Hamish Mortland's screen career began in the camera department, after he studied film at Canterbury University’s School of Fine Arts. In 2012 he directed and produced short film Suni Man, the story of a young Samoan Aucklander at a crossroads. Mortland has gone on to produce acclaimed short films for directors Zoe McIntosh (award-winning trailer park tale The World in Your Window) and Roseanne Liang (Sundance-selected action film Do No Harm). Along with developing feature projects, Mortland produces commercials in Auckland and the United Kingdom.
[Hamish Mortland] is attracted to powerful ideas, often found in the fringes of society that can help add voice to a wider cultural discussion. Fresh, untold stories full of curious, gutsy characters overcoming challenges and adversity are themes he strongly connects with. From Hamish Mortland's website
Medicine meets martial arts in this short film from director Roseanne Liang (My Wedding and Other Secrets). A resolute surgeon (American-born Chinese actor Marsha Yuan) is forced to break her physician’s oath after gangsters barge into her theatre, and interrupt an operation on a mysterious patient. Kiwi stuntman and actor Jacob Tomuri co-stars as the lead gangster. The bloody action film won attention on the international festival circuit (including the Sundance Film Festival). Soon after Liang signed to direct a feature-length version of the story.
This 2016 short film follows a young woman (Florence Noble, from The Jaquie Brown Diaries) as she deals with debilitating panic attacks. On a road trip to a beach party, a friend (Jordan Vaha’akolo) sympathises with her struggles. Later he comes around for a cuppa to be there for her. Director Rachel Ross based the story on her personal experience of severe anxiety. "I was shocked to hear that people were struggling as severely as I was but kept it quiet. They were ashamed. It was this journey and realisation that catapulted the premise of this short film."
In this 2012 short film, young Samoan Kiwi Suni (Beulah Koale) has to choose between his family — and its traditional values — and gang life. His wayward cousin pressures him towards the gang. Ōtara actor Koale had a breakout role in short film Manurewa (2010), and would go on to star in feature The Last Saint, before winning roles in America (Hawaii Five-O). Suni Man was directed, written and produced by Hamish Mortland, inspired by a true story he heard from a schoolmate. The film screened as an education resource in South Auckland community centres.