Big Screen Symposium

Ted Hope
Ted Hope In the early 90s, American independent film burst on the media scene with the promise of new visions, new stories, and new approaches. Ted Hope was among the first producers to emerge from the pack and remains one of the few consistently delivering vital and exciting new work. As times, platforms, and tastes change, Ted’s [Read More]
Gillian Armstrong
Gillian Armstrong Director Gillian Armstrong has been making award-winning films and documentaries since the seventies including My Brilliant Career, Oscar and Lucinda, Charlotte Grey and Little Women. Gillian was born in Melbourne. She discovered her passion for film at Swinburne Art School, graduating in 1971.   After a year in Sydney as an assistant editor, she was one [Read More]
Ben Lewin
Ben Lewin Ben Lewin’s career as a writer and director is spread across three continents and includes award-winning documentaries, feature films, TV movies, mini-series and episodic programs. Born in Poland in 1946, he migrated to Australia with his family in 1949.  As a young man, Lewin showed great passion for photography and creative writing, and also studied [Read More]
Sam Neill
Sam Neill Sam Neill has appeared in more than 60 feature films, from Kiwi classics and British dramas to Hollywood blockbusters. He also co-directed the acclaimed Cinema of Unease (1995), a documentary about New Zealand film which The New York Times labelled the highlight of the Century of Cinema series. Sam Neill entered the world as Nigel Neill, born in Omagh, Northern Ireland [Read More]
Rob Sarkies
Rob Sarkies Robert Sarkies made his first film when he was 10. By his early 20s his shorts were winning accolades at international festivals. He made his feature debut with Scarfies, following it with Out of the Blue, an acclaimed dramatisation of the Aramoana murders.  Both features earned 1.2 million at the NZ box office and won [Read More]
Alun Bollinger
Alun Bollinger Born in 1948, Alun’s extensive career began at the age of 17 as a cinecamera trainee with the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation where he shot news, current affairs and documentaries for television. After leaving the Corporation, aged 20, he became a freelancer, although he didn’t use the term at the time, and was involved with [Read More]
Robin Scholes
Robin Scholes Robin Scholes graduated from Auckland and Edinburgh universities, becoming a lecturer at both Essex and Auckland Universities in Art History and Film Studies. She then went on to work for TVNZ, writing, directing and producing documentaries and various studio and magazine shows. In 1980 she attended the New York Film School as a Fulbright Scholar. [Read More]
Keith Thompson
Keith Thompson Keith Thompson is an eight-time Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE Award winning screenwriter, who has twice won the Major AWGIE Award for the best script of the year. His feature film Clubland screened at Sundance in 2007, where it was picked up for U.S. and international distribution.  His adaptation of The Sapphires, with co-writer Tony Briggs, [Read More]
Timothy White
Timothy White Timothy is one of Australia & New Zealand’s most experienced producers. He is a graduate of University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts.  His credits include: Nadia Tass’ Malcolm (AFI Best Film 1986); Spotswood, starring Anthony Hopkins and Russell Crowe; Cosi, starring Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths; Michael Rymer’s Angel Baby (AFI Best Film 1995); [Read More]
Christopher Gordon
Christopher Gordon Christopher Gordon is based in Sydney. His recent concert commissions include Lightfall for Horn and Orchestra and Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra (Sydney Symphony), Freefall (Sydney Omega Ensemble), Chaconne (Australian Chamber Orchestra), Loose Canon (Tucana Flute Quartet), Night Is What Remains and a number works for choir and orchestra including pieces for Gondwana Voices [Read More]
Dana Rotberg
Dana Rotberg Mexican filmmaker Dana Rotberg has lived and worked as a director, writer and producer in Mexico, France and Bosnia & Herzegovina.  She is currently living in Auckland, New Zealand. While still living in Mexico Rotberg directed her first film, the feature length documentary Elvira Luz Cruz: Pema Maxima (1985).  It was awarded Best Documentary by [Read More]
John Barnett
John Barnett John Barnett is CEO of South Pacific Pictures, NZ’s leading film and TV producer. South Pacific Pictures is dedicated to telling New Zealand stories to New Zealand audiences and to the world. It would be hard to find any New Zealander who hasn’t watched a South Pacific Pictures’ production – from Shortland Street to Outrageous [Read More]
Chris Guise
