Augusto awarded amount: $75,000 
Augusto is an award-winning New Zealand company founded in 2008 by Michelle Walshe and Leon Kirkbeck.  Augusto’s successes include New Zealand’s highest-grossing documentary, Chasing Great: Richie McCaw and award-winning web-series, Jessica’s Tree.

Fiona Copland awarded amount: $75,000 
Filmwork producer Fiona Copland's award-winning feature films include 90’s cult classic Topless Women Talk About Their Lives, The Price of Milk, German co-production The Strength of Water and Matariki. She has also produced, the comedy Gary of the Pacific and is in production on Series 2 of hit claymation series Kiri and Lou, commissioned by TVNZ and CBC, and screening around the world.

GFC Films awarded amount: $75,000
GFC Films is an Auckland based production company responsible for over eighteen feature films, a dozen tele-features and numerous TV series and TV series documentaries, including Dean Spanley, The Dead Lands, 6 Days and Capital in the Twenty First Century. This year, TVNZ and AMC Networks premiered the 8 x one-hour adaptation of The Dead Lands – the first ever New Zealand TV show commissioned directly into the US market.

Helen Bowden awarded amount: $75,000 
Helen Bowden is currently developing a high-end drama series created by Robyn Malcolm (Executive Producer) and Dianne Taylor (Writer) that is set in Dunedin.  Helen is a New Zealander who has had great success in Australia producing such shows as The Slap, Devil’s Playground, Wake in Fright, On the Ropes (starring Keisha Castle-Hughes), Lambs of God, and Upright.  Her most recent show, The Secrets She Keeps, is streaming now on TVNZ On Demand. 

Libertine Pictures awarded amount: $75,000
Libertine Pictures is an independent film and television production company founded in 2013, based in Auckland and Wellington and led by accomplished producer Richard Fletcher and internationally acclaimed writer Neil Cross. Libertine produces bold and compelling feature films, documentaries and television drama.  Feature film credits include documentary Yellow is Forbidden and musical, Daffodils. Television credits include comedy travel series Rhys Darby: Big in Japan and children’s drama Mystic.

Piki Films awarded amount: $75,000 Piki Films pursues energy and momentum from development through production and release, supporting creatives to work together fostering a cross-pollination of creativity in a sustainable and structured business model led by executive producers, Taika Waititi and Carthew Neal. Piki’s feature film credits include Academy Award winning Jojo Rabbit, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Breaker Upperers, and the upcoming Baby, Done.

Wheke Group awarded amount: $59,000
Wheke Group is a partnership between Jawbone Pictures the production company of Reikura Kahi (producer) and Tearepa Kahi (director, writer, creative producer), and market veteran Kelly Rogers and producer, Selina Joe. Wheke focuses on slate development, packaging, international partnerships and audiences, with Wheke as the development arm, and Jawbone overseeing production.

Wrestler awarded amount: $75,000 
In 2019 Wrestler took another leap forward, opening their own studio in the heart of Wellington, as well as production facilities and an event space. At the same time, they launched Wrestler Studios, an original content arm of Wrestler. The vision for the studio is to create a space that Wellington creatives can converge.



Māoriland Charitable Trust awarded amount: $50,000  
Māoriland Charitable Trust was founded by filmmakers Libby Hakaraia and Tainui Stephens seven years ago. The Trust runs an annual film festival featuring both local and global indigenous content. The next natural step for the Māoriland Trust is to form a production arm to produce and foster development and growth with their talent locally and globally. Their combined credits include: Cousins; The River Queen, The Deadlands and Native Slam.

Multinesia awarded amount: $50,000  
Multinesia Productions was founded in 20003 to tell authentic stories from indigenous perspectives. Led by filmmakers Karin William, Jeremiah Tauamiti and Hanelle Harris. Their aim is to create, manage and produce award winning projects for stage and screen. Credits include short films Maria and Mou Piri; A Rarotongan Love Song and documentaries American Indian Actors and We Live By the River.

Sandy Lane Productions awarded amount: $50,000  
Sandy Lane Productions is the combined experience duo of Māori filmmakers, Chelsea Winstanley and Desray Armstrong.   With a combined 30 years of diverse industry experience under their belts, each respectively with their own feature film success of bringing a range of stories to fruition; Chelsea with her Oscar nomination as part of the producing team this year for Jojo Rabbit, feature films What We Do in the Shadows and Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen. In 2018 Desray produced her debut feature film Stray and is currently in production with Juniper.



Angela Cudd (producer) awarded amount: $24,000  
Angela (Ngāti Porou, Ngātiwai, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) is a hard-working Māori/Kiwi Producer, who made her foray into Film & TV in 2013. With 6+ years’ experience in production, her credits include local content like The Breaker Upperers, Cousins, Maui’s Hook and Māori TV’s award-winning ANZAC Broadcast. Angela is proud to have built a career by supporting local, socially important stories like these that hold meaning and have strong distinctly Kiwi or Māori content.  

Cirkus (company) awarded amount: $25,000
Cirkus is a well-established and award winning animation house fortunate enough to enlist an experienced troupe of animation directors in New Zealand and around the world. They believe in mixing up styles and teams to keep the output fresh and varied with artists using a diverse range of techniques helping to create the most exciting and entertaining images. 

