Wellington-born Jonathan Hardy, who died in July 2012, was an actor for more than four decades. Along the way he was on stage in New Zealand, Australia and England, and on screen in Kiwi classic The Scarecrow and a run of Australian projects. Hardy also co-wrote Constance and Aussie classic Breaker Morant, in the process becoming the first New Zealander to be nominated for a scriptwriting Academy Award.
Peter Rowley has performed alongside many Kiwi comedy legends, including David McPhail, Jon Gadsby and Billy T James. After debuting on hit 1970s sketch show A Week of It, he joined the ensembles of McPhail and Gadsby and (in 1985) The Billy T James Show. In 1994 Rowley won equal billing alongside comedian Pio Terei on Pete and Pio, before going on to co-star in McPhail and Gadsby's Letter to Blanchy.
The multi-talented Jackie van Beek emerged from Wellington’s theatre scene in the 1990s. After directing a run of award-winning shorts, her first feature The Inland Road was invited to the 2017 Berlin Film Festival. She went on to co-direct, co-write and co-star in comedy The Breaker Upperers, with Madeleine Sami. As an actor, van Beek is probably best known for playing a vampire groupie on What We Do in the Shadows.
Onstage, Jonny Brugh's comic armoury has included melon-throwing, mutant clowns and hanging in the air in a superhero costume – some of the above occured while he was in high energy, Billy T award-winning duo Sugar and Spice (with Jason Hoyte). Brugh played a current affairs host in TV's The Jaquie Brown Diaries, before winning further laughs as vampire Deacon in hit movie What We Do in the Shadows, where his erotic dance scene went down a treat. He has also played idiotic school principals (web series Educators), dating gurus (How to Meet Girls from a Distance) and firefighters (800 Words).
After making his name as part of comedy troupe Funny Business in the 80s, Willy de Wit found national success when the foursome won their own sketch show in 1988. From there de Wit appeared in a host of comedy shows throughout the 90s, including More Issues, Sportsnight and Comedy Central, before becoming a host on Radio Hauraki in 1998. He stayed with the station for 12 years.
Kiwi acting legend Jennifer Ward-Lealand began acting at age seven; her first screen role followed at age nine. Since then she has starred in big screen dramas Desperate Remedies and Vermilion to critical acclaim, and appeared in a long run of television shows, from TV drama Danny and Raewyn to Australian comedy show Full Frontal.
Composer Marc Chesterman has brought his experience of playing drums in bands and sound designing for the theatre, to the screen. Chesterman has worked on a run of films with director Florian Habicht, including composing the soundtrack for Woodenhead and Spookers. He has composed music for Zia Mandviwalla short Eating Sausage, and was sound designer for Rita Angus documentary Lovely Rita.
Director Anna Marbrook came to the screen from an extensive theatre background (she co-founded Auckland company Theatre at Large). More than 150 episodes directing on Shortland Street laid the groundwork for a run of factual work, focused on Pacific themes: including food series Real Pasifik, award-winning waka documentary Te Mana o te Moana – The Pacific Voyagers, and reality series Waka Warriors.
Director, photographer and Axemen drummer Stuart Page is a prolific maker of music videos. Page has directed promos for Superette, The Clean, and The Skeptics' infamous 'AFFCO'. In 2009 he won Doc NZ International Film Festival awards for feature documentary and emerging filmmaker, for his doco Shustak, a portrait of US photographer Larence Shustak. Page also put together alternative music compilation Noisyland.
Based in London since 1998, Sharron Ward has directed and produced for TV3, the BBC, and MTV. Working primarily as a documentary filmmaker with her company Katalyst Productions, Ward produced award-winning doco Addicted in Afghanistan. Her Kiwi resume includes directing videos for The Nixons, and teaming with producer Leanne Saunders for an AIDS day public service announcement that won an NZ AIDS Foundation Media Award.