Thriving in the South Island

Thriving in the South Island

Posted Thursday 18 Nov 2021

It's a long time since WIFT NZ has enticed Janine Morell-Gunn out of her office to be on a panel so we're delighted she will be sharing her experiences on building a screen industry business in the South Island at our upcoming workshop!
Facilitated by Bree Loverich, Manager of Screen CanterburyNZ, Janine will be joined by three other successful South Island-based women: Amanda Jenkins of AJ Films, Kim Georgine of Cathouse Films, and Anna Canton of Annakey Productions.

WIFT NZ members free; non-members $15 cash at the door (sorry eftpos isn't available).

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? 
  • What is coming up for Screen Canterbury?

Delivered in partnership with Screen CanterburyNZ and University of Canterbury


About the panellists:

Amanda Jenkins, Line Producer, Producer - AJ Films
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.

Date: Wednesday 24 November 2021
Time: 6pm drinks for a 6.30pm start
Location: John Britten Building - Ground Floor Foyer 69 Creyke Road · University of Canterbury.

Date: Wednesday 24 Nov 2021
Location: John Britten Building - Ground Floor Foyer 69 Creyke Road, Cnr Creyke Rd and Engineering Rd · University of Canterbury · Christchurch
Time: 6pm drinks for a 6.30pm start


Upcoming events...

Wednesday 17 Aug 2022

In Conversation With Screenwriter Rachel Lang

Here's a not-to-be-missed workshop for those interested in story development - whether you're a writer or not!
Scriptwriter Rachel Lang is one of the writers on a major production coming to Christchurch: Dark City: The Cleaner, which received funding funding from Te Puna Kairangi – Premium Productions for International Audiences Fund in May. She will join producer Nadia Maxwell (Human Traces, Reunion) in Christchurch for a discussion about story development.
Rachel has written some of New Zealand's best-known and loved television series: Outrageous Fortune, Shortland Street, The Almighty Johnsons, Nothing Trivial, Go Girls and many others.
She's a talented writer and an industry stalwart and we're over the moon to have her do a workshop with us!

The discussion will cover, among other things, the following topics:

· What a showrunner does;

· How you get to be a showrunner;

· How Covid has changed the practicalities of writing for television;

· What the ingredients for a successful writers room are;

· Tips for creating ideas and how to market them.

Bring your questions and Rachel will do her best to answer them!

Park in Car Park 2 off Solway Ave.

Parking is free after 5pm.

WIFT members free; non members $15 cash; includes drinks and nibbles.

RSVP essential to

Thursday 25 Aug 2022

Filming With COVID or Predicting the Unpredictable (WTN)

We're bringing you this very timely and topical workshop with the latest information and advice, stories and strategies for filming with COVID from those at the coal front.

Still fresh from their Queenstown locations, producers Michelle Turner and Lisa Chatfield will share their perspectives on the ongoing changes and flexibilities required when filming in 2022 - including management strategies, new production considerations (for catering, transport, accommodation, location selection etc), new budget lines, new layers of administration and the ripple effect a single production can have right across the industry.

We're also pleased to have  experienced public health professional Tui Shadbolt join the panel. Tui worked in disease prevention including infection control, outbreak investigation and Health and Food Safety compliance for more than 20 years prior to joining the GSR Rings of Power crew in 2020. Tui has now moved on to the Stonehenge project.

Supporting them on the panel is Vicki Jackways, who is also right across the stories from the front line as Special Projects Manager - Screen Recovery Fund with the NZFC.

Moderator: Robin Laing, Producer

  • Lisa Chatfield - Producer, One Lane Bridge
  • Michelle Turner - Producer, Under the Vines
  • Tui Shadbolt - COVID Manager, Rings of Power & Stonehenge
  • Vicki Jackways - Special Projects  Manager Screen Recovery Fund

WIFT members free; non members $15 cash; includes drinks and nibbles.

Date: Thursday 25 August 2022
Location: Taia Studios, 4 Bay Rd, Kilbirnie, Wellington
Time: 6pm networking for 6:30pm start

RSVP essential to

Thursday 25 Aug 2022

Story Sovereignty and Cultural Safety (Christchurch)

Having control over one’s stories and the right to determine the direction of these stories is an essential and ongoing korero.

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

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

 This is an important and multi-layered conversation which we hope will add to the discourse on Story Sovereignty and Cultural Safety.

Moderator: Dr Hana O’Regan, Tumu Whakarae - Chief Executive Officer, CORE Education (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha).
Dr Hana O’Regan has worked in the areas of language revitalisation, identity and cultural development, te reo Māori and education for over 25 years. Dr O'Regan is a published author and composer and is recognised internationally for her work in indigenous language acquisition and revitalisation. In 2021 she was appointed as a member to The Waitangi Tribunal.


