Geoff Steven's career spans documentary, experimental film and photography. In 1978, he directed acclaimed feature Skin Deep, the first major investment by the newly established NZ Film Commission. Steven followed it with Strata and a long run of documentaries, before time as a TV executive at both TV3 and TVNZ. He now heads the Our Place World Heritage Project.
John Reid made his feature debut with an acclaimed version of hit Roger Hall stage play Middle Age Spread. He went on to direct three more features ranging from raw comedy to moody arthouse pieces — plus documentaries, TV dramas and commercials. Reid has also been head tutor at the New Zealand Film and Television School in Wellington, and written the definitive book on the history of Pacific Films.
Barbara Darragh's screen costumes have been worn by ghosts, prostitutes, Māori warriors and Tainuia Kid Billy T James. An award-winner for The Dead Lands, River Queen and The End of the Golden Weather, Darragh's CV includes TV shows Under the Mountain and Greenstone, plus more than a dozen other features. She also runs Auckland costume hire company Across the Board.
After starting his filmmaking career at the National Film Unit, cinematographer John Blick has shot many iconic Kiwi commercials, done extended time in Asia and the United States — and worked alongside everyone from Brian Brake and Peter Jackson (The Frighteners), to Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
Lisa Taouma has a laufala bag spilling over with Pasifika screen credits. She has directed on Tagata Pasifika, helmed TV2’s Polyfest and made documentaries on subjects from Samoan tattoo to fa’afafine. She produces pioneering PI youth show Fresh with Mario Gaoa, and in 2014 launched Polynesian online community Coconet. Taouma also wrote short films Brown Sugar and Talk of the Town.
New Plymouth born Katie Wolfe has made the transition from actor to director. After leading roles in Marlin Bay, Cover Story, and Mercy Peak she stepped behind the camera in 2002, directing on Shortland Street. In 2008 she directed her first short film This Is Her, which screened at festivals around the globe. Wolfe's adaptation of Witi Ihimaera novel Nights in the Garden of Spain screened on TV in January 2011.
New Zealander Bill Gavin began his film career in the United Kingdom. After arranging finance for everything from The Killing Fields to Sid and Nancy, he returned home in the 90s to produce a number of features, including What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? and Jubilee. During two years as Head of Feature Films at South Pacific Pictures, he helped develop and finance 2002 hit Whale Rider.
During a long career of acting and directing on stage, Peter Hambleton has won a number of Chapman Tripp Theatre acting awards (Copenhagen, The Letter Writer). En route, the Toi Whakaari graduate has also done time on screen: he's played a sizable cadre of policeman and officials, alongside Prime Ministers (William Massey in War News, Peter Fraser in Spies and Lies), and priests. But his biggest screen role is as a dwarf. Underneath a sizable red beard he was Gloin in Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of The Hobbit. in 1995 he won an NZ Film and Television award for his work in WWII era movie The Last Tattoo.
Keith Aberdein is probably best known for playing the small-town policeman who arouses Bruno Lawrence's ire, in Kiwi screen classic Smash Palace. But his screen work covers almost every angle: from covering the Wahine disaster as a reporter, to directing, to writing scripts for some of the most ambitious television dramas of the 1970s.
Kerry Fox won international acclaim direct from drama school, after playing writer Janet Frame in Jane Campion's adaptation of An Angel at my Table. The role won her awards in Spain and New Zealand. After appearing in The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior she departed Aotearoa for a busy international career, which has ranged from a lead role in Danny Boyle hit Shallow Grave to acclaimed WWI TV drama The Crimson Field. In 2001 she was named Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for Intimacy. Her other Kiwi roles include the "alpha female" head of drama in The Rehearsal, WWll drama The Last Tattoo and Mr Pip.