2022 ProgrammeDownload a printable version of the programme here.
Collect your lanyards from the registration desk in the main foyer between 8.00 and 8:55am. If you arrive after 9:00am registration will move to the BSS information desk.
Our opening session is an exploration of our theme Mana Auaha – Creative Power through the eyes of six creatives in roles integral to the outcome of many Aotearoa films and series you know and love. Composer Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper (Shadow in the Cloud, Creamerie), colourist Alana Cotton (The Luminaries, Bellbird), unit stills photographer Kirsty Griffin (The Power of the Dog, The Justice of Bunny King), costume designer Jane Holland (Juniper, Cowboy Bebop), editor Jabez Olssen (The Beatles: Get Back, The Hobbit) and production designer Ra Vincent (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok) will deliver mini-keynotes, sharing insights into their creative process and what Mana Auaha – Creative Power means to them as they help shape a vision to make resonant and distinctive work.
Shaun Grant will join us in person from Australia to talk screenwriting. Shaun’s most recent feature film, Nitram, about the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania premiered In Competition at Cannes in 2021. It was the first Australian film to do so in a decade and it won the prize for Best Actor. Nitram went on to win 8 AACTA Awards, including Best Film and Best Original Screenplay. Shaun’s critically acclaimed debut feature film, Snowtown, directed by Justin Kurzel, was selected for Cannes’ Critic Week in 2011. He has gone on to write screenplays for several feature films including Berlin Syndrome directed by Cate Shortland (2019), Jasper Jones directed by Rachel Perkins (2019), and Penguin Bloom (2020) starring Naomi Watts. Justin and Shaun reunited for True History of the Kelly Gang which premiered at TIFF 2019, opened NZIFF and won several awards including the AWGIE for Feature Film Adaptation. Shaun is a master of adaptation, be it from source material or historic events. He has scripted some dark moments in history with complexity, making them very compelling to watch. Shaun will talk to Rob Sarkies about his recent work, how he creates powerful characters that move an audience, how he turns novels into screenplays and how every writer must find their own truth when adapting true stories.
Twitter or TikTok? Website or Facebook page? Vertical or horizontal? GIFs or videos? And how do you get those Instagram stickers? Content is key for your project’s social media strategy, but how do you work out what you need, who creates it, where and when to post it, and how to ensure that it is authentic to both your story and your audience? Stop sweating the social stuff! You don’t need to know it all, you just need to know your audience. Our expert panel will help you put community at the heart of your social strategy—everything else flows from there. You’ll learn the smartest questions to ask your publicity strategist; how to plan, schedule and budget the best social campaign for your project; and see some of the latest best-practice, high impact social media examples from Aotearoa and beyond.
Optional lunchtime Meet & Greet with NZ On Air - Ka wātea ki te tūtakitaki haere ki ngā kaimahi i Irirangi te Motu. 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.
Neil Gaiman’s extensive and groundbreaking writing career includes beloved works of fiction, comics, radio drama, film, and series and we are excited to present a BSS 2022 conversation with Neil about his screenwork. Neil has been in Scotland co-showrunning two Amazon Prime series that are adaptations of his novels: Good Omens (2019-22) currently in production for its second season and Anansi Boys, also currently filming. He is possibly best known for his DC comic book series The Sandman first published in 1989. In 2020 the comic books were adapted by Neil and Dirk Maggs into a multicast audiobook for Audible, of which the first two installments are out now and the third is coming late 2022. The Netflix series follows, with Neil executive producing, writing and co-showrunning this live-action adaptation, currently in post-production. This conversation will cover these recent adaptations, discussing the joys and constraints of adapting his stories into a live-action series; bringing worlds and characters he created in the past into the present; and steering these projects in his role as showrunner. Neil will join us via live stream
The Screen Industry Workers Bill (introduced to Parliament in 2020) is expected to pass in the coming months and come into effect before the end of the year. The Bill was designed on unanimously agreed recommendations by industry representatives and proposes a new model to allow screen industry contractors to bargain collectively. This will impact how all screen workers are contracted on screen productions including films, programmes, commercials and games. Come to this session to hear from representatives from industry guilds, associations, unions and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to understand better what this Bill means to you.
NZFC celebrates the creative, cultural and commercial achievements of the sector since BSS 2020. The team will outline the NZFC's focus on supporting the industry through COVID-19, re-engaging internationally, and adopting a strategic approach to change.
Toa Fraser is a writer, director, and producer whose work spanning plays, feature film, and series drama have earned him a formidable reputation in Hollywood. Most recently he has been working as the producing director of the Netflix hit series Sweet Tooth, shot here in Aotearoa and watched by over 60 million households around the globe. For his entire directing career, which started in 2005 in Mt Roskill, Toa Fraser has been battling Parkinson’s Disease, a degenerative brain disease for which there is no cure. During his talk he will share with us some of the challenges that arise when directing with a brain disease and how he’s worked with some of the world’s best actors, athletes, martial artists, and dancers in a quest to ‘transcend this bullshit,’ because art makes this difficult life a little easier. Toa, in conversation with Paula Whetu Jones, will discuss what it’s like directing with PD, his creative process on Sweet Tooth, and what Mana Auaha means to him.
