Vincent Burke has been producing television programmes for roughly three decades. Since launching company Top Shelf Productions, he has worked on history series Frontier of Dreams, acclaimed NZ movie history Cinema of Unease, and long-running consumer show Target.
Riwia Brown is a Māori playwright and scriptwriter who won the Best Screenplay award for her adaptation of Alan Duff's novel Once Were Warriors. She has written and directed strong Māori roles for the stage and screen.
Hawke's Bay teen Taungaroa Emile had only acted in school plays, before he made an award-winning screen debut in landmark movie Once Were Warriors (1994). Emile played shy but rebellious teenager Boogie Heke once again in the 1999 sequel. In-between, he starred as a teen ex-con in movie romance Flight of the Albatross. Since then Emile has starred in episodes of Taonga and te reo series Aroha, and appeared in Shortland Street, acclaimed feature No 2, and 2011 TV film Tangiwai - A Love Story. In 2004 he played one of the soldiers in Taika Waititi short Tama Tū, which was invited to over 40 film festivals.
Actor Grant Tilly, who died in April 2012, displayed his gifts for understated comedy in movies Middle Age Spread and Carry Me Back. The versatile Tilly had done it all — from acclaimed theatre performances (often in Roger Hall plays) to screen roles that took in everything from adventure movies and landmark historical dramas (The Governor), to children's TV, sitcoms (Gliding On), and many voice-overs.
Veteran wildlife cameraman Robert Brown has filmed everything from polar bears to pukeko in places from the Arctic to the Antarctic. He shot the rare bird stories that led to the formation of state television's Natural History Unit (later NHNZ), and contributed to classic BBC David Attenborough series, such as Life on Earth and The Living Planet. In 1981 he won a Feltex Award for his work on Wild South.
Otago University film graduate Daniel Borgman has been based in Denmark since 2005. Borgman has made short films with Lars von Trier’s company Zentropa, and twice been invited to compete at Cannes. Following the success of Lars and Peter, follow-up Berik — about a deformed Kazakhstani — took the Cannes Critics’ Week prize in 2010. His first feature The Weight of Elephants debuted at Berlin in 2013.
Audio engineer Michal Hedges has won Academy Awards for his work on Peter Jackson blockbusters King Kong and The Return of the King. After starting in state television, Hedges went on to establish a reputation for his skills as a re-recording mixer, combining the many elements that make up a soundtrack. Aside from multiple movies featuring hobbits, he has also worked on Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do in the Shadows, District 9, and Peter Jackson’s earlier films Heavenly Creatures and Braindead. His extensive CV also includes Kiwi classics Once Were Warriors, Boy and The World's Fastest Indian.
The versatile Peter Tait has shown an extremely keen eye over which short films to act in. His CV includes memorable roles in a run of offbeat classics: from legendary horror short Kitchen Sink (playing a very strange discovery) to The Singing Trophy (as an obsessed hunter), to Alison Maclean drama Talkback (an aggressive talkback caller) and satire Mon Desir (a boring husband). Tait has also created a number of his own projects — comical cricket short Bradman, postman tale Postscript, and two low-budget features: Back River Road, which was nominated for an NZ Film Award, and ensemble movie Not Set in Stone.
New Zealand born, Australian-based Jan Preston has composing credits for a number of feature films (Home By Christmas, Illustrious Energy) and hundreds of documentaries. She has worked for award-winning filmmakers from Leon Narbey and Australian Tom Zubrycki to her sister, Gaylene Preston. She was also a member of Kiwi rockers Coup D'etat, whose song 'Doctor I Like Your Medicine' was a top ten hit. Preston regularly tours as the self-styled Queen of Boogie Piano.
Pete Smith made his screen debut with a GOFTA-winning role as one of the last people on earth, in classic sci-fi film The Quiet Earth (1985). Smith found acting after being welcomed onto the marae for his father's tangi. Keen to rediscover his ancestry and a "better life", he joined a drama course run by mentor Don Selwyn. His CV includes playing a detective in Plainclothes, a gang leader in What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? and an award-winning role in TV series The Market. Smith went on to present and co-create Far North gardening show Maramataka - Once Were Gardeners, and to star in 2010 movie Hugh and Heke.