women as wartime heroes. It reflects the tensions of the time by playing out like a drama-thriller with infiltrations of top secret government military bases and hidden messages transmitted under cover of night. Tales of conflicted families and love make this tension all the more real and personal. The film celebrates the women’s accomplishments and how they have inspired individual action to change the world.

The Grierson Awards, also known as the British Documentary Awards, recognise and commemorate documentaries that have significantly impacted the genre, demonstrating quality, integrity, creativity, originality, and overall excellence. Established in 1972 to honour the Scottish doco filmmaker John Grierson, the awards are now a key event in the UK film calendar.

We wish all the best to Margot and the Mothers of the Revolution team.

Congratulations to Matasila Freshwater (DEGANZ) for winning the Sun Jury Prize at this year’s imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. The prize was won for her work as director and writer on Hiama, an “amazing reclamation of the horror genre through a Solomon Islands lens.”

Hiama tells the story of a teenage girl and her Hiama (shamanic guardian spirit), who teaches her to invoke her inner power when she encounters racism and microaggressions at her high school.

Matasila spoke of her motives for telling this story, which included the desire to subvert the traditionally Euro-centric horror genre. Matasila observed how in the horror genre “blackness and darkness was something to be fearful of.” By subverting this narrative, she instead makes blackness “empowering”.

The episode is part of the wider series Teina Sā: The Ancient Ones, which centers around stories of modern day issues that impact Pasifika women. Matasila’s award-winning episode is available to watch for free on The CoconetTV’s Youtube channel.

See the full list of the 2021 imagineNATIVE award winners here.

Last night we welcomed Leslee Udwin to New Zealand in partnership with Script to Screen. Leslee Udwin is the formidable woman behind the making of the documentary India’s Daughter. An actress, producer, director and activist, Leslee inspired us all with stories about her life and career, which spans projects such as East Is East, Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution and West Is West. Then there’s India’s Daughter, which moved Leslee to campaign tirelessly for women’s rights and better ethical education around the world.

There’s no doubt that everybody who attended walked away feeling inspired and motivated by Leslee’s words. Many thanks to Shuchi Kothari for her wonderful facilitation of the session.

Wellingtonians can see Leslee tonight at the NZ Film and Television School from 6 – 7.30pm. Please RSVP to rsvp@script-to-screen.co.nz.

Our thanks to the New Zealand Film Commission for their continued support of our events.