Brit-born but long based in New Zealand, April Phillips has acted on television and film, and written a number of award-winning short films. She both wrote and starred in shorts Letter for Hope and Utu Pihikete, then stepped up to directing with 2016's REM. The horror tale won screenings and awards at a number of global film festivals. Phillips has a Masters in Scriptwriting from Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters. Her extensive CV of theatre work includes ensemble drama Motel. Her comic play STiFF has had seasons in Auckland, London and Melbourne.
Alison Maclean has brought an original vision to screen, whether it be in personal, expressionistic films: the Kiwi gothic duo of Kitchen Sink and her first feature, Crush, acclaimed junkie redemption song Jesus' Son, and her adaptation of Eleanor Catton novel The Rehearsal — or in high profile television series like Sex in the City and The Tudors.
Justin Pemberton's work for the screen can be split roughly into two. His eclectic and award-winning run of documentaries includes motor-racing story Love, Speed and Loss and acclaimed Olympic saga The Golden Hour. He has also worked on many music projects, from music videos to documentaries about Anika Moa and the NZ Symphony Orchestra.
The trio of documentaries surrounding the religious community of Gloriavale generated huge TV ratings. Amanda Evans is the director and producer behind this mini-TV phenomenon. In her 30 year career she has produced and/ or directed documentaries, reality series and iconic Kiwi kids and arts shows.
Peter Montgomery’s colourful and vibrant commentaries made him “the voice of New Zealand yachting”. Through the 1980s and 1990s, Montgomery played a major part in the sport’s move to mass popularity and had a central role in radio and TV coverage of Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup campaigns. On dry land, he has covered many other sports, and made the Eden Park side-line his own over two decades of rugby commentaries.
Millen Baird's self-titled comedy show won acclaim, and a Best Comedy nomination at the 2009 Qantas TV Awards. Then Baird and friends played a group of wannabes, for semi-improvised web show Auckland Daze. Baird has gone on to create and act in web series Darryl - An Outward Bound Story, Leeway and Slow Pete (with his wife Siobhan Marshall) — plus act on TV's Step Dave and The Almighty Johnsons.
In 2014 Kerry Warkia was awarded the WIFT Woman to Watch Award for her work in new media. Warkia has produced a number of high profile web series, including wannabe famous comedy Auckland Daze, Flat3, and pioneering children's web series Nia’s Extra Ordinary Life. Warkia runs company Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions with her partner Kiel McNaughton. The pair originated Māori Television hit Find Me a Māori Bride, plus a trio of ambitious anthology features that put women front and centre: Waru, Vai and (next on the list) Kāinga. Warkia also has credits as an actor and writer.
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 February 2020 McNaughton made his debut as a feature film director, with action movie The Legend of Baron To'a.
The son of a Canterbury Presbyterian minister, Amosa moved to Auckland as a teen. He got early acting experience via drama productions at Sunday school and Kelston Boys' High, before formal training at Unitec. In 2004 Amosa won a plum role as a ghost (and narrator) on TV's Insiders Guide to Happiness. He has since acted on Harry and Go Girls. Amosa was on the creative team of web series satire Auckland Daze (he played an unfunny comedian); and Daryl - An Outward Bound Story. He was one of the suspects on web whodunnit Alibi. The Auckland theatre actor has also voiced many adverts and documentaries.
Although Ginette McDonald's career is most associated with the gormless, vowel-mangling girl-from-the-suburbs: Lynn of Tawa, she is a woman of many parts. Alongside an extensive acting and presenting career, her work as producer and director spans three decades, and includes Shark in the Park, Peppermint Twist, and kidult series The Fire-Raiser.