2015 Writers’ Lab Aotearoa& FilmUp applications

December 18 2014

Taken from Script to Screen newsletter.

After a stellar year, the Writers' Lab Aotearoa and FilmUp will both be back in 2015 - empowering talented filmmakers with programmes crafted to each individual. Make sure you'll be in a strong position to apply for these Script to Screen initiatives in the new year.

Our Writers' Lab Aotearoa is a five-day intensive residential lab for writers of feature films, and for the first time next year, episodic drama. Selection for this initiative is based on distinctive voice and the strength of a full feature draft or a pilot episode and series outline.

Last year's mentors included Oscar winning screenwriter David Seidler (The Kings Speech), longstanding Sundance mentor screenwriter Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Mexican writer/director Dana Rotberg (White Lies), and our own Briar Grace Smith (The Strength of Water). Applications will open in the new year and close April, with the lab running from July 7th-12th.

FilmUp returns for its third year and we will once again be seeking producers, directors, writers and script developers with proven talent in order to help you take the next step in your creative career. This year's mentors included Australian screenwriters Keith Thompson (The Sapphires) and Alice Bell (Suburban Mayhem) and producer Helen Bowden (The Slap).

Both programmes have been hugely rewarding to work on and Script to Screen thanks all the filmmakers: participants, mentors and speakers, who have given their time so generously.

Any questions about the initiatives can be directed to, or give us a call at the office 09 360 5400.

FilmUp and the Writers' Lab Aotearoa are made possible with financial support by the New Zealand Film Commission.

How to Survive in Hollywood

November 11 2014

Taken from Metro, by Frances Morton.

Sunshine and bright lights, heatache and hope. It's tough being a Kiwi actor in LA.

On Fountain Avenue in West Hollywood is an elegant 1920s stucco building with a turret and a turquoise swimming pool out back that's become known as the unofficial New Zealand embassy.

It's home to actress Fleur Saville, former home of Rose McIver and Gin Wigmore and emergency housing, support office and function venue for New Zealand actors and filmmakers touching down at LAX on a wave of confidence.

Saville meets me at the door, petite and blonde with those familiar pretty pointy features that always get her on casting lists for an English elf. There's a suitcase in the hallway belonging to an Auckland director, in town briefly and staying on the couch. A life-sized photograph of Humphrey bogart hovers above the stairway.

"Marilyn Monroe supposedly used to write here," says Saville as we step into her office.

"I didn't know Marilyn Monroe wrote," I say. "Exactly," she replies.

Whether it's true or not, it's a great rumour, and the dark-panelled room has a convincing old-Hollywood vibe.

Read the full article here.

In Memorium - Robert Tripe 1973-2014

November 05 2014

Tripe, Robert John Rostrevor

Sadly lost the long battle with his black dog – peacefully in Auckland on Sunday 2nd November 2014, a cherished son of John & Diana, much loved brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend to so many.

If you wish to remember Robbbie please donate to the Mental Health Foundation or plant an native tree in his memory.

NZFC Professional Development Awards

October 31 2014

Writer/director Guy Pigden was awarded a Professional Development Award of $4,777 to attend the screening of, and participate in a Q & A for, I Survived a Zombie Holocaust at the L.A. Screamfest Film Festival in October.

Actor Cameron Rhodes was awarded a Professional Development Award of $1,900 to attend the Equity 75 Summit of Creativity and Diversity 2014 in Sydney in October. This two-day conference includes workshops, panel debates, and roundtable discussions.


Kiwi actress Gwendoline Taylor named the face of Silent Assembly

October 23 2014

Taken from Silent Assembly.

Kiwi actress Gwendoline Taylor has been named the face of Silent Assembly's 2015 Spring / Summer Collection - Ether.

The effortlessly stylish 26-year-old is best known for her role as Sibyl on the hit US television show, Spartacus.

Read the full article here.

Nancy Brunning heads to Canada

October 03 2014

Taken from Creative NZ.

Acclaimed Maori actor and director, and now writer, Nancy Brunning will shortly leave for Canada to participate in The Banff Centre's Indigenous Writing Programme over the coming weeks.

The opportunity is funded by Creative New Zealand as part of its International Cultural Exchange Programme. It will allow Nancy to develop her writing as part of a vibrant community of a distinguished faculty and fellow writers from September to December.

The Banff Centre is on of the world's largest arts and creativity incubators. Its Indigenous Writing Programme encourages the artistic and creative development of indigenous writers and storytellers. The programme comprises two weeks of intensive writing time at The Banff Centre followed by 10 weeks working online from home or a work space with a mentor (editor).