Writing With Fire became the first feature documentary from India to be nominated for an Academy Award. Having broken many records along its journey - a double-winner at Sundance '21, an IDA and PGA nomination for Best Documentary, 33 international awards and over 150 festival selections - Writing With Fire has opened up an industry-wide conversation about how far an independently produced documentary can go. Director-Producer duo Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh will speak about their 6-year journey with the film, about authorship and representation in storytelling, how they produced an independent documentary and the challenges and opportunities of bringing this film to audiences in a hybrid year.
We are excited to present a conversation with celebrated writer director Destin Daniel Cretton. His most recent film is Marvel Studios’ Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings - the first film in the MCU that is led by an Asian actor, and mostly Asian cast. Destin will speak with Roseanne Liang about his experience directing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and his journey developing his directing and storytelling voice through his prior films that brought him to this point in his career. His body of work includes 2013 Sundance and SXSW award winner Short Term 12, and two NY Times best-selling memoir adaptations The Glass Castle and Just Mercy adaptation of the memoir by civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson. He is currently directing and executive producing the highly anticipated Disney+ series American Born Chinese based on the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. Destin will join us via live stream
Series creator Simone Nathan and director Aidee Walker will discuss the process of making a culturally specific, binge-worthy Jewish TV show in New Zealand, from conception through post-production. Along with moderator Alex Casey, they will explore the writing process, the wearing of multiple creative ‘hats’, the joys of working with other female creatives, and the challenges of overcoming budget limitations.
The opportunities for the Aotearoa screen sector far outweigh the challenges, IF the industry can find the voice it needs to shape its own destiny. In a new content landscape, BSS co-creator Matt Horrocks discusses what we need to let go, what to keep, and what we might create, when it comes to the structures that support our industry.
It’s been a minute! NZ On Air is excited to be able to update attendees on what it’s been working on since the last update, and where to from here. CEO Cameron Harland and Head of Funding Amie Mills will take us through topics such as an innovative data framework for pan-sector audience measurement, new radical-sharing frontiers in children’s content, the success of various collaborations including Te Puna Kairangi and the co-fund with Te Māngai Pāho, some insights on what opportunities changes to NZSPG might bring, proposed updates to funding policies in the wake of the NZMF Review, and the win-win of bringing together New Zealand music and local screen content.
This session will study the various phases of Grant’s involvement on The Power of the Dog as a production designer, from first reading the script to the painstaking work in bringing the physical settings to life and shepherding them through the filming process. He will talk in detail about how story and authenticity were the paramount drivers in day-to-day decisions, and the collaborations with a brilliant, creative team of people in the world-building for this highly successful film.
Narrative designers in games and VR, and screenwriters for film and television are all in the business of telling stories but rarely have the opportunity to talk to each other about how they do it. This stimulating session delves into the similarities and differences between the storytelling requirements of each medium, and what practitioners can learn from each other. Games and VR narrative designers excel at world-building, perspective, and theme, offering the audience an addictively immersive experience, while screenwriters for film and television have mastered complex characters and satisfying story arcs. Join our panellists to hear what they have learnt from working in different mediums and what opportunities there are to cross over.
Te Komiti Kanorau Whakaurunga Whakaroto o NZFC (NZFC Diversity and Inclusion Committee) will facilitate a discussion on the recently released He Ara Whakaurunga Kanorau | Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. NZFC staff will talk about the development of the document, key outcomes and plans for implementing the initiatives. Space will be created for an open dialogue on the Strategy, questions, feedback and conversations on diversity and inclusion in the screen sector.
Optional lunchtime Meet & Greet with NZFC - Ka wātea ki te tūtakitaki haere ki ngā kaimahi i Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga. Head up to the Villa Maria Room on Level 3 - but don't forget to have lunch which is served in the foyer.
In this session, four screen industry practitioners will share their experiences developing and creating work as Māori storytellers, building capacity in the industry and their vision for the future of Māori stories on screen. Mia Henry-Tierney (We Are Still Here),Quinton Hita (Ahikāroa), Paula Whetu Jones (Whina) and Blake Ihimaera (Pou - Ārahi Kaupapa/Head of Content, Te Mangai Paho) will speak with Dr. Ella Henry.
Our industry faces enormous sustainability challenges which raise so many questions: What is the environmental impact of the film industry? How can our industry participate in meeting local and international carbon reduction targets? How can we reduce waste in the screen sector? BSS brings you three leading practitioners from the film and sustainability space in Aotearoa to shed light on these questions and more. Each panellist will provide practical tools and information on how we can lift our sustainability game as an industry, to respect our beautiful country. Come to this workshop to be leaders of the change.
As the leading documentarians in India, Rintu and Sushmit began their collaborative journey when they met as batchmates in film school and made their student film together back in 2008. Over the last 13 years, they’ve created award winning short documentaries and this year, their debut feature documentary was nominated for an Oscar. In this session, they get up & close with New Zealand’s documentary filmmakers to talk about their journey and how they use the creative power of documentaries to curate new cultural conversations.
The directors and creators of five soon-to-be-released projects, share a never-before-seen clip and speak about their creative drive and what the project means to them. Tanu Gago with augmented reality experience Atua; Welby Ings with feature film Punch; Briar March with feature documentary Dame Valerie Adams: MORE THAN GOLD; Tearepa Kahi with feature film Muru; and Oscar Kightley and Elizabeth Mitchell with comedy series DUCKROCKERS. Strictly no photographs or audio-visual recordings are to be taken during this session. Tearepa Kahi’s presentation will be pre-recorded.