This Vice documentary, made as part of its women's suffrage series, asks four past and present politicians — Golriz Ghahraman, Paula Bennett, Louisa Wall and former Prime Minister Helen Clark — about their experience of being a female MP in Aotearoa. It's a mixed picture. Clark celebrates the fact that issues facing half the population are now being addressed by a more equal Parliament, but Ghahraman, whose family fled Iran for New Zealand, regularly receives abusive communications. While each politician responds differently, they all share strong personal beliefs.
The physical and mental demands of competitive kickboxing and Muay Thai ramp up considerably in the weeks leading up to big fights. Made to mark 125 years of women's suffrage, this Vice documentary follows preparations by female fighters for the Lethal Ladies tournament in Panmure, Auckland — where 28 fierce women try to punch and kick their way to victory. Wendy Talbot, a 'street fighter' who's given everything to her sport is pitted against 'dark horse' Kelly Broerse. Legendary fighter turned coach Baby 'The Pitbull' Nansen also features.
In Gaylene Preston's documentary, seven elderly women recall their personal experiences of World War II. Their intimate, unadorned stories are filmed talking heads style, interspersed with personal photographs and period newsreel clips. From tragic love stories to long-suppressed revelations of sex and death, War Stories is a revealing touchstone of New Zealand history. It received international acclaim. LA Times writer Kevin Thomas enthused that Preston takes "a simple idea and turns it into a rich, universal experience".
British-born Malcolm Hall moved from newspaper journalism into television, after emigrating downunder. Since then his career as a producer and director has seen him helming current affairs, comedy, children's TV, and varied documentaries which have screened around the globe. At the turn of the millennium, Hall began making television for company NHNZ.
Australian-raised Melanie Rodriga (née Read) moved to New Zealand in 1977, and worked as an editor. After adapting Keri Hulme story Hooks and Feelers, she wrote and directed feminist thriller Trial Run in 1983. In 1988 Rodriga was a best director finalist for pioneering TV drama The Marching Girls. Rodriga now lectures in film at Perth’s Murdoch University and continues to make and develop films.
Kip Chapman hit the mainstream via 80 episodes on Shortland Street, playing Waverley's country cousin Eltham Wilson. In 2005 he starred in Cannes-invited short, Nothing Special, as a man whose mother thinks he is Jesus. Award-nominated as "ultimate hedonist" Levi in TV drama The Hothouse, Chapman also acted in The Cult, Top of the Lake and The Brokenwood Mysteries. He has been even busier in theatre: founder of the Auckland Theatre Awards, he co-created globetrotting interactive hit Apollo 13 and Hudson and Halls Live!, and directed acclaimed suffrage musical That Bloody Woman.
Marcia Russell, OBE, blazed a trail for women working in print and screen journalism. Her TV work ranged from reporting and documentary making, to Beauty and the Beast panelist, and a key role in the creation of TV3. She was behind the award-winning Revolution series (surveying 80s Labour government reforms), and contributed to major series Landmarks and The New Zealand Wars. Russell died on 1 December 2012.
Jodie Hillock's first screen role was as a child, in 1993 television series White Fang. A decade later she began studying acting at drama school Toi Whakaari. Since then Hillock has appeared in a run of screen roles, from television to short films and features (The Inland Road). In 2012 telemovie What Really Happened - Votes for Women she played legendary women's suffrage campaigner Ada Wells. In 2019 Hillock took on a major role in miniseries The Bad Seed as embittered Karen Lampton, who discovers her husband is an adulterer and a murder suspect. Hillock is also the writer of 2019 short film Arrow.