A New Zealander of Lebanese descent, Steve La Hood joined TVNZ in the early 70s. He went on to direct on everything from Close to Home and Shortland Street, to an acclaimed documentary on Bruno Lawrence. He also produced The Marching Girls (1987), one of the first dramas to highlight contemporary women characters on NZ television. La Hood now creates museum exhibitions at company Story Inc.
Philippa Campbell debuted as a producer with 1995 tele-play Swimming Lessons, after time as an actor, stage director, script editor, and and head of the script unit at TVNZ's drama department. Campbell went on to produce the debut movies of playwrights Anthony McCarten and Toa Fraser, plus acclaimed coming of age tale Rain and comedy horror Black Sheep. In 2013 she was Emmy-nominated, as producer of TV drama Top of the Lake.
Marshall Napier’s long run of memorable supporting roles includes classic movies Came a Hot Friday and The Navigator. He has starred in Bellbird, The Lie of the Land and teleplay Swimming Lessons. A move to Australia in the late 1980s saw turns in hit movie Babe and TV's Police Rescue and McLeod’s Daughters. Napier took his own play Freak Winds, to New York in 2006, after a sellout run in Australia.
Sima Urale, Samoa’s first female filmmaker, has brought touching stories of Pacific peoples to the screen, often from an NZ outsider’s point of view. Urale credits her film success to determination and dealing with social issues close to her heart. Her lauded shorts (O Tamaiti, Still Life) were followed by her 2008 feature debut Apron Strings. Urale has also spent time as head tutor at Wellington's NZ Film and Television School.
John McBeth's commentating career began after injuries put paid to his senior rugby playing days. He became Radio New Zealand's lead rugby commentator in 1985 and took that position at TVNZ in 1992. With his trademark sense of humour never far away, he has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games and America's Cup yachting along with many other sports.
Presenter Lana Coc-Kroft has fronted a run of adventure shows, survived a near fatal infection on a Pacific Island, and been a longtime staple on hit show SportsCafe. The ex Miss Universe New Zealand began her screen career modelling on Sale of the Century and co-hosting Wheel of Fortune, before presenting On the Edge. She has also been a 91ZM radio host and World Vision spokeperson.
Jane Wrightson is Chief Executive of Crown agency NZ On Air, which funds Kiwi television, digital media, radio and music. Prior to taking on the job in 2007, she spent a decade at Television New Zealand, was New Zealand's first woman Chief Film Censor, and headed both the Broadcasting Standards Authority and screen lobbying group SPADA.
Ken Catran made his name in the 80s as the writer of a raft of kidult TV successes, including Children of the Dog Star and an adaptation of Maurice Gee’s Under the Mountain. In 1986 he won a GOFTA award for his work on legal drama Hanlon. These days Catran is better known as a prolific and award-winning novelist.
New Zealand-born actor Barbara Ewing attracted early notice in 60s British horror films, and became a UK household name as buxom Agnes Fairchild on TV comedy Brass. Ewing was raised in NZ, before leaving to train at RADA in London. In 1979 she won a Feltex Award as the lead in NZ returning expat drama Rachel. Ewing has written plays and several acclaimed novels, including theatre-set bestseller The Mesmerist.
Geoff Dixon began making commercials in the 70s — the decade he launched legendary ad company Silverscreen Productions, whose clients included Cadbury, Toyota, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines. Ranging across New Zealand and beyond, his work includes iconic images of South Island back roads, Barry Crump crashing utes through the bush, and Michael Hurst singing a war cry for the Kiwi bloke.