Director and editor Lala Rolls has made short films, music videos and documentaries (Tupaia's Endeavour, Children of the Migration). She has gone on location throughout the Pacific Islands, and had her work invited to festivals in New Zealand and overseas.
Yvonne Mackay is a prolific director of New Zealand television, whose work has often focused on the arts and projects made for young people. She made history as the director of The Silent One (1984), the first New Zealand feature film directed solely by a woman. These days Mackay runs Wellington company Production Shed TV.
Simon Baumfield is a multi-award-winning cinematographer, whose work includes ensemble TV series Insiders Guide to Love and horror movie The Irrefutable Truth about Demons.
Julian Arahanga shot into the public eye in 1994's Once Were Warriors, playing the son who becomes a gang-member. He followed it with a starring role in cross-cultural romance Broken English. Since then Arahanga has continued a prolific career working in front of, and increasingly behind the camera - including as producer and director on Māori Television series Songs from the Inside.
Michelle Turner has worked on everything from splatter classic Braindead to Bread & Roses. Her CV covers a wide range of behind the scenes roles, from production manager to producer. In 2001 she produced her first feature Stickmen. The tale of friends who enter an underground pool contest sold to more than 20 countries. Then she joined the producing team on London-set romance Bollywood Queen. Turner was a producer on documentary Children of the Migration and TV drama The Lost Children. She has also worked on the Fijian shoot for Tom Hanks hit Cast Away, and in sales for the NZ Film Commission.
Described by author Emma Jean Kelly as a flamboyant "champion of New Zealand culture", Jonathan Dennis was the founding director of The Film Archive in 1981 and led the organisation into a bicultural era. Dennis, who headed the Film Archive for nine years, was praised for making films more accessible. He also made documentaries (Mouth Wide Open, Mana Waka) and presented Radio New Zealand's Film Show.
A pioneer of New Zealand film and star of 1940 classic Rewi's Last Stand, Ramai Hayward is credited as Aotearoa’s first Māori filmmaker, camerawoman, and scriptwriter. At the 2005 Wairoa Māori Film Festival she received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to Māori filmmaking; the following year Hayward was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit. She passed away on 3 July 2014.
Peter Bland’s creative career encompasses two cultures, dozens of poems, the creation of Wellington’s Downstage Theatre and at least 30 screen roles – among them, his star turn as conman Wes Pennington in Came a Hot Friday.
Oscar Kightley, MNZM, is a man of many talents. After launching The Naked Samoans, he worked with the comedy troupe over five seasons of hit series bro’Town, NZ's first animated show to play in prime time. The group also featured in movie Sione’s Wedding and its 2012 sequel, both of which Kightley co-wrote. In 2013 he took on a serious role: starring as a Samoan-Kiwi detective in TV series Harry.
After starting her reporting career in radio, Sandra Kailahi switched to television and worked on Pacific magazine show Tagata Pasifika. The Tongan-German spent 11 years reporting for the long-running series, before moving to Fair Go for three years. Kailahi went on to produce Te Karere and One News, plus read the news on channel TVNZ 7. In 2017 she turned her hand to film producing, with short film The Messiah. Two years later her first feature, documentary For My Father's Kingdom, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. The Porirua local was appointed to the board of the NZ Film Commission in March 2019.