Costume Design - your greatest asset!

Costume Design - your greatest asset!

Posted Thursday 17 Aug 2023

Highly undervalued, a great costume designer is one of your highest assets. Costume can make or break your dream film. We're extremely fortunate to have some of the best internationally recognised costume designers in New Zealand. Join award-winning costume designers Jane Holland, Ngila Dickson and Kirsty Cameron as they discuss this vital area with acclaimed documentary director Pietra Brettkelly.

Topics to be covered will include:

  • How do you select your costume designer? 
  • What are they looking for from you, and what should you reasonably expect from them? 
  • When do you bring them on board and what is the ideal process through your project?

Whether you are a student, a producer, a director, or in the art department, this is a workshop for you ALL!

Kirsty Cameron
Kirsty is an award-winning costume designer and production designer. She won New Zealand Film Award’s Best Costume Design for Whale Rider, directed by Niki Caro, and Best Costume Design for her work on Perfect Creature, Glenn Standring’s vampire feature. Her work includes costume design for director Tusi Tamasese’s acclaimed The Orator, which won best film at Venice Film Festival in 2011, and most recently for the Academy Award-winning The Power of the Dog. She’s also written and directed short films, designed costumes for dancer/choreographer Douglas Wright, and develops her own homewares. 

Ngila Dickson
Ngila won an Academy Award in 2004 for her work on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. She earned dual nominations that year, also being honoured for her costume designs for Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai. Dickson had previously gained her first Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA nomination for Best Costume Design for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.  In addition, she won a BAFTA Award for her work on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and won a Costume Designers Guild Award, and received her third BAFTA Award nomination for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Jane Holland
Jane has recently returned from nine months in Budapest as costume designer for Halo Series 2. With a career spanning 30 years in film and television Jane's work ranges from large-scale international projects to local drama and arthouse projects. Her passion is for character storytelling and innovative world-building, be it the expansive retro sci-fi world of Cowboy Bebop, or character-driven period films like Juniper and World’s Fastest Indian. Jane is also creative producer and writer and through 10000 Company she and Michael Bennett initiate and develop original scripts. 

Pietra Brettkelly
Pietra  is a three-times Oscar selected and Sundance award-winning NZ filmmaker. Her documentary features include Yellow Is Forbidden, A Flickering Truth, Māori Boy Genius, The Art Star And The Sudanese Twins and Beauty Will Save The WorldIn 2019 she received the inaugural New Zealand Arts Laureate in Documentary, and at the 2020 WIFT NZ Awards, Pietra won the South Pacific Pictures Award for Achievement in Film "for creating unique, intimate, beautiful cinematic works that open a window into another world".

RSVP essential to

WIFT NZ members FREE, non-members $20, students $10 (includes wine and nibbles). Please pay in cash at the door

Date: Wednesday 23 Aug 2023
Location: Click Studios, 525 Rosebank Rd, Avondale
Time: 6pm drinks for a 6:30pm start


Upcoming events...

Saturday 25 May 2024

Producing Travel, Adventure and Food Shows with Jon Kroll

We are thrilled to announce this special intensive workshop with Emmy Award-winning TV producer Jon Kroll including two guest speakers, for our Wellington members!

In this one-day seminar, producer Jon Kroll will take you on a deep dive into the world of international factual production. Jon has worked in more than 70 countries on shows like the Emmy-winning “Amazing Race,” “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted,” “Never Say Never with Jeff Jenkins,” “Extraordinary Birder with Christian Cooper” and “Appetite for Adventure with Moe Cason.”

While making these shows can be both fun and rewarding, the execution of them involves unique challenges, including language barriers, currency fluctuations, permitting, equipment carnets, unpredictable weather, insurance, diseases, safety, casting, scouting and travel delays. He’ll take you on a journey from the first network country pitch to the final sound mix, and by the end you’ll be ready to take on the world.

He will also be inviting guest speakers Tara Williams’, the Vice President of Production at Original Productions, and Alexander Ayling, a full-time award-winning filmmaker, content creator, Youtuber, and television host, to share their wealth of knowledge inside this seminar.

