Murray Grindlay first rose to prominence as the lead singer in the 60s blues band The Underdogs. Since then he has written the music for a number of feature films, such as Sleeping Dogs, Once Were Warriors and Broken English; as well as countless TV commercials, including the classics Dear John and the Great Crunchie Train Robbery. Currently Grindlay is producing a web-based kids music show The One Winged-Bee Called Emily.
Anthony McCarten is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and novelist, who has also directed two of his own feature films. His screenplay credits include Via Satellite, The English Harem, Show of Hands and Death of a Superhero. McCarten's most successful screenplay to date is Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, which won him a BAFTA award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2015. McCarten was interviewed for NZ On Screen when he was in Auckland for the 2015 Big Screen Symposium, organised by Script to Screen.
Actor turned producer/director Julian Arahanga made his screen debut at age 11, starring alongside Annie Whittle in short film The Makutu on Mrs Jones. He shot to fame playing novice gang member Nig Heke in landmark movie Once Were Warriors, then went on to act in a number of films including Broken English. Since setting up his own production company Awa Films, Arahanga has directed and produced TV series Songs from the Inside and acclaimed documentary Turangaarere: The John Pohe Story.
Brendan Smyth was charged with getting more New Zealand music on the airwaves for more than two decades. As long-time NZ Music Manager at NZ On Air, he led a team that funds and promotes Kiwi music and music videos.
Director Gaylene Preston has been stretching New Zealand film in new directions since her early short films and her first feature, the genre and gender-bending Mr Wrong (1985). Long devoted to “communicating local stories to local audiences”, Preston features in Deborah Shepard’s book Her Life’s Work: Conversations with Five New Zealand Women.
Robin Scholes is one of our most prolific feature film producers. Her credits include Once Were Warriors, Broken English, Rain, Crooked Earth, The Tattooist, and Mr Pip. She has also produced hundreds of hours of television, including Magic Kiwis, The Big Art Trip, Heroes, Greenstone, The Chosen and Burying Brian.
After making her television debut on Shortland Street in 2004, Siobhan Marshall won fame as straight-talking sister Pascalle West over six seasons of Outrageous Fortune. In 2005 she won celebrity singing contest Sing Like a Superstar. More recently she made a guest appearance on The Almighty Johnsons, and starred with her Outrageous screen sister Antonia Prebble as co-star of The Blue Rose.
When people think of Ginette McDonald, they often think of one of New Zealand’s most defiant and famed purveyers of Godzone English, Lyn of Tawa. But for McDonald, Lyn is only one part among many. Alongside an acting career which began when she was still a teenager, McDonald has also worked as a producer, director and presenter.
Born in Westport, Jeremy Corbett is a middle-aged 6’2” Leo who likes potatoes, grass, cordless drills and guitars. His broadcasting career began at student radio station Radio Massey, while studying for a BA in English and Computer Science. Since then, Corbett has gone on to develop a successful career in radio, clocking up 16 years as morning co-host on MORE FM, and has appeared regularly on NZ TV screens in shows like The Paradise Picture Show, A Bit After Ten, Celebrity Squares, The Gong Show, Pulp Comedy, Downsize Me, Deal or No Deal and most recently 7 Days.
Pietra Brettkelly is an award-winning New Zealand filmmaker who travels the world to make her documentaries. The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins, her Sundance-selected film about international adoption, won best director and documentary at the 2009 Qantas Film and TV Awards. Māori Boy Genius was invited to the Berlin, Sydney and NZ Film Festivals.