Elam School of Fine Arts graduate Summer Agnew first made his mark with acclaimed documentary Minginui (2004), which he co-directed with fellow Elam graduate Adam Luxton. The film offered a moody portrait of a former mill town. The SPADA New Filmmaker of 2007 followed it with episodes of Let's Get Inventin' and New Artland — plus short film Patu Ihu, which played at festivals in Aotearoa and overseas. In 2016 Agnew and Luxton's 'speculative documentary' On an Unknown Beach was chosen to debut in the NZ International Film Festival. Agnew has also directed a run of music videos and commercials.

We were interested in testing the horizons of non-fiction film. We knew we wanted the characters to speak to each other, and speak to something beyond themselves, from within the film. We just weren’t sure how we were all going to arrive there. Summer Agnew on co-directing On an Unknown Beach with Adam Luxton, in a press release for the film
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The Brother

2018, Director - Short Film

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On an Unknown Beach

2016, Producer, Co-Director - Film

Mixing three separate strands, On an Unknown Beach is a so-called “‘speculative documentary" about journeys into landscapes of ruin. Sonic artist Bruce Russell explores the ruined Christchurch CBD, scientist Di Tracey captures compelling underwater footage while examining coral damage on the seabed, and poet David Hornblow undergoes hypnotherapy to explore his consciousness and past experiences with addiction. The film was made by Adam Luxton and Summer Agnew, whose 2005 documentary Minginui (2005) focussed on an ex-forestry town in the North Island.

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The Milky Bar Kid - Nestle

2009, Director - Film

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New Artland

2008 - 2009, Director - Television

This series sees Kiwi artists creating a new work while the cameras are rolling, in collaboration with a community that they have a personal connection with. Hosted by musician and artist Chris Knox, the series was produced by Gemma Gracewood and Neil Stichbury, from a concept by Luke Nola. Two seasons were produced for channels TVNZ 6 (2008) and TVNZ 7 (2009). Season one was nominated for Best Format/Reality Series at the 2008 Qantas Film and TV Awards. The artists included Lisa Reihana, Michel Tuffery, Phil Dadson, Karl Maughan and Seung Yul Oh.

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Patu Ihu

2008, Director - Short Film

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Molenberg - Stride or Ride

2007, Director - Commercial

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Let's Get Inventin'

2006 -2007, Director - Television

This madcap, Qantas award-winning TV2 children's show gives young inventors the opportunity to realise their ideas. It was created by Neil Stichbury and Luke Nola after their zany inventions show for kids, The Goober Brothers, had viewers sending in their own suggestions. There's serious intent in the mayhem with practical science explanations and intellectual property safeguarded. Contributors over six series (to 2012) have included engineer Chris Chitty (creator of animatronic sheep for the film Babe) and Sam Britten (son of motorcycle designer John Britten).

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Let's Get Inventin' - Lazy Boy

2006, Director - Television

Auckland school boy, and master of "the fine art of doing nothing", Josh Murphy realises a couch potato's dream in this episode of the award-winning young inventors' series. A self professed "lazy boy", Josh has dreams of a motorised chair equipped with the necessities of life — Playstation, DVD player and fridge. The show's challenge to Josh is to build his chair and spend a school day in it (including classes, rugby practice and school production); but did the resident experts really try out a jet powered chair? Or was it all a dream for slothful Josh?

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Let's Get Inventin' - Rocket Skates

2006, Director - Television

In the debut episode of the award-winning young inventors' series, Auckland schoolboy Adam Gaston has a design for rocket-powered ice skates — and the resident Goober experts and guests (including Aquada developer Alan Gibbs and Olympic speed skater Mark Jackson) could be the ones to help him achieve his need for speed. Challenged to create skates that will outsprint Jackson, Adam and 'Build Buddy' Sam Britten discover that rockets may be a step too far. Jet propulsion could be the solution — but will anyone be brave enough to test the results?

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What You Heard

2005, Director - Music video

This frenetic music video uses the classic "band plays in front of cyclorama" model to effect, utilising the The Checks' affinity for insouciant live performance. Deft camera work and editing complete the equation, making for a clip that oozes with rock chic and retro cool.

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Minginui

2004, Co-Director - Film

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Finality

2004, Director - Music video

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What If?

2002, Director - Television