Read the full article here.

Lucy Lawless: Hungry children - the hidden toll

September 12 2014

Social scientists and doctors from the Child Poverty Action Group are up in arms because more than a quarter of a million Kiwi children are living beneath the breadline.

Who are these kids? I can't see them from my suburb. And why the hell should my family's tax dollars be spent on people who can't or won't look after their own?

The concept of being my brother's keeper is totally out of fashion. When I was a kid we were always raising money for the "pagan babies", but we are now hardened to the plight of people we can't see or don't understand.

But here's the truth: we are already paying for the offspring of poverty.

Hungry children are sick children. Sick children make poor students who struggle to become productive members of society. Feeding children in schools is a smart strategy. More accomplished students will profit all New Zealand in the long run.

Some wonderful individuals and companies have generated breakfast programmes in some of our neediest schools but we need a cross-party pact to prioritise the ethical treatment of little people.

Doctors from CPAG say the effect of totally preventable, poverty-related diseases on our hospitals' budgets is significant and about to snowball. A great deal of this stems from the wretched standard of housing we find acceptable in NZ.

Read the full article here.

Lucy Lawless: Much ado about nothing? I think not

August 29 2014

Crikey dick! The media has been fraught with drama these past two weeks. Everyone on talkback says that they're sick of hearing about "the Hager saga" but they obviously didn't read any of it. It is riveting.

The hardest creatures you've ever heard spew forth are the loathsome stars of Dirty Politics. From an actor's point of view, the dialogue is irresistible. Playing Crusher Collins is a dream role that I may one day have to arm-wrestle Robyn Malcolm for. (I suspect I'll lose and have to settle for Cactus Kate.)

And the malevolent males are beyond Shakespeare's villains, whose conflicted selves produced the great soliloquies. No such trouble for Slater & Co, whose revelations come by way of pathological boasting. Excessive pride exposes what Nabokov called "the streak of stupidity that fatally runs through even the most competent tyranny".

Their lust for power is grotesque. Who's more powerful than the king? A kingmaker.

Read the full article here.

Amanda Billing tours with Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra

August 20 2014

Amanda Billing features on the Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra's upcoming album Be Mine Tonight, due for release Friday 7th November.

She will be joining the band for the national tour, kicking off in Dunedin on November 8th, where the band will pay tribute to the best of Kiwi music with audiences up and down the country, finishing up in the band's hometown of Wellington where they will play two very special nights at the James Cabaret on 5th and 6th December.

The album is sure to surprise and delight with its characteristically unpredictable mix of well-known contemporary and classic songs. It features special guests including Lisa Tomlins (fresh off a world tour with Neil Finn), Hawaiian ukulele artist Pi’ikea Clark and Canadian ukulele star James Hill.

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra are renowned for their unique combination of charming humour, disarmingly small instruments, sublime musicality and hilarious audience participation - a joyful formula that has been in hot demand worldwide.

Last year, the band wowed crowds at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and sold out the prestigious Union Chapel in London, with UK critics raving: “These guys and girls sing as well as they play - and they play like a dream” and “The party hit of this year’s Fringe” (STV Scotland); “Great chemistry, genuine warmth; the show climaxes to rapturous applause” (Festival Journal).

for more information on their upcoming tour visit the WIOU website

Toi Whakaari Auckland visit

July 14 2014

Taken from Toi Whakaari newsletter.

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School
is heading up to the 'big smoke' this August! We'll be getting in touch with individual schools very shortly, if you'd like us to visit your school feel free to get in touch with us as well (just reply to this email). We're interested in talking to folk about the training options available at our kura, particularly our Entertainment Technology, Design for Stage & Screen, Performing Arts Management and Costume Construction courses.

As well as visiting individual schools we'll also be hosting more general information evenings in different areas each night from 6.30 - 7.30pm, with staff, graduates and current students on hand to talk to anyone interested in the school. Here's where we'll be:

Monday 4th:         The Pumphouse Theatre, Takapuna (NORTH)
Tuesday 5th:        Metro Theatre, Mangere (SOUTH)
Wednesday 6th:   PIPA (Pacific Institute of Perf. Arts), Avondale (WEST)
Thursday 7th:       The Vault - Q Theatre, Central Auckland (CENTRAL)
Friday 8th:            Uxbridge Arts (Te Whare Ora), Howick (EAST)

We look forward to seeing you very soon!
Ngā mihi mahana, Craig & Louise.
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