The Director-Editor relationship WTN

Posted Monday 21 Jun 2021

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? How do you maintain a healthy, collaborative relationship that has longevity over more than one project?

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

Come along and get your questions answered by this extremely experienced panel:


Dame Gaylene Preston, DNZM, has been a writer/director/producer since 1978, and made the classics of New Zealand cinema Mr Wrong, Ruby and Rata, War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us and Home By Christmas. Her dramatic TV series include Bread & Roses and Hope and Wire, plus many documentaries, her latest being the feature, My Year With Helen. Her work has screened in most high profile international film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, London, and Sydney. Dame Gaylene is the New Zealand Arts Foundation's inaugural Filmmaker Laureate (2001). 

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-selected documentary filmmaker, a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and an Arts Laureate of New Zealand.

Alex Boyd (they/them) editor of the acclaimed recent feature film Cousins, they have also edited all four seasons of Wellington Paranormal. They enjoy working across genres, and have edited documentary, drama, sci-fi, comedy, and animation. 

Annie Collins is best known for her extensive resume of documentaries, having edited such landmark productions as Patu!, The Neglected Miracle and Gardening with Soul. The talented editor has also won awards for her work on Scarfies, Two Little Boys and Out of the Blue, with Coming Home in the Dark having premiered to critical acclaim at Sundance and due to be released here in August.

Lala Rolls 
Fijian-European Lala Rolls' projects often involve explorations of Māori and Polynesian culture. She directs as much as she edits, often doing both on the same project. Rolls has been a multiple finalist at New Zealand awards ceremonies for her work on acclaimed drama series The Insider's Guide to Happiness and the Rita Angus documentary Lovely Rita. She edited The Man in the Hat (about art dealer Peter McLeavey), and 2018's Celia, about late equality advocate Celia Lashlie, and directed, produced and edited the 2020 feature film Tupaia’s Endeavour.



Date: Thursday 29 Jul 2021
Location: Taia Studios, 4 Bay Road, Kilbirnie, Wellington
Time: 6pm drinks for a 6.30pm sharp start


Upcoming events...

Saturday 21 Aug 2021

Speed Dating for Writers, Directors & Producers

Here is your opportunity to pitch your ideas and skills to each other! Producers, even if your slate is full, it isn’t a waste of time to meet new talent, or hear ideas that knock it out of the park. Writers/directors you may attend as a team.

Producers will be split into four groups:

  • Producers, short form
  • Producers, factual / documentary
  • Producers, features / series drama
  • Producers interested in everything

Meetings will be 20 minutes long. At the bell you move on.

Cost: WIFT and NZWG members $5; non-members $10 (tea and coffee included. There will be a lunch break so you can skip up to Ponsonby Road to buy your lunch, or bring your own.)

Click here to book your tickets

Enquiries to

Wednesday 25 Aug 2021

Sustaining a screen industry career in Christchurch

Pursuing a career in one’s place of residence is more about necessity than desire for many of us, so we offer our Christchurch members a workshop aiming to explore what that entails. We'll have a panel discussion followed by a Q+A session. 

Some of the topics and questions the panel will explore are: 

  • What does a sustainable career in the screen sector mean?
  • What type of roles are available to screen contractors in Christchurch?
  • What type of pathways are available into the screen sector?
  • What does development look like?
  • How does diversity and inclusion fit into this sustainability model?
  • What is Christchurch doing to nurture growth in the our local screen industry? What do we need to nurture more?
  • How has COVID changed the industry in Christchurch? How can we manage these changes? 

Delivered in partnership with Screen CanterburyNZ and University of Canterbury


Facilitator: Bree Loverich, Manager - Screen CanterburyNZ


Amanda Jenkins, Line Producer, Producer
For the past 20 years Amanda has been a producer in the international advertising sector working abroad and in New Zealand. Beginning her career as a videographer on Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners, she trained at TVNZ, and has produced three NZFC short films, one of which - Closer - was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes festival. She has been location manager for When Strangers Appear and location coordinator for Netflix feature The Royal Treatment. Now pivoting back into feature film and documentary, she is in postproduction for 2021 Loading Docs, whilst line producing new feature films in development slated to shoot in the South Island. 

Anna Canton, Creative Producer – Annakey Productions
Anna's short films Gravel 3000 and the award-winning Model 15 have played at local and international festivals, and she is currently co-producing a feature, The Pissy Tits Street Gang, with Nadia Maxwell. Another short, Homecoming, has received Fresh Shorts funding from Script-to-Screen. Anna was also the line producer on the short film The Meek directed by Gillian Ashurst, and she works as a marketing manager, specialising in brand and strategy.

Janine Morell Gunn, Producer - Whitebait Media
Janine Morrell-Gunn is one of New Zealand's leading children's television producers. She began her TV career in 1985 as a trainee director and producer at TVNZ, and went on to become executive producer of TVNZ's Children's Unit. In the late 1990s she formed Whitebait Productions (now Whitebait Media) with her husband Jason Gunn, and by 2009 the company employed 140 staff, and had opened a $7 million studio facility. Whitebait Media revamped New Zealand's longest-running children's programme, What Now?, and has dominated Kiwi children's TV with weekday shows like The Erin Simpson Show and The 4.30 Show.

