Please note: The programme may change without notice
Collect your lanyards from the registration desk in the foyer.
Five storytellers Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman), Cole Myers (Rūrangi), Emma Slade (SWAG), Maru Nihoniho (Metia Interactive) and Leanne Pooley (We Need to Talk About A.I.) deliver mini keynote addresses based on our theme Transforming Culture. They will present their ideas on the transformative power of story and the transformation the screen sector is currently experiencing, each from their own unique point of view and relevant to their recent work.
Sebastián Lelio gives a masterclass on the film experience, conceived as a two-way dialogue between filmmaker and spectator. A film does not exist in the void, it comes life when perceived by another living creature. It can offer new perspectives, transmit emotions and throw new light on what is observed. Narrative choices can be political acts. The filmmaker's crisis is the line between offering possibilities and pushing a message. Films should pose questions rather than give answers. Sebastián will use examples from his Academy Award-winning feature film A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica) to demonstrate ways a filmmaker can offer opportunities to a spectator to reframe how they see the world.
Optional lunchtime Meet & Greet with NZFC. Here's an opportunity to meet the faces behind NZFC's Talent Development and Rautaki Māori Teams. Head up to the Villa Maria Room on Level 3 - but don't forget to have lunch which is served in the foyer. Dale Corlett (Head of Talent Development), Jude McLaren (Talent Pathways Manager), Ange Senior (Talent Development Executive), Karen Waaka-Tibble (Rautaki Maori Pouwhakahaere) and Chantelle Watts (Rautaki Māori Co-Ordinator).
Hear from producer, director, editor Arielle Kilker (Cheer, Last Chance U, Chef's Table) via live stream as she delves into what it means to ‘write’ for a documentary series. Arielle will cover finding the story across the series format including the external narrative, individual conflict, and overall theme; how to keep the heart of a character’s backstory in the present tense; simplifying story for efficiency and dramatic impact while still honouring truth and integrity. She will also talk about effectively utilising cinema verité in combination with montage, and the different effects each strategy produces. Introduction by Cass Avery.
Sophie Henderson is a New Zealand screenwriter who has had three of her feature films produced - Fantail (2014), Baby Done (2020) and The Justice of Bunny King (2021). In this masterclass she will delve into the emotional high stakes of screenwriting for both writer and character. You will learn about building a story with empathy to connect with an audience, fighting for authenticity over likeability, and putting your whole self into your script. Sophie believes in embracing both good and evil notes and that crying into your laptop is pretty normal.
Session description coming soon!
The directors of five soon to be released feature films share a never-before-seen clip from their film and talk about what drove them to make it. Briar Grace-Smith and Ainsley Gardiner with Cousins, Linda Niccol with Poppy, Florian Habicht with James & Isey, Matthew Saville with Juniper and Roseanne Liang with Shadow in the Cloud. Strictly no photographs or audio-visual recordings are to be taken during this session.
Fish Entertainment, the long-form division of Flying Fish hosts our 2020 Big Screen Symposium Networking Drinks. BSS Ticket holders head along to Studio 230, 230 Ponsonby Road, Auckland to celebrate and socialise with your fellow filmmakers.
In the wake of Covid-19, the Government announced a screen sector recovery package. This package includes a Screen Production Fund of $50m to support the production of high-quality feature films or series dramas that tell strong Aotearoa New Zealand stories with international appeal. This session will deliver the most up to date information about what is now known as the Premium Production for International Audience Fund. It is jointly administered between the NZFC and NZ On Air, and is developed in partnership with Te Māngai Pāho.
NZ On Air will outline the challenges, ideas and opportunities ahead as we all try to put 2020 behind us. How do we get local content in front of fragmenting audiences and young New Zealanders in particular? How do we achieve authenticity for diverse audiences? If there’s a year to transform culture, it is 2021.
Writers dream up characters for actors to bring to life. Actors know what makes a good screenplay. So when an actor puts themselves in the screenwriting chair, their unfair advantage is that they will write scripts for actors to fall in love with. Whether they are creating work for themselves or just want to be the boss of the story world, they have a deep understanding of character and bring unique skills and experience to the writing process. And for writers who play the lead role, their connection to the character and reason for writing them can give a depth and specificity to a performance that has the potential for magic. Actor-writers Sophie Henderson (Baby Done, Fantail) and Hanelle Harris (Sis, Baby Mama’s Club) along with filmmaker turned actor David White (This Town, Meat) discuss with moderator Jonny Brugh (Educators) how story and character can be developed and deepened through thinking like an actor and what the disciplines of writing and acting lend each other.
Purge 2020 and get ready for 2021 in this fun, creative recharge workshop with Rachel Davies. You’ll harvest the learnings from 2020 and start saying goodbye to this big year. Then get clear about what’s most important for you in 2021 and use visioning techniques to usher this in. Rachel has a decade of broad training in the healing arts, including a few years studying at the legendary Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. Previous to this, she spent two decades winning awards as a director and editor in the New Zealand film industry.
Annabelle Sheehan, CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission and other key NZFC staff, will explore this year’s BSS theme of Transforming Culture as it relates to existing and upcoming programs at NZFC. Key issues such as the impact of COVID-19 and the outlook for the NZ and global industry will also be explored along with a celebration of the sector’s creative and economic achievements in the past year.
Optional lunchtime Meet & Greet with NZ On Air. Here's an opportunity to meet the faces behind NZ On Air. Head up to the Villa Maria Room on Level 3 - but don't forget to have lunch which is served in the foyer. Cameron Harland (Chief Executive), Amie Mills (Head of Funding), Glenn Usmar (Associate Head of Funding -Applications), Benedict Reid (Associate Head of Funding - Business Affairs), Yvette Waikari (Funding Advisor), Heperi Mita (Funding Advisor), Steven Gannaway (Funding Analyst), Conall Aird (Business Affairs Assistant), Sophie Howard (Comms/Publicity Advisor).
In this case study, Savage director Sam Kelly and producer Vicky Pope will share what they learned from the unforeseen pitfalls and breakthroughs of an ambitious project.
Scott Ryan, creator, writer and star of the exceptional drama series Mr Inbetween, joins BSS for a live streamed conversation. FX has renewed this crime drama for a third season which is currently in production. Scott is the sole writer and Nash Edgerton is the sole director across the seasons. Mr Inbetween is based the 2005 feature film The Magician, which was also written by and stars Scott Ryan.
André Nemec, showrunner and an EP on the Netflix series Cowboy Bebop closes the symposium with an In Conversation session about his career and the projects he has worked on. André has written and produced a broad range of film and TV projects - most recently an EP on 2020 series High Fidelity and writer/producer of animation film Wonder Park. André also wrote and produced feature films Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.