  • Te O Kahurangi WaakaPou Whakahaere - Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission, Producer (Tūwharetoa, Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wahiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Pūkeko).
    Te O Kahurangi is a producer with extensive experience in governance, culture, intellectual property rights, iwi and community organisations, as well as active involvement in Māori screen issues. She has been producer for Kura Productions, has served as a board member of Ngā Aho Whakaari, and is the Chair of the Trade Marks Māori Advisory Committee.

  • Anna Canton, Creative Producer, Brand & Marketing Specialist, (Pākehā/Chinese).  
    With an interest in edgy, high-stakes genre film, Anna brings a wealth of commercial project management skills, cultural leadership insight, practical film experience, and passionate storytelling to the table. As a Producer, her short films 'GRAVEL 3000' and award-winning* 'MODEL 15' have played at local and international festivals. As a woman-of-colour, she is focused on giving voice to those currently underrepresented in our industry.

    Tusiata Avia, MNZM, Poet, Author, Scriptwriter (Samoa/NZ Pākehā).
    Tusiata Avia is a poet, performer and children’s book writer, known for her dynamic performance style. She is regularly published in international literary journals and invited to appear at writers festivals around the globe. Her poetry is described by poet and novelist Sia Figiel as 'quite revolutionary in the sense that, not only does it define the face of Pacific literature in New Zealand, but it redefines the face of New Zealand literature itself.' 

Date: Thursday 25 August
Time: 6:00pm drinks for a 6:30pm start
Location: Jack Mann Auditorium, Digital Screen Campus, Dovedale Ave, Ilam. 

WIFT members FREE; non-members $15 cash. Includes a drink and nibbles.
RSVP essential to

Park in Car Park 2 off Solway Ave.

Parking is free after 5pm.

Wednesday 31 Aug 2022

The Director - DoP relationship

Continuing in our series examining key relationships for directors, we now bring you this workshop on the Director - Director of Photography relationship in collaboration with DEGANZ.

**WIFT NZ and DEGANZ members are free**

RSVP essential to

Our experienced panel will be discussing the following questions:

  • What are the ways a DOP and director can develop a shared visual language that enriches their creativity and the project?
  • How can directors and DOPs maintain a healthy collaborative relationship that lasts beyond one project?
  • What is the best way to deal with director-DOP creative differences?
  • What do directors most want from their DOPs?
  • What do DOPs most want from their directors?


Bayley Broome-Peake
Experienced 1st AC and DOP Bayley Broome-Peake will moderate this discussion. Bayley has worked in the camera department in Australia and New Zealand and her work spans TV commercials, TV series, music videos, webseries, and short film. Her work in New Zealand includes TV series Under The Vines, Sweet Tooth, The Panthers and Mean Mums


  • Paula Whetu Jones (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Porou)
    Paula has worked in the New Zealand screen industry for over two decades as a writer, director, researcher and producer. She directed 2003 documentary Gang Girls, a segment of the 2019 anthology film Waru, the 2020 comedy series I Date Rejects, and the 2022 feature film Whina, a biopic on the life of Dame Whina Cooper. 

  • Leon Narbey 
    A New Zealand Arts Laureate, Leon is one of New Zealand's most prolific and lauded cinematographers. His work has earned him national and international awards in recognition of the special artistic sensibility he has applied to the cinematography of many definitive New Zealand films. His talents have contributed to roughly 20 features, including Whale Rider, The Orator, No. 2, One Thousand Ropes, Rain of the Children, and Illustrious Energy which he directed. Leon was DOP on the feature film Whina.

  • Briar March
    Briar March is an award-winning filmmaker and previous Fulbright scholar whose works are grounded in a passionate desire to connect, foster debate, and inspire social change. Her films have been broadcast on major television networks around the world, and are regularly exhibited in film festivals. Her work includes the 2021 documentaries Mothers of the Revolution, There Once Was An Island, A Place To Call Home, Smoke Songs. She is currently in post-production with Dame Valerie Adams: More Than Gold.

  • Mark Lapwood
    Mark Lapwood NZCS ACS has over 25 years’ experience filming tv commercials, music videos, documentaries and feature films around the globe. He’s highly skilled in studio and location shoots, often collaborating in many languages and cultures, with both large and small crews. His feature film work includes More Than Gold: The Valerie Adams Story, Mothers of the Revolution, A Place To Call Home, The Coffin Club. Mark has a particularly strong eye for natural beauty in landscapes, architecture and people. 

The discussion panel will be followed by a Q&A session, so bring your burning questions along with you!

Time: 6:00pm for 6:30pm drinks
Date: Wednesday 31 August
Location: Click Studios, 145 Carrington Rd, Mt Albert, Auckland


WIFT NZ and DEGANZ Members FREE, non-members $15 cash at the door.

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