Julienne Stretton spent three decades documenting NZ people and culture for TV, as a researcher, producer and director. Her subjects have ranged from Katherine Mansfield and Hollywood actor Nola Luxford, to a young disabled couple in the groundbreaking Miles and Shelly documentaries. She researched major documentaries on Moriori and Gallipoli, and shared a 1992 Qantas Award for 60 Minutes.
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.
Riwia Brown is a Māori playwright and scriptwriter who won the Best Screenplay award for her adaptation of Alan Duff's novel Once Were Warriors. She has written and directed strong Māori roles for the stage and screen.
After playing Tane Samuels — nephew of fan favourite TK Samuels — on Shortland Street in 2007, Dominic Ona-Ariki took a break from screen acting. He'd previously had another lead role — as the time-travelling Fred on sci-fi series P.E.T. Detectives. From 2016 he became a regular on New Zealand screens — he acted on Filthy Rich, and played All Black Eric Rush on mini-series Jonah. He went on to take the lead role in local detective drama One Lane Bridge (due in 2020), as a detective with spiritual gifts. Ona-Ariki's big screen roles include 2017 comedy Gary of the Pacific, and 2019 gang drama Savage.
Bob Parker did 12 years as guardian of the big red book, presenting and writing This is Your Life. Other presenting roles include Young Farmer of the Year and This is New Zealand (made in NZ for American cable television). He also appeared as a "weird dancing man" in the feature film Snakeskin. After doing time as mayor of Banks Peninsula in 2001, he began a six year stint as mayor of Christchurch in 2007.
Barry Barclay — director of landmark TV series Tangata Whenua and feature film Ngati — was a longtime campaigner for the right of indigenous people to tell their own stories, to their own people. In 2004 he was made an Arts Foundation Laureate, and in 2007 a Member of the NZ Order of Merit. Barclay passed away on 19 February 2008, after publishing his acclaimed book Mana Tuturu.
Kiwi-born Samoan Nathaniel Lees began acting on stage in 1975, and on screen in 1984. Since then he has become a leading force in the development of Pacific Island theatre in Aotearoa, and brought his distinctive baritone voice to everything from The Billy T James Show to The Matrix.
Keith Hill's creative energies spread further than most. The award-winning author and founder of Rattle Records and spiritually-based company Attar Books has contributed to films variously as a cameraman, editor and producer. His CV as a director also ranges widely: from experimental work to drama, to documentary (2012 New Zealand International Film Festival title Persuading the Baby to Float). Hill made his feature debut in 2002, with acclaimed romance This is Not a Love Story. Hill's screenplay won an award at United States festival Dances with Films, and was nominated at the 2003 New Zealand Film Awards.
Michele Fantl has been producing acclaimed documentaries, telemovies and features since the 1990s, often through her production company MF Films. Along the way she has worked extensively with writer/directors Stewart Main (50 Ways of Saying Fabulous), Garth Maxwell (When Love Comes) and Fiona Samuel (Bliss).
Stewart Main is a director noted for his strong sense of visual style, and commitment to themes of individuality and sexuality. Alongside his own projects (including 2005 feature 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous), a fruitful partnership with Peter Wells has produced several noted dramatic and documentary films, including colonial-set bodice-ripper Desperate Remedies.