Chris Guise Chris has also been involved in the Weta Workshop design studio on a wide variety of other projects, including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Black Sheep, King Kong and the television shows Jane and the Dragon and The WotWots. In 2006, Chris was hired as Weta Workshop’s Lead Conceptual Designer for the 2011 Steven Spielberg film The Adventures of Tintin [Read More]
Gaylene Preston
Gaylene Preston Gaylene Preston’s award-winning work has screened extensively at international festivals including Venice, Sundance, Toronto, London, Chicago, Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand. Her last film, Home by Christmas, won critical and popular acclaim and is one of the top 15 grossing New Zealand films of all time at the NZI box office. Gaylene’s career has spanned [Read More]
Paora Joseph
Paora Joseph Paora Te Oti Takarangi Joseph is of Atihau-a-Papaarangi and Nga Rauru descent, from Kaiwhaiki Pa, near Whanganui, which is affiliated to Parihaka through longstanding family and political connections. He was given his Maori name, Te Oti Takarangi, in memory of the ancestor who led his people to Parihaka to support the philosophy of peace practiced [Read More]
Tim Coddington
Tim Coddington Tim Coddington has over 30 years experience in the industry. Starting as assistant director and first assistant director on many titles including Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Tim went on to establish a number of award-winning film and TV production companies including Silverscreen Productions Ltd (Wellington, NZ), Rolling Films Ltd (Auckland, NZ) and Port Productions NZ [Read More]
Pietra Brettkelly
Pietra Brettkelly Independent filmmaker Pietra Brettkelly is fiercely passionate about what she considers to be the most exciting and innovative element of film and television production – documentary film making. Pietra was the first NZ documentary director to have a film in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Her film, The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins [Read More]

Panellists and Moderators

Leanne Saunders
Leanne Saunders Leanne gained a foothold in the industry with Working Title Films and attached sales company Manifesto Film Sales, UK. On return to New Zealand she worked as an in-house and freelance production manager before establishing herself as a producer of short form drama, commonly known as TV commercials. She launched as a feature film producer [Read More]
Roger Horrocks
Roger Horrocks Roger Horrocks can offer a long-term perspective on the New Zealand industry since he has been involved with film since the early 1970s, as a champion of film-making, film archiving, and film education. He was a board member of NZ On Air for its first ten years. In 2004 he received an MNZM award for [Read More]
Larry Parr
Larry Parr Larry Parr, Ngāti Hikitanga, Ngāti Raukawa me Muaūpoko A significant figure in New Zealand screen industry, Larry Parr has been making local film and television stories for over 30 years. Larry had a hand in producing some of New Zealand’s most iconic feature films including Sleeping Dogs, Smash Palace and Came a Hot Friday. For [Read More]
Annie Goldson
Annie Goldson Annie Goldson has been producing and directing award-winning documentaries, docudramas and experimental film/video for 20 years in the United States and New Zealand. Her best-known titles include Punitive Damage, Georgie Girl, Elgar’s Enigma, and An Island Calling. All titles have also garnered major awards at international film festivals and have screened widely throughout broadcast outlets, including PBS, HBO, Channel 4 [Read More]
Shuchi Kothari
Shuchi Kothari Shuchi Kothari is a screenwriter, producer, and academic. Both her co-written feature films Firaaq and Apron Strings premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2008.  Her films have screened at festivals as diverse as Telluride, Venice, Cannes, and Pusan. Shuchi has also produced and executive produced award- winning short films including Six Dollar Fifty Man which was shortlisted for an [Read More]
Oscar Kightley
Oscar Kightley Oscar Kightley was born in Samoa and immigrated to New Zealand with his mother when he was four years old. Oscar first recognised his ability to make people laugh when he was a school boy, and at Rutherford High he developed his skills in humour and English (but not maths!) further. Following a cadetship at [Read More]
Kate Rodger
Kate Rodger Kate Rodger is TV3’s 3News entertainment reporter and Film3 reviewer, a self-confessed addict of all things cinema. Over her past decade with 3News, her job has taken her all over New Zealand and all over the world, covering film premieres, visiting movie sets, shooting interviews and filing from as far afield as Egypt, Rome, Samoa, [Read More]
Tui Ruwhiu
Tui Ruwhiu Tui (Nga Puhi) is a producer with more than 20 years experience domestically and internationally in film video, television, and marketing communications. In recent years Tui has focused firmly on film while working as both a marketing communications consultant and TV director. He has a slate of features in development under the Tauihu Media banner [Read More]