Make the most of this opportunity!

Date: Saturday, 25 May 

Time:  10am – 4pm

Venue: Massey University, Wellington

Cost: Members $20.  Non-members $40. Massey Students $10.

 Coffee, tea and biscuits provided.  Bring your own lunch.

Book Your Ticket Here.

Wednesday 29 May 2024

How to Make Heads Explode: Imaging for VFX

Whether you’re a seasoned filmmaker, an aspiring creator, or simply curious about cutting-edge technology and VFX join Tristan Simpson, Post Operations at The Rebel Fleet, in conversation with Aliesha Staples, founder and director of StaplesVR, and Tim Capper, Senior VFX Supervisor to explore the power of photogrammetry and cyber scanning processes.

  • What is cyber scanning and how is it impacting the screen industry?
  • How can photogrammetry be used in the creative process and how has this changed over time? What IS photogrammetry?
  • How does this technology help with the production process?
  • What are some of the different usages of the scans?
  • Why use it?
  • How does the rig work?
  • What type of projects have you worked on and how do we help the local sector access and use the technology?


Aliesha Staples – Aliesha is the founder and CEO of StaplesVR, The company specialises in augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology, and has also produced immersive experiences for the likes of Warner Brothers, Paramount and Disney. Aliesha is also the co-founder of CLICK Studios and the recipient of the 2022 WIFT Awards Imagezone Entrepreneurship Award.

Tim Capper is Senior VFX supervisor at Cause and FX, Auckland’s largest VFX studio. With a focus on TV and Film projects, Cause and FX has a client base both locally and for studio’s based around the globe. The scanning rig was a build project that Tim has led over the last 8 years and is now a joint venture with Staples VR.

Time:  6:00 PM –  8:30 pm *Doors open at 6pm, event starts at 6:30 pm*

Venue: WIFT Auckland Office, 525 Rosebank Road, Avondale, Auckland

Members: FREE.  Non-members: $20. Students: $10.

Book Tickets 


Wednesday 29 May 2024

Unlocking the Reel Deal: Mastering Festival Tactics and Marketing Must-Haves

Join this in-depth conversation on the essentials of festival strategies and marketing materials with Jasmin McSweeney, of Umbrella Entertainment, Nadia Maxwell, of Overactive Imagination, and Mark Prebble of Show Me Shorts, moderated by Vanessa Wells.

-              Talking about festival strategy, submitting to festivals and the pros/cons
-              Discussing their experience with being at festivals - both industry markets and showing films.
-              Critical criteria for your marketing materials – what’s essential
-              How does the programming of films at A-list festivals reflect global film trends?
-              What’s news from Clermont-Ferrand?

Jasmin McSweeney joined Melbourne distribution company Umbrella Entertainment as the Head of Sales and Acquisitions for New Zealand in February this year. She also produces for Sanctuary Pictures, the production arm of Umbrella. Prior to this role, Jasmin was the Head of Marketing at the New Zealand Film Commission for the past decade, responsible for the promotion and marketing of New Zealand films in New Zealand and internationally.

Nadia Maxwell is an Ōtautahi film and television producer and founder of Overactive Imagination. Over the last 20 years she has produced A-list festival feature films, award-winning shorts, and documentary projects. Previous credits include the feature films HUMAN TRACES which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 and REUNION starring Julia Ormond released in NZ and the US in 2020. Most recently she produced the docuseries SHEPHERDESS for Sky Originals.

Mark Prebble is the Festival Manager of Show Me Shorts, New Zealand's leading short film festival, and has been part of the SMS team for the last ten years. He comes from a filmmaking and theatre background and has been involved in the New Zealand film industry for more than two decades. In February this year he represented Show Me Shorts and their short film catalogue at Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival and Market in France.

Date: 29 May 2024

Time: 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Location: Toi Auaha Rolleston House, 5 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City

WIFT NZ members FREE, non-members $20, students $10, includes wine and nibbles.



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