After first picking up a guitar while growing up in South Africa, Tom Fox went on to become a session guitarist and award-winning music producer. Emigrating to New Zealand in 2003, he met Kiwi musician Marshall Smith, and they set up company The Sound Room in Auckland. Since then the duo have collaborated on music and sound mixes for almost every type of screen project, from a long run of commercials, to arcade games and documentaries — including award-winning Cambodian tragedy Brother Number One and the quirky, music-heavy Hip Hop-eration and The Coffin Club.
PI Kiwi Oscar Kightley is a writer, actor, presenter and director. After co-creating The Naked Samoans, he worked with the comedy troupe on five seasons of hit series bro’Town, NZ's first animated show to play in prime-time. Kightley has also worked with the Samoans as an actor and writer in hit feature Sione’s Wedding and its 2012 sequel. In 2013 he took on a serious role, starring as the detective in TV series Harry.
Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh has helped create some of the most iconic images of New Zealand cinema: the girl with a mop of red hair, standing at the end of a country road in Angel at my Table; the piano on a deserted beach in The Piano, and the charged kitchen scenes of Once Were Warriors.
Craig Harrison began lecturing in English at Massey University in 1966, soon after emigrating from the UK. A decade later he turned an odd couple tale of a Māori and a Yorkshireman into pioneering cross-cultural TV comedy Joe and Koro, and an award-winning play. Harrison also scripted one-off comedy A Question of Integrity; and his novel The Quiet Earth inspired the classic Bruno Lawrence science fiction film.
Liverpool-raised Mike Bodnar emigrated to NZ at the age of 14. After escaping from teaching to became a radio announcer, he hosted weekend editions of RNZ’s nationwide Tonight Show, then crossed to television as a live continuity announcer. In the 80s he began four years hosting and interviewing for nightly regional slot Today Tonight. Bodnar has also done time as a freelance director, PR consultant and standup comedian.
Brian Edwards began making his reputation in the late 60s as one of the country's toughest television interviewers. In 1971 an Edwards interview on current affairs show Gallery famously helped end an ongoing post office dispute. He went on to present a host of interview-based shows, and played a big hand in creating longrunning consumer rights show Fair Go.
Canadian-born New Zealand director Leanne Pooley has won a raft of awards for her work as a documentary filmmaker. The 2011 Arts Laureate's films include hit Topp Twins movie Untouchable Girls, 3D Everest first ascent saga Beyond the Edge, and euthanasia exploration The Promise. In 2015 her film 25 April, an animated feature about Gallipoli, was selected for the Toronto International Film Festival.
With a background in film publicity in England, Nigel Hutchinson emigrated to New Zealand in 1974. After co-founding production company Motion Pictures, he went on to direct a run of award-winning TV commercials, and co-produce Kiwi movie landmark Goodbye Pork Pie. He passed away on 23 March 2017.
Fiona Kay was just 12 when she starred in Vincent Ward’s Vigil, playing a shy farm girl who retreats into make believe. Keen to avoid sentimentality, Ward interviewed 200 children before casting her. Vigil won a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. Kay appeared in almost every scene; reviewers praised her “faultless” and “remarkable” acting, and “restless inner intensity”. After a handful of further acting roles — including sci-fi series The Boy from Andromeda — Kay emigrated to Australia.
Since the late 1980s Bryan Bruce has been a prolific documentary maker and presenter. Over more than 30 documentaries, plus three seasons of The Investigator, he has cast fresh eyes on some of the most famous crimes in New Zealand’s history, and asked tough questions about the country’s economic and social trajectory.