Self-taught editor Cushla Dillon moved from shorter works to features with Harry Sinclair's Topless Women Talk about their Lives: both the bite-sized TV series then the movie, for which she won her first NZ film award. Dillon has gone on to edit shorts, documentaries, and many more features — including The Price of Milk, Orphans & Kingdoms, and award-winning documentary This Way of Life.
Paul Holmes, KCNZM, helped change the face of New Zealand broadcasting. In 1989 the actor turned radio host began presenting primetime news and magazine show Holmes in spectacular style, when guest Dennis Conner walked out of his interview. Holmes balanced the TV show and a popular radio slot for 15 years, followed by a stint with Prime TV and current affairs show Q+A. He passed away on 1 February 2013.
Jono Smith was 14 when he won the starring role as teenager Ned Poindexter in 50s-era coming of age classic The Scarecrow. After leaving school, Smith joined TVNZ and became a camera assistant. Since relocating to England in 1993 he has shot a raft of television projects, short films, and four features. In 2010 he co-produced acclaimed movie Sus.
Cathy Campbell became the first woman in New Zealand to anchor a sports programme, after joining TV One’s Sportsnight in 1989. The longtime news and sports reporter moved into newsreading, and later ran PR and events company Cathy Campbell Communications. She died on 23 February 2012, after a two-year battle with a brain tumour.
Art department veteran Dan Hennah worked on a range of screen projects before becoming an art director and set decorator on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Five times Oscar nominated, he won an Academy Award for his work on The Return of the King. Since then Hennah has graduated to production designing on a number of features, including taking on the job for Peter Jackson's three-parter of The Hobbit.
Chas Toogood has been part of New Zealand television since 1971, when he began as an NZBC reporter in Hamilton. Highlights of his career include award-winning documentaries No Mean Feat (about double amputee Mark Inglis and his attempt to climb Mt Cook), and Triumph of the Human Spirit (following Kiwis competing at the Atlanta Paralympic Games). Toogood has directed many current affairs and lifestyle shows.
Yorkshire born and raised, Austin Mitchell began winning attention in New Zealand by hosting current affairs shows in the 1960s, while teaching history at Otago University. Back home in England, he began an eight year run as a television journalist, and wrote 1972's The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise, a love letter to New Zealand which became a Kiwi bestseller. Thirty years later Mitchell returned to see how the country had changed. The result was TV series and book Pavlova Paradise Revisited. Mitchell began a 46 year political career in 1977, as Labour MP in the English seat of Grimsby. He retired in 2015.