Sam Peacocke won attention for his work on a slate of distinctive music videos, for everyone from King Kapisi (Lollipop) to The Mint Chicks (Vodafone award-winner Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!). Peacocke's dramatic debut — short film Manurewa — reimagines events surrounding a high profile 2008 liquor store shooting. At the 2011 Berlin Film Festival, it won the Crystal Bear for best short film in its section. Peacocke has also won awards for a number of his commercials — and for 2012's Beautiful Machine, a feature-length documentary on Kiwi rock band Shihad.
Since making 2003 short Blood and Bone, Eek has worked in various production roles, including line-producing features A Song of Good and The Most Fun You Can Have Dying. In 2009 he produced ambitious short Manurewa. Largely self-funded, it won the Crystal Bear in the Generation 14plus section at Berlin 2011. Eek also helped shepherd shorts via the NZFC 'premiere' shorts scheme, as part of Robber’s Dog Shorts.
Samoan Kiwi Beulah Koale first discovered acting as a way to skip classes, then appeared in short films Manurewa and Suni Man. After doing a guest spot on Shortland Street in 2012, he won a recurring role. In 2014 Koale starred in big screen crime drama The Last Saint, as a young man who becomes a drug courier to help his family. He followed it with post-apocalyptic TV series The Cul De Sac, then won acclaim for film Thank You for Your Service, in which he played an American Samoan soldier struggling to adapt to life after fighting in Iraq. Two years later he joined the team of cops on long-running series Hawaii-Five-O.
Producer Julia Parnell’s CV boasts a diverse range of credits — from comedy (Wayne Anderson: Singer of Songs) to sport (Wilbur: The King in the Ring), music (The Chills - The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps) and te ao Māori (Restoring Hope). Parnell’s production company Notable Pictures is behind a run of award-winning short films (Dive, Friday Tigers), plus long-running mini-documentary series Loading Docs.
Actor John Tui grew up in Manurewa, the oldest of eight siblings. After training at Unitec, he got a break on Power Rangers and has since scored regular NZ TV work including recurring roles on Go Girls and Shortland Street. On the big screen he plays father to the main character in 2015's Born to Dance, and was US Navy officer Walter ‘The Beast’ Lynch alongside Rihanna, in Hollywood film Battleship.
Stephen Stehlin has been involved with flagship Pacific show Tagata Pasifika for over 30 years. Alongside Ngaire Fuata and John Utanga, he launched SunPix in 2015. The company took over Tagata Pasifika after Television New Zealand outsourced its stable of Māori and Pacific programmes. Of Samoan descent, Stehlin has been honoured as both a Samoan matai chief, and as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit.
Manurewa-bred Kiel McNaughton followed stunt work and study at Unitec with a five year stint playing beloved Shortland Street nurse James 'Scotty' Scott. Alongside his wife Kerry Warkia, he founded Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions in 2006, where he has directed shows Fine Me a Māori Bride, This is Piki, and Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life, New Zealand’s first web series for kids. McNaughton and Warkia went on to produce anthology movies Waru and Vai, which was shot across the Pacific. In 2019 production began on McNaughton's debut feature as director: action movie The Legend of Baron To'a.
David Coulson trained to be a director, but instead discovered a passion for editing. He joined TV One and worked on a range of programmes including Mortimer's Patch, before going freelance in the early 80s. Since then he has won awards for his work in feature films and commercials, and established an ongoing working relationship with Niki Caro, editing all her features from Whale Rider onwards.
Ginny Loane began attracting award nominations in 2006 with Fog, one of many short films she has shot that have made a mark overseas. By then Loane had already shot her first feature, dark family tale Christmas. In 2013 she won praise — and a Moa Award — for another family drama, Shopping, the debut feature from Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston. Loane went on to win two awards from the NZ Cinematographers Society for Mahana (2016), Lee Tamahori’s first Kiwi feature since Once Were Warriors. Her work also includes based on a true story TV movies Jean and Consent - The Louise Nicholas Story.
Mike Westgate began working in sound in his native England. Since moving to New Zealand in the 1970s, he has contributed his skills to documentaries, drama series, and more than 20 features, and passed them on to a new generation, both on film sets and as a guest tutor at South Seas Film & Television School.