Jemaine Clement is the bespectacled half of folk-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, who achieved international cult status in their own HBO series. Clement's screen career began after he appeared on 90s sketch shows Telly Laughs and Skitz. Following his big screen debut in Tongan Ninja, he starred in misfit romance Eagle vs Shark. In 2014 he co-directed and acted in hit vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows.
Tongan-Kiwi comedian Josh Thomson won attention after starring in 48 Hour short films Only Son and Brown Peril. Along with acting (Hounds) and appearances on comedy show 7 Days, Thomson is also an editor and director. In 2017 he starred in movie Gary of the Pacific, as a hapless real estate agent turned Pacific Island chief. The same year, he joined Three's prime time news show The Project.
Kiwi Tongan filmmaker 'Ofa-ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki has long campaigned for women's rights in Tonga. She founded a Women's Action Group for Change, then in 2009 led the launch of an independent Tongan crisis centre for women and children. Born in Aotearoa to Tongan parents, Guttenbeil-Likiliki has studied communications, journalism and law, and worked as a radio DJ and TV host in Tonga. She was one of eight women to direct 2019 movie Vai, about a woman whose journey covers the South Pacific. "We need to tell the stories from the Pacific and we need to tell them through our eyes," she says.
With 2012 film Tongan Ark, Paul Janman celebrated bilcultural philosopher Futa Helu and the independent university he founded in Nuku'alofa. A sellout at the NZ Film Festival, the documentary's global screenings included travels around the Pacific, often accompanied by live performances. Janman himself is Welsh/English, but raised in Aotearoa. While occupied by various art projects, he also teaches screen production at Auckland University of Technology. Featuring historians, tohunga, actors and gamers, his next documentary is a journey through myth and reality on Auckland's Great South Road.
Jason Stutter’s first movie was cult kung-fu caper Tongan Ninja (2002). Since then he has alternated features – self-funded comedy Edwin: My Life as a Koont, stylish Ronald Hugh Morrieson adaptation Predicament – with shorts, including the hit Careful... series, riffing on the dangers of inattentive tool use. His next feature, haunted house tale The Dead Room, was released in New Zealand in October 2015.
Jonno Woodford-Robinson has edited everything from features (Taika Waititi's debut Eagle vs Shark) to commercials (such as Telecom's Meerkats campaign). Woodford-Robinson's other features include Alison Maclean's The Rehearsal, Mahana and pioneering Fijian film The Land Has Eyes. A frequent collaborator with director Jason Stutter, Woodford-Robinson's projects include Stutter's adaptation of novel Predicament. After several nominations, he picked up his first New Zealand Film Award in 2017 for his work as co-editor (with Mike Horton) of Lee Tamahori's rural drama Mahana.
David Fane is an award-winning actor and writer on stage and screen. He played multiple characters in animated TV hit bro’Town, dispensed wise words as Falani on Outrageous Fortune, and was a founding member of comedy group The Naked Samoans.
Janet Roddick is a member of Plan 9, a musical collective whose CV includes composing 20+ features and over 130 hours of television. Roddick first sang alongside David Donaldson and Steve Roche in celebrated band Six Volts, before the three formed Plan 9 in the early 90s. Their list of soundtrack awards includes gongs for Predicament, Perfect Strangers, and Saving Grace. Roddick has also acted on stage and screen.
Bruce Morrison's extensive career as director, producer and sometime scriptwriter has crossed the gamut: from innovative arts programming and pioneer music videos, to the long-running Heartland series — plus feature films variously involving fast cars, riotous teens and a glamour-struck Donogh Rees.
The multi-talented Stan Wolfgramm originally trained as an actor at New York’s Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Returning to Aotearoa, he founded Drum Productions in 1992 to tell Pasifika stories: from fashion showcase Style Pasifika, to pioneering PI youth show Pacific Beat Street, to the opening of the Pacific Forum. Of Tongan, Cook Island and German descent, Wolfgramm was made a MNZM in 2015’s New Year’s honours.