Samoan-born, New Zealand-raised director Sima Urale is our first prominent Samoan female director. Urale has brought touching stories of Pacific people 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.
Stephen Stehlin is the longtime producer of TVNZ's weekly magazine show Tagata Pasifika, which targets Pacific communities in New Zealand. He has also worked on a number of other factual TV shows like Koha, Māori Battalion - March to Victory and When the Haka Became Boogie. Stehlin was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2008 for services to Pacific Island television and the arts.
Ray Waru has had a long and distinguished career as a producer and director in both television and radio. He began his TV career working on factual series such as Country Calendar, Fair Go, People Like Us and Tomorrow’s World. In 1980 he established the Māori television production unit at TVNZ, and launched the first regular Māori primetime show Koha. Waru went on to work on major documentary series Our People Our Century and Frontier of Dreams.
David Harry Baldock’s long TV career includes submarines, sea rescues, ailing prime ministers and psychics. The onetime editor began making his mark as a director and producer on current affairs and a run of documentaries. In 1988 he left state television to launch production company Ninox, whose prolific output would grow to include Sensing Murder, Mitre 10 Dream Home, award-winner Pacific Rescue and ambitious documentary series Our People Our Century.
After two decades as a print journalist, Robyn Scott-Vincent moved to television, where she reported for the primetime news, Top Half and Holmes. Since moving into producing and directing, she has worked on a number of documentaries including Kirsa. A Mother's Story, Cindy's Diary and Grammar Boys. These days Scott-Vincent runs Attitude Pictures, making award-winning series Attitude.
The late Barry Barclay [Ngāti Apa] was one of New Zealand's most respected filmmakers. He directed such landmark titles as TV series Tangata Whenua, award-winning film Ngati, and The Feathers of Peace. Barclay was also a longtime campaigner for the right of indigenous people to tell their own stories to their own people.
Sam Wills started out performing as a child magician, and in 2016 found himself on the America’s Got Talent stage as Tape Face.
Actor, acting teacher, and artist the late Grant Tilly played cow cockies, assassins, missionaries, and German villains in funny hats. And that’s not even counting his long-running stage career, which included a run of classic Kiwi plays, one of which became acclaimed movie Middle Age Spread.
Producer Elizabeth Mitchell set up Firehorse Films to produce the popular TV3 animated comedy series bro'Town. Mitchell was a print journalist turned television promotions director, and her only experience in animation prior to bro'Town was a TV ad on the white spotted tussock moth.
Comedian turned producer Paul Horan interviewed more than 100 people for the Funny As series. In the 100th interview for the show, he finds himself in the hot seat. Horan ranges across Kiwi comedy history as well as his own, including: How making John Clarke laugh was like qualifying for the Olympics — and how the distinctive voice of Clarke's character Fred Dagg was influenced by horse racing commentator Peter Kelly His theory that David Lange's beloved "smell the uranium" joke from 1985 may have influenced New Zealand's emerging comedians How comedy festivals provided a valuable education for Kiwi stand-up talents — from talking with visiting comedians after a show, to witnessing Bill Bailey spin "an extraordinary routine out of the most absurd idea" How Facial DBX (Horan was a member) transformed "from a group of stupid students, through to performers, through to people who ran a venue" (Auckland's Classic Comedy Club) Feeling "extraordinarily proud" to be part of the Kiwi comedy tradition — an art form that forged its own path and thrived despite criticism and a lack of government support