Miranda Harcourt got her screen break playing the bitchy Gemma on iconic 80s soap Gloss. Since then the versatile Harcourt has hardly taken a break - directing, teaching, plus acting in prisons, tele-movie Clare, and feature film For Good, among many other roles.
Award-winning actor Jennifer Ludlam has played a range of strong female characters in TV shows such as Cover Story, Gloss, and Undercover. She spent time in Australia appearing in a number of dramas including Prisoner and Sons and Daughters. Returning to New Zealand, Ludlam starred in Sima Urale’s feature film Apron Strings.
For more than two decades, Shirley Horrocks has been creating documentaries focussing on key figures from the New Zealand arts scene. Among her works are docos about photographer Marti Friedlander, artist Len Lye and playwright Roger Hall. She has also directed two science related films – Venus: A Quest and Paul Callaghan: Dancing with Atoms.
Cushla Dillon was a newbie editor when she worked on the TV series and film Topless Women Talk about Their Lives. Dillon won an NZ Film editing award for her work on the movie, then went on to cut an impressive list of documentaries, shorts and feature films. Notable documentaries she has worked on include The Price of Peace and The Confessions of Prisoner T. Dillon’s feature credits include Orphans & Kingdoms, The Price of Milk and Snakeskin (which she edited with Marcus D'Arcy).
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.
Julian Arahanga shot to fame playing novice gang member Nig Heke in Once Were Warriors.
Guitar-playing yodellers The Topp Twins have been bringing audiences together for decades. As this Funny As interview demonstrates, Jools and Lynda Topp make for a formidable team. Among other topics, they talk about: Six decades of making each other laugh, starting from when they had to share a bath as children Making yodelling funny How an empty petrol tank and a prison cell launched their career; how busking taught them showmanship Protest, politics, loose elastic bands, and the value of "beautiful mistakes" Winning over an audience of London punks How Lynda got married before gay marriage became legal
Graeme Cowley is a cinematographer with an impressive line-up of features to his credit including Smash Palace, Utu, and Carry Me Back (which he also produced). Cowley also set up pioneering equipment hire company Film Facilities with Nigel Hutchinson, to bolster the range of camera equipment available to independent filmmakers. He was a prime mover behind the restoration of Utu, Utu Redux.
Director, actor and ex-stand-up comedian Danny Mulheron has a take no prisoners approach to comedy — and to interviews. Among other topics, this Funny As conversation sees Mulheron: Doing a foul-mouthed impression of teacher Mr Gormsby — the stand-up character who featured in Mulheron's comedy series Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby Describing finding most of the show's "fantastic" cast of high school students on location in Wainuiomata — "they knew what it was like to be outcast" Recalling how Peter Jackson puppet movie Meet the Feebles was made to be "as grotesque, and stupid and offensive" as possible — and being asked to mock-execute someone, while dressed in his hippo costume Remembering the reaction to pioneering Pasifika TV comedy The Semisis — "We were mobbed in Ōtāhuhu in KFCs, but avoided in Ponsonby" Talking about his dislike of puns, being a "grotesque" actor, and past adventures in Hollywood