New Life Member for WIFT NZ

Posted Tuesday 13 Dec 2016

At its October meeting the WIFT Board voted to confer Honorary Life Membership on a woman many of you will know - Judith McCann. Judith joins a select group of life members - the others are Philippa Boyens, Robin Laing, Fiona Milburn and Glenis Giles.  Congratulations Judith!

Judith was CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission from 1989 to 1994 and was encouraging of and instrumental in, the establishment of WIFT in New Zealand. In 1992 she made NZFC staffer Rhys Kelly available to survey women working in the industry to ascertain the level of interest in setting up a WIFT chapter here. Once the organisation was established she joined immediately and encouraged female staff members of the NZFC to join and to participate in WIFT events. Shortly afterwards she left NZ to take up the position of CEO at the South Australia Film Commission and her membership lapsed but she rejoined on returning to this country as CEO of Film New Zealand which position she held until 2009.

Judith was a strong advocate and supporter of female creatives in the film industry - she supported the development of Alison McLean (Crush), Jane Campion (An Angel at my Table), Gaylene Preston (Ruby & Rata) and a good 20 other women developing and producing short films whose careers were established and/ or flourished under her tenure. Judith is currently living in Ottawa where she has a consulting company mPICS.

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Great news for all the WIFT's at SPP!

Posted Tuesday 13 Dec 2016


A new children's drama series, a family feature film, and a returning favourite series are set to bring more diverse stories to local TV screens - the team at SPP have secured funding for another series of the Brokenwood Mysteries so well done you.

For children and young teens, new drama series Wilde Ride is the story of a young girl raised in a wealthy horse-loving family who is taken in by Westie relatives after she is orphaned. Suddenly she is adjusting to a whole new world of dirt bike racing and new relationships. The Platinum fund series will screen On Demand and on TVNZ 2.

Also for family viewing is a feature length story inspired by a true-life heroic rescue of a beloved dog. Herbert: The Brave Sea Dog is a story of friendship and adventure, based on the true events of the daring rescue of a dog swept off a yacht at French Pass at the tip of the Marlborough Sounds.

And amateur sleuths will welcome the return of the classic Kiwi murder-mystery series The Brokenwood Mysteries made by SPP on Prime. The small town with the highest murder rate in the country but beautiful scenery and committed cops is back on screens for a fourth season.

Also back on TV3 in 2017 will be the scripted comedy Funny Girls for a third season and local comedians will be in the spotlight in Comedy Gala.

"We are delighted to have a new drama series and a feature length production for young audiences who we know appreciate local stories. Stories by and about New Zealanders are important to our cultural connection, especially for children," said Jane Wrightson Chief Executive of NZ On Air.

Funding details:

The Brokenwood Mysteries 4, 4 x 2 hrs, South Pacific Pictures for Prime, $3,636,000
Wilde Ride, 6 x 30mins, Tomorrowland for TVNZ 2, $974,798
Funny Girls 3, 6 x � hr, MediaWorks TV for TV3, $394,587
Herbert: The Brave Sea Dog, 1 x 2hrs,  Virtue Entertainment for TVNZ 2, $199,999
Comedy Gala 2017, 2 x 1hr, MediaWorks TV for TV3, $114,164