Michelle Savill
Michelle Savill After completing her Bachelor of Media Arts with Honours, her student film Betty Banned Sweets, was accepted into several high profile, international film festivals including Melbourne International Film Festival 2008 where she was invited to participate in the Melbourne International Film Festival ‘Accelerator’ Programme.  The film went on to screen at Gijon International Film Festival 2008, Aspen Short Film Festival 2009, [Read More]
Rena Owen
Rena Owen Rena Owen’s electrifying lead performance in the New Zealand classic feature film, Once Were Warriors, garnered her universal rave reviews and multiple international Best Actress Awards. Lindsay Shelton of the NZFC declared her to be, “The pre-eminent cinema Actress of her generation”. David Denby stated, “Owen’s performance is classic!” Roger Ebert proclaimed, “You don’t often [Read More]
Michael Eldred
Michael Eldred Michael Eldred started his career in 1994 with Dendy Films in Australia, shortly before that company launched the highly successful Once Were Warriors to Australian audiences. He went on to roles with Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Dendy Cinemas & Hoyts Distribution before relocating to New Zealand in 2005. In that territory he set up the local [Read More]
Catherine Bisley
Catherine Bisley Catherine Bisley is a Wellington based writer and director. She grew up in rural communities all over the North Island and is of Ngāpuhi (Te Kapotai, Ngati Hau), Danish, and Scottish descent. At age 12, her ambition in life was to be a goat farmer; now, aged 26, one of the films she is developing [Read More]
Ant Timpson
Ant Timpson Ant Timpson has been involved with exhibition, distribution and production since 1987. He is the founder of the following national 
film operations: Incredibly Strange Film Festival, 48Hours, Cinema
 Circus, Secret Cinema, Make My Movie and the 24Hour Movie Marathon. His 48 Hours event attracts 10,000 participants and is in its 10th
 year. He has exec-produced [Read More]
Philippa Campbell
Philippa Campbell Philippa has produced five New Zealand feature films, including the acclaimed  RAIN, which premiered in competition in Cannes, Sundance award winner NO.2, BLACK SHEEP, winner of 3 international awards, and the  genre-busting RUBBINGS FROM A LIVE MAN. She is currently producing Jane Campion’s international television mini-series TOP OF THE LAKE starring Elisabeth Moss.   [Read More]
Dave Gibson
Dave Gibson Dave Gibson is one of the leading producers in the New Zealand film and television industry with his Wellington based company, the Gibson Group.  His career started in 1974 when he began producing and directing educational programmes. Since then Dave has produced feature films and television programmes that have sold in over eighty countries worldwide. [Read More]
Vanessa Alexander
Vanessa Alexander Vanessa Alexander is a multi award-winning writer, director and producer. She earned her place in the industry by writing and directing a feature film for $US 100,000: offbeat buddy movie Magik and Rose went on to screen at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival Forum for low-budget features, and win a jury prize at the Oporto [Read More]
Christina Milligan
Christina Milligan Christina Milligan is executive producer of Tearepa Kahi’s feature Mt Zion, which is currently in post-production in Auckland, and producer of Tony Forster’s feature documentary The Accidental Berliner, which completes principal photography in Berlin in November 2012. Her recent projects include the telefeature Nights in the Gardens of Spain, based on the novel by Witi [Read More]
Nick Ward
Nick Ward When Nick was very young one of his teachers wrote this on a report card: “Nicholas should spend more time concentrating on what is going on in the classroom and less time staring out the window.” To date that is the worse piece of advice he has ever received. The best stuff is always happening [Read More]
Leanne Pooley
Leanne Pooley Leanne Pooley is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished documentary filmmakers having directed over 20 films. In 2011 Leanne’s work was recognised by the New Zealand Arts Foundation and she was made a New Zealand Arts Laureate. Born and raised in Canada, she immigrated to New Zealand in the mid-1980s and began working in the [Read More]
Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller Andrew Miller is a film programmer for Event Cinemas, specialising in utilising their digital screens to open doors for non-traditional films, with a personal focus on supporting local filmmakers wherever possible. Recent projects include launching The (unofficial) Kiwi Movie Month (and a bit), leading a digital re-release of Footrot Flats for its 25th Anniversary and [Read More]
