Keen for Kiwi children to see themselves on the big screen, Tony Simpson made his movie directing debut in 2012 with trolley tale Kiwi Flyer (also known as Derby Dogs). The film was inspired by memories of racing in Nelson’s annual trolley derby as a child. After completing 2016's A Mindful Choice, a documentary about mindfulness, he began work on Santa downunder movie, Kiwi Christmas. Simpson's screen career began long before any of these; he has directed for Shortland Street, created 2002 animated series The Adventures of Cumie the Cloud, and worked on a run of titles as an assistant director.
David Paul's work as a cameraman and director of photography covers the gamut, from documentary and dramas to shorts, commercials and feature films. His CV includes award-winning work on telemovies Tangiwai - A Love Story and Until Proven Innocent, plus Edmund Hillary miniseries Hillary.
Andrew Gunn spent 13 years working for TVNZ’s Children’s Unit. His writing credits range from extended contributions to What Now! to 1998 award-winner The Beginner’s Guide to Space Travel. In 2009 Gunn (who is brother to entertainer Jason Gunn) co-wrote trolley derby tale Kiwi Flyer with director Tony Simpson. 2014 saw his second feature 3 Mile Limit, based on the early days of pirate station Radio Hauraki.
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.
Tim Sanders has worked on a number of New Zealand's most ambitious movie productions, including Whale Rider, The Lord of the Rings, and Perfect Creature. Originally based in Australia, Sanders is now better known as a New Zealand producer. He is noted for his pragmatic attitude and bent for commercial genre subjects.