Producer Meg Douglas began in television as a teenage reporter, before heading behind the camera as an adult. Since then she has worked in a variety of roles — from researcher, writer and production manager, to producer and director. In 2005, Douglas started her own production company, Scottie Productions, which has netted several awards.
Starring one cow and two elderly guitarists, Michael Bennett's first short film Cow was invited to screen at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Since then he has written and/or directed a wide range of projects, from children's television (Kaitangata Twitch) to award-winning shows about Māori architecture (Whare Māori). His feature film work includes ensemble feature Matariki, and the script for Cliff Curtis comedy Jubilee.
Tainui Stephens is an independent producer, director, writer and sometimes presenter. He started his broadcasting career with Television New Zealand’s Koha in 1984. Stephens has been responsible for bringing many Māori stories to screen. Notable historical stories he has helmed amongst his extensive screenography include a Māori Battalion doco, feature film River Queen and TV series The New Zealand Wars.
Nicola Castle began her career as an editor, achieving recognition at the 2011 NZ Television awards for cutting award-winners The Green Chain and Whare Taonga. In 2015 she directed short film Madness Made Me for online series Loading Docs, about a woman's time in a mental hospital. Castle splits her time between Auckland and Melbourne, and holds a Masters in Screen Production from Auckland University.
Mark Lapwood began a career of taking pictures at his local newspaper in Palmerston North. At 20 he relocated to Sydney, slowly working his way up the ladder to become a cinematographer. Graduating from the Australian Film TV and Radio School in 2000, he shot his first feature soon after: Indian drama Maya. Three years later he was based in India and filming across the globe. Lapwood returned to NZ in 2011.
Rūātoki-raised Reuben Collier cut his screen teeth reporting on Waka Huia. In 2001 he founded Maui TV Productions in Rotorua. Collier's producing and directing credits include Marae, Matatini coverage, award-winning documentary Sciascia, and long-running food show Kai Time on the Road. in 2017 Collier was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the television industry and Māori.
Orlando Stewart has appeared in various mockumentary series (including Wayne Anderson) as a reporter, talent manager, and 'marketing director', handing out pizza flyers in Pakuranga. As he says, “it’s kind of fun blurring the lines between yourself and a character”. Stewart wrote and starred in oddball series Rural Drift, and acted in short film The Dump, which he also produced. Later he directed documentary Sonics from Scratch with Simon Ogston, which screened at the 2015 New Zealand Film Festival. The film explores the life and work of experimental artist Philip Dadson.
Briar March released her first feature-length documentary, 2004's Allie Eagle and Me — about artist Allie Eagle — the same year she got a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Auckland University's Elam School of Fine Arts. Her global warming documentary There Once Was an Island (2010) was invited to 50+ festivals, and won a raft of awards. After studies at California's prestigious Stanford University and a string of short films, the Fulbright scholar returned downunder, and directed social housing documentary A Place to Call Home. In 2017 she helmed musical short The Coffin Club, which won six million+ views online.
Director and producer Mina Mathieson’s kete of screen credits packs in everything from Marae DIY to the National Māori Weaponry School, from karanga to helping kick off the Rugby World Cup on TV. Mathieson trained at NZ Broadcasting School and set up production company m3media to showcase indigenous storytelling. She followed NZ Natives rugby short Warbrick with co-producing Māori musical odyssey movie The Pā Boys.
In a turbulent media landscape, director/producer Kay Ellmers feels that the long-form documentary is still powerful. Her screen CV includes acclaimed doco He Toki Huna: New Zealand in Afghanistan, and popular series like Marae Kai Masters and Mīharo. Ellmers is Managing Director of Tūmanako Productions, and a consultant on documentary and factual programming for Māori Television.