Brooke Williams began taking acting lessons at the age of four. At 17 she acted for director Colin McColl in The Cherry Orchard. Since then the 2006 Toi Whakaari graduate has won awards after starring in Romeo and Juliet, and contributed a trio of memorable roles on television: as Van's Russian bride on Outrageous Fortune, depressed Norse goddess Eva on The Almighty Johnsons, and icy PA Lana Jacobs on Shortland Street.
John McKay is a veteran sound editor, sound designer, and mixer. He abandoned an early focus on directing to build a diverse, respected career in post-production. His credits include significant contributions to iconic films The Quiet Earth, Footrot Flats, Kitchen Sink, and Lord of the Rings. McKay is notable for an approach which combines creativity with a high level of technical craft and organisational rigour.
Richard Bluck began working as a cameraman at the Avalon Television Centre in the 1970s. Alongside a host of other projects, he has brought his skills as director of photography to features Black Sheep, What We Do in the Shadows, Second-Hand Wedding and many short films.
John Gilbert has edited images of hobbits, disabled lovers, and heroic conscientious objectors. Along the way he has done time at TVNZ, edited over 20 feature films, and cut a clutch of classic short films. In 2017 Gilbert won his first Academy Award — for Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge — after having been previously nominated for The Fellowship of the Ring.
Catherine Downes, MNZM, has won awards both for her stage directing, and her globetrotting one-woman shows about Katherine Mansfield. After launching theatre companies in Holland and the United Kingdom, she spent five years as artistic director of Christchurch's Court Theatre. On screen, she played one of the flatmates in early sitcom Buck House, and starred as a doctor in Epidemic. Time in Australia saw her win a Sammy Award for acclaimed Kings Cross drama Winter of Our Dreams. Later she acted in the original stage version of classic Kiwi play Joyful and Triumphant, and a 1993 television adaptation.
Lamenting a lack of good roles for Asian women, Chinese Kiwi JJ Fong teamed up with fellow actors Ally Xue and Perlina Lau and director Roseanne Liang. The result was comical web series Flat3. Fong played aspiring actor Jessica, whose life is overly dictated by her libido. After three seasons, the quartet began on follow-up web series Friday Night Bites, and short film Sugar Hit (part of anthology series K’ Rd Stories). JJ Fong originally studied dance, which led her to musical theatre and acting. Her screen CV also includes web series ADK, TV's Go Girls and Shortland Street, and a memorably bitchy part on Step Dave.
After managing to introduce drama and dance into his post WWII films for the National Film Unit, filmmaker Michael Forlong spent the remainder of his career directing features in Europe. In 1972 he returned to New Zealand to shoot children's tale Rangi's Catch, discovering actor Temuera Morrison in the process.
Josh McKenzie joined the cast of Shortland Street in 2013 as ambitious executive assistant Nate Clark. His other roles include the boy in TV's Girl vs Boy, good guy Tim in the final season of Go Girls, All Black Dan Carter in The Kick and Power Ranger Jordan. In 2015 he began a memorable turn in TV's Filthy Rich, as the dodgy outcast son of a wealthy family. McKenzie won an Aotearoa Film Award for Outstanding Feature Film Debut, for his role in 2013 movie The Hopes and Dreams of Gazza Snell.