Emily Anderton
Emily Anderton Prior to returning to NZ in 2010, Emily was based in London where she was an Executive at the New Cinema Fund of the UK Film Council. She was responsible for a diverse slate of projects including the BAFTA nominated films Submarine (dir Richard Ayoade) and The Arbor (dir Clio Barnard).  She was also involved [Read More]
Tim Riley
Tim Riley Tim Riley was a corporate lawyer for 12 years before he saw the light and crossed over from the dark side. He now specialises in film and TV, general commercial, IP and media law. Tim acts for a number of participants across the film and television industries in New Zealand, including producers, industry organisations, directors, [Read More]
Tony Eaton
Tony Eaton Tony Eaton is the Managing Director of the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft, the New Zealand-based program for the Motion Picture Association (MPA). In this role, he works closely with industry, government, law enforcement authorities and educational institutions to promote the interests of the screen community, retailers and consumers and to protect them from [Read More]
Vikram Kumar
Vikram Kumar Vikram has been Chief Executive of InternetNZ since February 2010. InternetNZ is a not-for-profit aimed at protecting and promoting the internet for New Zealand. Prior to that, in New Zealand he has worked for the State Services Commission and Telecom NZ. Vikram is involved in everything to do with the internet and has a particular interest in the social and [Read More]
Lisa Lewis
Lisa Lewis Lisa is the founder of Nacirema Releasing, a new venture licensing NZ film content for digital distribution in North America.  She attended the American Film Institute and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.  In Los Angeles, she worked in the Distribution Division of Cookie Jar Entertainment and for DIC Entertainment where [Read More]
James Thompson
James Thompson James Thompson is Head of Sales & Marketing at the New Zealand Film Commission.  James assumes overall responsibility for domestic and international sales and marketing activities of the New Zealand Film Commission.  He oversees the NZFC’s participation at major international film markets and the development of closer relationships with local and international distributors, film festivals and [Read More]
Paddy Buckley
Paddy Buckley Paddy Buckley is Managing Director of Quickflix NZ. Quickflix is New Zealand’s first on demand streaming movie service, offering a range of films and TV shows on a month-to-month subscription basis as well as latest new release films on Pay Per View.  Content is delivered over the internet and viewed through a growing range of [Read More]
Paul Davis
Paul Davis Paul Davis has worked in the film industry for more than 25 years. He was Producer of New Zealand films Sione’s 2, My Wedding and other Secrets and We’re Here to Help and Executive Producer of the original Sione’s Wedding and The Tattooist. Prior to his recent work in New Zealand, Paul was President of [Read More]
Geoff Lealand
Geoff Lealand Geoff Lealand teaches at the University of Waikato ( and is co-editor of the Directory of World Cinema: Australia and New Zealand (Intellect Books, UK).  He also wrote  the chapter  on “The Peter Jackson Era” in New Zealand Film: An Illustrated History (Te Papa Press) and has developed a website devoted to Cinemas of New [Read More]
Simon Riera
Simon Riera Born in Manchester the same year the Beatles were awarded the MBE, Simon Riera emigrated to New Zealand with his family when he was around ten. While studying geology at Otago University he worked as an extra on car chase movie Shaker Run (1985). Riera was hooked. With his graduation papers and 87 application letters [Read More]
Anna Jackson
Anna Jackson Anna is the co-director of Transmedia NZ, an organisation that seeks to promote the development of transmedia production in New Zealand, and is a partner at Virtuo, a multi-disciplinary collective specialising in creative and strategic projects using new and emerging technologies. She is currently undertaking a joint PhD at the University of Auckland and The [Read More]
Alexandra Sims
Alexandra Sims Alex Sims is an Associate Professor in Commercial Law at the University of Auckland. Alex’s main area of research, publication and teaching is copyright law. She has published extensively on intellectual property law and other aspects of commercial law in both New Zealand and internationally. [Read More]
Kathryn Burnett
Kathryn Burnett Kathryn Burnett is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, and script development consultant who has worked in film and television for over 18 years. She currently has several feature projects in development and runs her BrainStorm workshops  in addition to script consulting on several feature films. Last year she produced a season of her play “Mike & Virginia” (co-writer Nick [Read More]