Christchurch screen industry: get in on the game development action!

Christchurch screen industry: get in on the game development action!

Posted Thursday 13 May 2021

Did you know that the revenue of the international gaming sector is larger than that of the movie and music sectors combined?
We're hearing a lot about the prevalence and success of video games – games that are extensions of films and make more $$ than the original film, games festivals where hundreds of people watch gamers compete, games your children use for school...

So where do screen workers fit into this microcosm?

Moderated by Aliesha Staples, managing director Staples VR, this workshop will give an overview of New Zealand’s gaming industry, what roles are available and where story fits into the equation. 

WIFT NZ, CHCH Game Developers Association and Screen CanterburyNZ bring you a fabulous panel of experts:

  • Samantha Cook, COO / Studio Director Artifact5 
  • Chelsea Rapp, Chair NZ Game Developers Association
  • Nadia Thorne, head of studio Black Salt Games
  • Mark Rickerby, independent narrative systems designer

FREE for WIFT & CHCH Game Developers Association Members; non-members $15 – drinks and nibbles included.

RSVP essential -

Date: Thursday 13 May, 2021

Time: 6pm for a 6:30pm start

Location: A4 Lecture Theatre, University Canterbury. Parking in Law carpark.



Date: Thursday 13 May 2021
Location: A4 Lecture Theatre, University of Canterbury, Upper Riccarton
Time: 6pm drinks for a 6.30pm sharp start


Upcoming events...

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Animals on set - what you need to know!

Having animals on set brings a whole new dimension to filming. While an animal trainer can take care of their performance, what regulations must you follow to ensure a safe and happy production?

Animal trainer Caroline Girdlestone is one of the best in the business. She’s trained animals for blockbusters such as BabeThe Hobbit trilogy, Pete's Dragon, and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok

In this workshop Caroline will explain how she interprets a script and choreographs achievable animal performances, and how she relates the performance to the camera. She’ll talk about some of the challenges - fun and otherwise - that she’s faced on set and how she’s overcome them.

At some point in your career it's likely you’ll have to work with an animal, so make the most of this opportunity to hear from an expert!

WIFT Members free; non-members $15 – drinks and nibbles included.

RSVP essential -

Wednesday 02 Jun 2021

The Director-Editor relationship

We return to ENVY Studios and continue our exploration of the key relationships for directors with...

Part Two: The Director-Editor relationship 

The Content: How does a director find the right editor? At which point in the process do you bring the editor in? Understanding the parameters of each role and making sure your contract reflects that. Who has creative say? How important are the editor’s fresh pair of eyes? How do the directors and editors navigate the test screening process? What happens if you change editor over the course of the project?  How does the editor help manage the relationship with the commissioner / client? Who leads when? Maintaining a healthy, collaborative relationship that has longevity over more than one project.

So many questions! Come along and get yours answered by this extremely experienced panel:

Moderated by award-winning documentary maker Leanne Pooley ONZM, Head of Development and Production of The Story Department, Eight.


Pietra Brettkelly, recipient of the 2020 South Pacific Pictures Award for Achievement In Film for her acclaimed documentary feature Yellow Is Forbidden. Pietra is a three-time Oscar-nominated elected documentary filmmaker, a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and an Arts Laureate of New Zealand.

Roseanne Liang, director and co-writer of WWII action-horror film Shadow in the Cloud, which debuted at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People's Choice Award. Her previous work includes Do No Harm (2017) and My Wedding and Other Secrets (2011).

Cushla Dillon, editor on The Justice Of Bunny King, and the ThreeNow thriller TV series The Gulf. Self-taught, she moved from shorter works to features with Harry Sinclair's Topless Women Talk about their Lives,  for which she won her first NZ film award. Dillon has gone on to edit shorts, documentaries, and many more features — including The Price of MilkOrphans & Kingdoms, and award-winning documentary This Way of Life.

Jochen Fitzherbert, Jochen Fitzherbert is an editor and writer, known for 30 Days of Night (2007), Rest Stop (2005), Power Rangers (2015-2018), The Gulf (2019), Mystic, Inside (2020) and Creamerie (2021)

WIFTNZ and DEGNZ members free, non-members $15 cash - includes a drink and nibbles.

Wednesday 23 Jun 2021

Māori Television: Insights And Opportunities

As we move into Matariki – the Māori New Year – we’re delighted to bring you Maramena Roderick, Tāhuhu Kaupapa, Head of Content, and Lanita Ririnui, Kaikōkiri Kaupapa, Content Commissioner from Whakaata Māori (Māori Television). Maramena and Lanita will share their insights as to the kind of content Whakaata Māori support to help celebrate and highlight this special time.

You’re likely to be surprised by the opportunities there are with Whakaata Māori, no matter your ethnicity.  Find out the best way to approach them and what the cultural requirements are for commissioned content and acquisitions.

Maramena and Lanita will also share their insights into the best way for you to pitch to a broadcaster, whoever that may be.

RSVP essential to

WIFT NZ members free; non-members $15 - drinks and nibbles included.

Programme is brought to you with generous support from the NZ Film Commission and Foundation North.