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Hamish Bennett

Director, Writer [Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi, Kāi Tahu]

Director, writer and primary school teacher Hamish Bennett grew up in the rural Northland town of Tauraroa, and later followed his parents into teaching. After a short stint as a writer on Shortland Street, Bennett began developing his own filmmaking voice by writing and directing short films The Dump (2012), Ross & Beth (2014) and making Loading Docs documentary Tihei (2015). Following a gruff Northland farmer's journey to expressing himself, Ross & Beth was multi award-winning and inspired Bennett's first feature Bellbird (2019). In 2023 he co-wrote and co-directed Julian Dennison coming of age film Uproar, alongside Paul Middleditch.  

I read somewhere that for directors they often kind of spend their lives just making the same film . . . I'm probably drawn to stories of people who aren't always celebrated, people maybe in humble roles . . . but they're good people and they have pride in their work, and they're big parts of the community. Hamish Bennett, in a Stuff Interview, 6 July 2019