Kim Georgine, Director – Cat House Films
Kim has worked professionally in film, TV and video production for over 20 years. She is experienced in script reading and coverage, and pitch and proposal writing. Kim is a co-founder of Cathouse Films, which specialises in creating content for business websites, and product/service promotional videos.

Wednesday 25 Aug 2021

Story Sovereignty and Cultural Safety

Having control over one’s stories and the right to determine the direction of these stories is an essential and ongoing korero. We're bringing this important and multi-layered conversation about Story Sovereignty and Cultural Safety to Wellington. 

Some of the topics and questions the panel will explore are:

  • What is story sovereignty and is there a collective understanding of what it is?
  • What does cultural safety mean throughout all levels of the storytelling process?
  • How can we as an industry move beyond token representation onscreen and behind the camera to ensure meaningful collaboration?
  • How can our industry centre the voices and concerns of Tangata Whenua, Tangata Moana, pan-Asian and other underserved groups?
  • How can our industry negotiate the storytelling space while ensuring the protection of cultural, genealogical and spiritual capital?

Facilitator: Marina Alofagia McCartney, Writer, Director, Academic (Samoa, England)


Blake Ihimaera, Head of Content at Te Māngai Pā​ho, (Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi, Ngai Tahu)
Blake has recently joined Te Māngai Pāho as Head of Content. She has extensive experience in Māori broadcasting and has been committed to telling stories from a Māori perspective, with a critical lens. Her credits include producing Aotearoa’s longest standing Māori Current Affairs show, Marae, Te Matatini live broadcasts, award-winning Aotearoa 250 live broadcast, Māori lifestyle show Easy Eats, and fluent te reo Māori children’s show Te Nūtube. Outside broadcasting, she’s a mother of two Māori-speaking daughters, National Kapa Haka performer and tutor of Puangarua Kapa Haka, and she sits on the Waitangi Cultural Committee in Te Tai Tokerau.

Matasila Freshwater, Writer, Director (Solomon Islands, Pākehā)
Matasila was responsible for the Solomon Islands section of the award-winning feature, Vai (2019), which premiered at Berlinale, featured at SXSW and won a Special Jury Award at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Best Feature Narrative at DisOrient Asian American Film Festival. Her first film Shmeat (2016), was a finalist in NZIFF’s Best Shorts programme, competed at the Sitges International Fantasy Film Festival, and won Best Animation at A Night of Horror Film Festival in Sydney. Recent projects include writing/directing on Season 2 of The Feijoa Club, and the Prime horror anthology series, Teine Sā: The Ancient Ones with her short piece Hiama

Dr. Shuchi Kothari, Writer, Producer, Co-founder Pan Asian Screen Collective, Academic (India)
Writer, producer, co-founder of the Pan Asian Screen Collective, and academic Dr. Shuchi Kothari has written and produced features and shorts that have premiered at international film festivals. Her projects explore inclusion/exclusion; belonging/unbelonging; power and privilege, with a lightness of touch—gravity and buoyancy. Besides being recognised for her critically acclaimed work in film and television, Shuchi is a well-regarded script mentor and industry expert who serves on funding panels, development initiatives, writers’ labs, and practice-based workshops. As Associate Professor at the University of Auckland Shuchi teaches screenplay writing to debunk the notion that those who can’t do, teach.

Tainui Stephens, Producer, Director, Presenter (Te Rarawa)
Tainui Stephens has brought Māori stories to the screen for 40 years. He began his career working on the first weekly Māori television programme Koha. He’s directed documentaries on subjects as diverse as the Māori Battalion and the music of Franz Liszt. He’s worked as a producer for the films River Queen, The Rain Of The Children and The Dead Lands. He’s a producer for the upcoming feature on the life of Whina Cooper. Stephens has served on the boards of the Film Commission, Māori Radio Spectrum Trust, Script to Screen and the Māoriland Film Festival. 


Wednesday 29 Sep 2021

Understanding Film Festivals

Film festivals have been a vital platform for filmmakers to showcase their stories to international audiences and nurture career connections. How can we make them work for us at all levels of our filmmaking career? Come along to this WIFT NZ workshop and hear the views of our experienced panel.

Facilitator: Robin Laing, Producer


  • Anna KalbhennDirector - Goethe-Institut New Zealand, former NATIVe co-curator Berlinale
  • Libby HakaraiaFestival Director - Maoriland
  • Jasmin McSweeneyHead of Marketing, NZ Film Commission
  • Desray ArmstrongProducer, Sandy Lane Productions

Some of the topics and questions the panel will explore are:

  • What is the right festival pathway for my film?
  • How do film festivals choose their film content each year?
  • With the extraordinary growth of subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Prime are film festivals still relevant?
  • How are we globally reimagining film festivals in this COVID environment?
  • How does diversity and inclusion fit into film festivals? 

This panel will be followed by a Q&A session. 

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