In Conversation with Briar Grace-Smith

In Conversation with Briar Grace-Smith

Posted Thursday 31 Aug 2023

Briar Grace-Smith is one of Aotearoa’s most prolific and celebrated creatives, writing poetry, books, scripts and plays. She also directed the second season of television series Rūrangi, which won an International Emmy for best short-form series.

She wrote, starred in and co-directed the screen adaptation of Patricia Grace’s best-selling novel Cousins (2021), which is only the third feature film written and directed by Māori women, following Mauri by Merata Mita in 1988, and Waru, the anthology film which Grace-Smith also co-directed.

In this conversation Briar will discuss:

  • How she has created a pathway to success as both writer and producer.
  • What challenges she often faces and how she navigates them.
  • What she looks for in a story and creative partnership.
  • What she considers the issues currently facing writers and directors.
  • How co-directing provides an alternative path to making films.

Facilitator: Robin Laing

Producer Robin Laing is the founding president of WIFT NZ, and founding Chair of The New Zealand Film and Television School in Wellington. Awarded an MBE in 1993 for her services to the New Zealand film industry, Robin began producing films in 1985 with Mr Wrong, the first of many projects with director Dame Gaylene Preston. Robin was part of the producing team on Niki Caro's adaptation of The Vintner's Luck (2009), she produced The Heart Dances, the feature-length documentary directed by Rebecca Tansley that follows the creation of a ballet based on movie The Piano, and co-produced Poppy, directed by Linda Niccol, the first Kiwi feature to cast an actor (Libby Hunsdale) with Down syndrome in the starring role.


WIFT NZ members FREE; Non-members $20, Students $10; includes wine and nibbles.

Date: Wednesday 27 Sep 2023
Location: Taia Studios, 4 Bay Rd, Kilbirnie, Wellington
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.

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