Clinical psychologist Nigel Latta first made his mark on Kiwi television in 2008 with Beyond the Darklands, based on his book Into the Darklands, about New Zealand criminals and how they came to be. Latta hosted the show for five seasons, alongside three lighthearted, politically incorrect series about teenagers and other humans. 2014 saw the launch of wide-ranging issues show Nigel Latta.
Anzac Wallace made one of the most memorable debuts in New Zealand cinema when he starred as avenging guerilla leader Te Wheke in classic Māori Western Utu. The former trade union delegate followed it with movies The Silent One (1984) and Mauri (1988) and pioneering Māori TV series E Tipu E Rea. He passed away on 8 April 2019.
Raised on a Hawke's Bay farm, David White went on to make a run of documentaries exploring agriculture, from animal slaughter (I Kill) to pigs (The Cleanest Pig, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival). White studied producing at England's National Film and TV School, then co-produced documentary Shihad: Beautiful Machine and directed TV's Little Criminals, a survivors' record of boys’ homes. His feature documentary Meat — centred on three farmers and a hunter — hit Kiwi cinemas in 2017. White followed it with a TV movie inspired by a meth importing case, and movie comedy This Town, which he also acts in.
Paul Murphy began his wide-ranging career in childhood, as part of roving performance clan Blerta. Later he worked as a grip — grips set up and operate the equipment used to move the camera — on his father Geoff's film Never Say Die, plus many more productions. Paul moved into directing with 2001 short Sox. In 2007 he made self-financed feature Second-Hand Wedding. The tale of family and garage sales was a big local hit. Next came Rhys Darby romantic comedy Love Birds (2011). In 2019 Murphy began filming crime caper Lowdown Dirty Criminals with actors James Rolleston, Robbie Magasiva and Rebecca Gibney.
Kiwi-Samoan Robbie Magasiva was performing in a primary school talent quest when he fell in love with acting. At age 16 he made his first screen appearance, playing a police cadet in a TV commercial. Since then Magasiva has honed his skills in television (Aussie series Wentworth, Shortland Street, The Semisis), film (Stickmen and Sione's Wedding) and stage (comedy group The Naked Samoans).
After coming up with the idea for Nemesis Game, his first feature film, Jesse Warn ended up making it in Canada with a multi-national cast, and being nominated for best picture at the 2003 NZ Film Awards. He went on to direct a run of commercials, and episodes of Spartacus. Since then Warn has spent time in the US directing a range of high profile series, including True Blood, Arrow and Supergirl.
Within two years of acting in kidult TV adventure Sea Urchins, Kiwi Rebecca Gibney had set up shop in Australia. There she would find fame — and a long list of awards and nominations — thanks to a television CV which includes Wanted (which she also created), Packed to the Rafters, The Flying Doctors, mini-series Come in Spinner, and 21 Halifax tele-movies as forensic psychiatrist Jane Halifax.
After working at the National Film Unit, the BBC and Canada's National Film Board, John Laing made his feature film debut as a director with Arthur Allan Thomas drama Beyond Reasonable Doubt (1980). Since then he has directed another six features, and many television shows and tele-movies. Laing has also produced for both Outrageous Fortune and Mercy Peak.
Having grown up in a musical family, Esther Stephens found it hard to decide between music or acting. So she did both. After training in performing and screen arts, she won an ongoing role as fashionista Olivia Duff in Go Girls. Since then, Stephens has had major parts in WWI drama When We Go to War and Westside. On stage, she won acclaim as suffragette Kate Sheppard in musical That Bloody Woman.
Dan Musgrave donned 70s style threads to star as charismatic ‘Mr Asia’ Marty Johnstone in Land of the Long Green Cloud, NZ’s contribution to the Underbelly franchise. The Blenheim-raised graduate of Toi Whakaari has co-written a series of theatre comedies to complement his acting career — which includes playing criminal Lefty Munroe in Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside.