Staff

Patricia Watson

Patricia Watson

Executive Director

Patricia Watson is the Executive Director of WIFT NZ.  She has had an extensive career in the arts, media and marketing for over 30 years, having held senior executive positions including Country Manager of Fairfax Business Media and CEO of POL Corporate Publications Pty Ltd and POL Equipment Pty Ltd (distributor of various international luxury goods).

As Group Editorial Manager / International Business Development Manager for Pacific Publications and prior to that for many years Editorial Business Manager for Conde Nast Asia Pacific (publisher of the VOGUE titles) she has developed international markets and products (including a television series for children) for Australian magazines in Asia and Europe.

As a marketing consultant clients have included Calvin Klein Asia, various publishers, rights collecting societies and an Australian political leader. Patricia is recognized as a publishing industry expert on copyright and is co-author of the extensive survey and report commissioned by CAL (the Copyright Agency Ltd) on copyright and contractual arrangements in publishing.

She has served on a number of Boards and funding bodies, including many years on the Board of the Sydney Film Festival, and time as Chairman of The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and Chairman and President of The Australian Museum. Patricia returned to New Zealand in 2006 and is on the Auckland Theatre Company Foundation board.

Board

Vanessa Wells

Vanessa Wells

Co-Vice President

Vanessa Wells is a filmmaker and theatre practitioner who has worked in the arts industry for over 20 years.  She currently has a feature documentary on climate change and the Antarctic called The Climate Canary  in production.

Vanessa's debut feature, the documentary film East to East about teenagers completing the Coast to Coast multi-sport event, premiered at NZIFF 2018. 

Working with Vanishing Point Studio on award-winning interactive work such as Give Kate A Voice and Living Flowerwall and a collaborative approach to film has led her to explore the educational and short documentary genre, and in 2018/19 her work led Vanessa to Antarctica twice. The first trip to the Ice produced an educational children’s play (which toured primary schools in late 2020) and also created content for Sesame Street, which has since commissioned a further seven short films from Vanessa's production company Elanti Media. The second trip to the Ice resulted in a short documentary Te Whakairo - premiering at Show Me Shorts Festival 2019 before touring festivals worldwide.

 Vanessa joined WIFT in 2007 and has been on the board since 2015.

Anchali Anandanayagam

Anchali Anandanayagam

Board Member

Anchali is a senior commercial lawyer who has specialised in media, technology and telecommunications for the last 18 years. An expert in all legal aspects of tech, media and telecommunications, Anchali often advises clients in New Zealand and overseas on the regulation of new and emerging technologies, data security and privacy, and the commercialisation of IP, and works with local and international content producers and suppliers to the media sector. Anchali's clients in the media industry range from established media companies and production houses, VFX and post-production companies, and independent producers, directors and writers.

With qualifications from the University of Otago, Anchali gained her experience both here in New Zealand, and London. Anchali is a partner at Hudson Gavin Martin - a leading media, technology and IP law firm - and is a keen advocate of purpose-driven organisations.

Kelly Martin - President

Kelly Martin - President

President

Kelly Martin is the CEO of South Pacific Pictures, New Zealand's leading film and television production company.

Kelly has over 20 years experience in New Zealand television, having worked at both the major networks of TVNZ and Mediaworks TV3 where she managed international acquisition and oversaw local production strategy and commissioning.

Since joining South Pacific Pictures in 2012, Kelly has worked as the Executive Producer of TV2's top rating week night drama serial, Shortland Street as well as a variety of drama projects. They include Nothing TrivialStep Dave, The Bad Seed, The Sounds, The Almighty Johnsons, The Brokenwood Mysteries which is now in its ninth year, and most recently Duckrockers and Far North – a project for Sundance Now (USA), Paramount Plus (Aus), and WB Discovery NZ.

Kelly has been President of both SPADA (Screen Production and Development Association) and WIFT NZ, and is now an active WIFT NZ member. At the 2020 WIFT NZ Awards she received the Great Southern Film & Television Award for Outstanding Contribution to the New Zealand Screen Industry.

Libby Hakaraia

Libby Hakaraia

Board Member

He uri nō Ngāti Kapu me Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Libby Hakaraia has worked as a producer, director and writer in television and film for the past 25 years. Libby is a producer of the 2021 feature film Cousins and 26 short films. She has directed over 20 broadcast documentaries and four award-winning short dramas that have travelled the globe.

Libby is passionate about the role of the storyteller and about carving out opportunities for Māori and Indigenous filmmakers and artists.
For the past ten years she has led the successful rapid growth of the Māoriland Film Festival, now the largest Indigenous film festival in the Southern hemisphere. She has spearheaded the establishment of the Māoriland Hub and the strategy of the Māoriland Charitable Trust to be a centre of excellence for Māori Film and Creative Arts. Māoriland has implemented successful filmmaking training for rangatahi Māori by rangatahi across Aotearoa. In 2020 Libby and her team established MATCH - the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub for rangatahi to enter the animation and other digital creative industries.
Libby was the 2019 WIFT Entrepreneur of the Year and was awarded a Member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to film and media in 2022.

Miranda Rivers

Miranda Rivers

Board member

Miranda is a Casting Director and co-founder of The Casting Company. Working in Aotearoa New Zealand for the last 20-plus years, Miranda has extensive casting skills and has worked on a wide range of films, from big-budget studio to indie. She was Casting Director on award-winning films such as Avatar, The Hobbit Trilogy, King Kong, Daffodils, Home By Christmas, Savage, Slow West and Juniper.
Originally from Melbourne where she trained as an actor, Miranda now lives in Wellington with her two children.
She is encouraged by the conversations we are having currently about women in film in regards to gender equality, diversity and champions the new generation of women standing up and having a voice. 
As well as being on the Board for WIFT, Miranda is passionate about improving mental wellbeing in the screen sector and is involved in raising awareness and reducing stigma in this space. Miranda is accredited as a Mental Health First Aider through Te Pou. 

