Proud to be a world citizen, US-raised Chinese-Hungarian Sándor Lau did a masters in film at Auckland University, after time in Mexico and Europe. His epic walk to Cape Reinga is documented in 2003's Behaviours of the Backpacker; then came feature doco Squeegee Bandit, about a charismatic Māori car washer. It was invited to 20 international festivals. Lau is now a partner in a US finance company.
I think I’m a practical idealist. I want to tell uncommon stories about extraordinary ordinary people. Sandor Lau in an interview on Lumiere, April 2007
Kevin Whana (aka 'Starfish') makes a crust by running onto Auckland intersections and cleaning car windscreens. Sándor Lau's acclaimed documentary adopts a style befitting its charismatic subject: witty and street-smart, coloured by more serious moments where Whana struggles with drugs, the law and homelessness; and rages at wrongs against himself, and the Māori people. Keen to make something "political but also entertaining and emotionally engaging", Lau made the film after realising the best window washers "know it’s like street theatre or performance art".
Asia Downunder was a weekly magazine programme for and about the Asian population in New Zealand. The long-running series featured a range of stories from news and issues to profiles, arts, sport, business and travel. Asia Downunder was produced and presented by Korean-born Melissa Lee (later a National Party MP) and a small team of reporters. Asia Downunder began screening on TV ONE in 1994 and ran for 19 seasons, until 2011. Later producers included Chris Wright and Kadambari Gladding.