Barr and Hawkins take TVNZ commissioner roles

Posted Wednesday 04 Sep 2019

Congratulations to Steve Barr and Britta Hawkins who are two of the four new TVNZ content commissioners! Here's a bit more about the commissioners and what they'll be doing in their new roles.

The Local Content team is responsible for the development, commissioning and internal production of local drama, comedy, entertainment, factual and tamariki as well as M?ori and Pasifika news and current affairs on TVNZ's platforms.

Drama and scripted comedy commissioner
For almost 30 years Steve has been a writer, development executive, producer and member of corporate teams in big Hollywood studios, small indie production companies and many places in between - including the presidency of the NZ Writers Guild and a regular scripted assessor for NZOA.

Shortland St commissioner
Britta Hawkins is an established independent television producer and director with more than 20 years' experience in the NZ industry. Britta was a DA and then Director on Shortland Street from the late 1990s - she directed the "Ferndale Strangler" and downfall and death of Joey Henderson episode in 2007. She's directed and/or produced on a range of prime-time series including Fresh Eggs, Dirty Laundry, Nothing Trivial, Go Girls, Step Dave and Stolen.

M?ori and Pacific commissioner
Summer Wharekawa (Ng?ti Tahu, T?wharetoa, Ng?ti Maniapoto) joined the Local Content team earlier this month from Greenstone where she has been an Executive Producer. Summer brings more than 15 years of experience to the role - she was the Senior Commissioner and Interim Head of Content Development at M?ori Television for two years. Prior to that Summer worked as producer, director, production manager and researcher for several independent production companies - including her own across factual, entertainment and tamariki content.

Tamariki and HEIHEI commissioner
Ngawaero Maniapoto (Ng?ti Manipoto, Ngai te Rangi & Ng?puhi) is returning to Te Reo T?taki as the new Tamariki and HEIHEI Commissioner. Nga brings almost ten years of experience in various roles in the industry. She's worked as a production manager and researcher; was the Commissioning Assistant 2014-2017 and went on to programme Tamariki H?! for M?ori Television. She is coming across from the independent sector where she's been PMing a scripted comedy, lifestyle series and a new animated series for HEIHEI, The Ex Squad.



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Deaf actor and female-heavy crew make Foam stand out from the crowd

Posted Wednesday 04 Sep 2019


Support your fellow Wifters! Producer Samantha Dutton, director of photography Nina Wells and first assistant camera Ainsley Calderwood are crowdfunding for Foam, a short film by writer/director/editor Grace Hood-Edwards. We're so pleased to hear that the crew is mostly female, with all core creative roles filled by women; it's also refreshing to see how this project incorporates NZSL and uses a Deaf actor in order to have accurate and respectful representation in the film.
"A mermaid washes up on a rural New Zealand shoreline. Willow is taken in by isolated Griffin and Avery, his Deaf younger sister. As Willow becomes entangled in the siblings' lives and their grief, she learns what she will choose to fight for. Foam is about connection, and how it is possible for strangers and lost souls to connect with one another and heal what has been broken."