Rouzie Hassanova

Rouzie Hassanova

Board Member

Rouzie Hassanova is an award-winning director based in Aotearoa New Zealand. Originally from Bulgaria, Rouzie's Muslim identity brings a fresh vision to her work. She focuses on character and emotion, drawing out authentic performances with strong themes.

Her credits include several short films that have travelled around the globe and received multiple nominations and awards, the most recent being Song For Serbia which premiered at the Show Me Shorts International Film Festival and Wairoa Māori Film Festival.

Rouzie's debut feature film Radiogram was supported by the Bulgarian National Film Centre, The Polish Film Institute and the Bulgarian National Television, before screening at fifteen international film festivals and winning three awards. The feature is currently streaming on Amazon Prime and SBS Australia.

Rouzie lived and worked in the UK for 20 years gaining experience in finance, distribution, production, post-production and drama development. She has worked with a number of UK and NZ companies including Sweetshop & Green, Libertine Pictures, Great Southern TV, New Zealand Film Commission, Mister Smith Entertainment, and HanWay Films. Rouzie brings a passion for high-end content, market and storytelling insight to her work.

Currently Rouzie is developing a couple of feature films, including Tulpar (supported by Script-to-Screen's FilmUp 21 mentorship) and the Bulgaria-Turkey-Greece set comedy mini-series called The Border (selected for Torino Next 21). She is passionate about working with unique and diverse talent to achieve performances that make people take a moment to contemplate and smile.

Samantha Jukes

Samantha Jukes

Board Member

Samantha is a Post-Production Executive Producer/Senior Producer who works across film, television and advertising. She has previously co-run Envy Studios, where she created their video post department, and produced at Images & Sound. 

She is currently on hiatus from producing while spending time with her toddler and baby. Samantha continues her work as a voice artist, and occasional actor and presenter.

Since 2012 Samantha has been a contributing WIFT NZ member, having created, hosted and moderated many WIFT NZ events.

Samantha brings steerage skills and experience from her time as Chairperson of Bowel Cancer New Zealand. She considers BCNZ’s most significant achievement during her tenure to be gaining government commitment to roll out a national bowel cancer screening programme.

Sophie Cherry

Sophie Cherry

Board Member

With over 16 years in the film industry, in both live action production and VFX, Sophie is currently a VFX Producer at Wētā FX working with clients such as Disney, Netflix, and Warner Brothers. Liaising with top filmmakers, Sophie is responsible for creating and managing multi-million dollar budgets for films such as Lady and The Tramp and The Batman.

Sophie started her VFX career on the TV show, Spartacus. After working at Wētā Digital, Sophie moved to Vancouver, Canada. There, she worked on various projects including, The Walking Dead, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Thor: Ragnarok, and Antman and the Wasp.

Sophie is experienced in on-set production and as an Assistant Director. She has produced several short films which screened at Claremont Ferrand Film Fest (Experimental Section), Vladivostok, and NZIFF.

Sophie has been a longstanding WIFT member after being awarded the Robin Laing WIFT NZ Scholarship in 2007. Grateful for the opportunities that her WIFT membership provides, Sophie would like to provide the same service to up-and-coming women in the industry.

Sharon Menzies

Sharon Menzies

Chair, Producers Professional Programme

Sharon Menzies (Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki) Chair, Producers Professional Programme 

Sharon Menzies' governance experience spans over 15 years and includes chair roles, board positions and advisory positions at national level in both New Zealand and Australia.  

Most notably, Sharon was the Co-President of New Zealand Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) for close to five years where one of her key achievements included proactive discussions with NZFC around the New Zealand Screen Production Grant (NZSPG) criteria, film policy and development funding.  

Sharon is also well-known in the film and television industry for her time as Managing Director of Fulcrum Media Finance, the market leading cashflow financier in Australia and New Zealand, having provided cashflow finance to over 450 film and television projects since its inception. 

In 2020, Sharon was awarded the WIFT Imagezone Entrepreneurship Award and in 2016 Fulcrum was awarded the Services and Facilities Business of the Year by Screen Producers Australia. 

Recently, Sharon has become a member of the Institute of Directors and has completed their Company Director’s Course. Sharon’s extensive experience during her time as the Managing Director of Fulcrum Media Finance has allowed her to establish a balanced and fair approach to governance with an emphasis on stakeholder outcomes through performance of people and processes. Understanding key stakeholder motivations in a business environment has positively influenced Sharon’s governance leadership style to focus on inclusivity and accountability. 

Currently, Sharon is Chair of Film Bay of Plenty which is focused on growing the film and television industry within the region. 

Tash Christie

Tash Christie

Board Member

Tash is the Head of Factual and EP across Greenstone’s diverse documentary and entertainment production slate. With over 25 years screen experience under her belt, Tash has pretty much helmed it all – feature docos, premium factual, kids’ content and some of our favourite reality series. The Women of Pike River, Origins, NZ Opera’s Semele, K-Pop Academy, Border Patrol, Artefact and Go South, New Zealand’s first SlowTV event, are a small snapshot of the content Tash has championed. Telling Aotearoa’s stories lies at the heart of all her work and she is an advocate of collaboration across the industry. Tash has strong relationships with both local and international platforms and funders. Her ssuperpower is maintaining a sense of humour, even in the toughest of circumstances.