Five screen storytellers have been matched with experienced New Zealand mentors in the 2022 round of Hunga Taunaki ā Rorohiko, the New Zealand Film Commission’s online mentorship programme. Hunga Taunaki ā Rorohiko refers to working with others and recognising that it takes more than one person to help achieve your aspirations.
23 applications were received from Aotearoa mid-career writers. Applicants were matched with a pool of hugely experienced screen storytelling mentors.
All applicants presented a long-form project in development, indicating the support they were seeking from the mentorship. To ensure the best possible match was made mentors were interviewed about the kinds of projects they would be interested in and what they were looking for in a mentee.
A shortlist of applicants was put forward to each mentor who then had to make the challenging decision as to who they wished to work with.
Mentorships will take place over ten weeks between April and June 2022, with a minimum of ten conversations between the mentors and mentees scheduled. This is a creative collaboration with mentors sharing a process for developing work that mentees can apply to other projects. The mentees work on a specific project as a sample, like a campfire they gather round for the conversations. Along with development conversations there will also be invaluable sharing about careers and lessons learnt.
There are five mentorships this year including two teams of writing partnerships.
The mentee writers selected are:
Jane Shearer (Rongowhkaata, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki) and Steve Ayson, who will be mentored by writer Sophie Henderson to further develop a feature film action/comedy/drama.
Rene Le Bas and Alison McLachlan who will be mentored by writer, director James Ashcroft to further develop a feature film horror.
Miki Magasiva, who will be mentored by writer Nick Ward to further develop a feature film comedy/drama.
Michele Powles, who will be mentored by producer Catherine Fitzgerald to further develop an adaptation from a novel to a feature film historic drama/mystery.
Gregory King (Ngāpuhi ki Whaingaroa, Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa), who will be mentored by writer, producer Paula Boock to further develop a series comedy/crime/drama.