The DLC COM (company) awarded amount: $24,000
The Down Low Concept have been creating film, television and radio for the past eighteen
years, creating over 300 episodes of the panel show 7 Days and four series of Best Bits (for TVNZ and Seven Australia). In 2012 their first scripted comedy series Hounds was a critical success. Their follow up Coverband was acquired by Adam Sandler’s company Happy Madison and Sony Pictures for a US reversioning on CBS. Gary of the Pacific in 2017 was their first feature film, about a struggling real estate agent who becomes the last chief of a sinking island.

Fish Entertainment (company) awarded amount: $25,000
As a commercial production company Flying Fish represents directors from New Zealand, Australia and Europe and works with some of the best creative agencies around the world. Established 34 years ago, the core business of Flying Fish continues to create a wide range of high level, entertaining and engaging moving footage across all platforms.  With Fish Entertainment they aim to develop commercially viable IP that will ultimately lead to a more sustainable local industry over time, providing new and exciting pathways for creators to showcase their talent on the world stage.

Lara Northcroft (producer) awarded amount: $25,000
Lara Northcroft and Nicola Smith are Māori producers based in Rotorua. With over 20 years experience, they have produced a variety of content including television drama series, short films, online content, commercials and International projects. Nicola Smith is a freelance producer with a passion for Māori program making and telling stories.   She is a strong communicator with a deep commitment to supporting and developing young Māori practitioners to achieve their goals. Lara Northcroft is passionate about seeing an idea develop into a full-scale production and strives to create a high-quality product. Lara and Nicola are both founding members of the Steambox Film Collective, a group of Indigenous filmmakers who develop and produce their own slate of projects.

Morgan Waru (producer) awarded amount: $25,000
Morgan Waru (Ngāti Porou) has produced her first feature film Baby Done. She has extensive production experience across both local and international productions, having worked on industry staples like Saban’s Power Rangers and Starzs’ Ash vs Evil Dead, and features like Adrift and Guns Akimbo. Morgan works across Piki Films’ development slate and is passionate about producing heartfelt yet challenging stories.


Nicole van Heerden (producer) awarded amount: $25,000
Nicole has over nine years’ production experience across several independent productions, including through her company Huia Films est. 2011. Her projects have featured at NZIFF, Tropfest, and Show Me Shorts Film Festival, among others. Nicole has also crewed on international productions The Shannara Chronicles, Roman Empire, 6 Days, Pete’s Dragon, Ghost in the Shell, The Meg, and Adrift, and has been PA to actresses including Ivana Baquero, Abbie Cornish and Shailene Woodley. Nicole has worked as an assistant to Vincent Ward, and her creative mentor is Dorthe Scheffmann.

Raqi Syed (producer) awarded amount: $25,000
Raqi Syed began her career in feature animation as a Lighting Artist for Disney Feature Animation on films such as Meet the Robinsons and Tangled. She then went on to work as a Senior Technical Director with Weta Digital on films like Avatar, The Planet of the Apes films, and The Hobbit Trilogy. Raqi’s debut in virtual reality, Minimum Mass, co-directed with Areito Echevarria, was invited to premier at the Tribeca and Annecy International Film Festivals in 2020. She is actively involved in the Wellington VR community and has been profiled as a leading figure in New Zealand VR research by Radio NZ and the online journal IMMERSIVE.

Tough Love Tonic (company) awarded amount: $18,000
TL-TONIC (Tough Love Tonic) is an indie game development studio founded in 2017 and based in Auckland, New Zealand. TL-TONIC aims to breathe new life into niche game genres by innovating on older game design and mechanics, crafting immersive narrative worlds, and bring to life believable characters with emotional impact and minority representation.

Verity Mackintosh (producer) awarded amount: $25,000
Verity is a New Zealand Development / Transmedia Producer working in creative development and as a producer across film, television, virtual reality and TVC's and media campaigns. She has developed over 30 hours of broadcast documentaries for global audiences and produced numerous VR projects, commercials for online and broadcast. Currently developing a slate of dramas ranging from short films to feature films and TV series, she swings between being a freelancer available for project work to holding organisational positions.


Additional Business Development Grants of $25,000 were awarded to:

Awa Films 
Awa Films is led by filmmakers Julian and Becs Arahanga has been creating content for over 14 years across the film and television slate. They are driven by their passion to tell Māori stories to a global audience. Credits include series Colonial Combat and Songs from the Inside, short film Hinekura, and documentaries Pixie and Beyond the Battalion. Awa Films is currently working closely with Pukeko Pictures to make premium scripted drama for global audiences

Brown Sugar Apple Grunt 
Brown Sugar Apple Grant is the production company of Kerry Warkia and Kiel McNaughton who have forged a distinctive voice and innovative content that tell stories from perspectives of people-of-colour, underrepresented voices and stories of the South Pacific experience. Their Feature film credits include Waru, Vai and The Legend of Baron To’a.

Cadness Street Ltd 
Cadness Strett Ltd consists of filmmaking siblings, Abba Rose Dinah and Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa. Their goal is to create a sustainable production company in the screen industry, and to create content for the Pasifika audience. Their feature film credits include Three Wise Cousins, Hibiscus & Ruthless and Take Home Pay.

Carthew Neal
Carthew Neal, principal at Fumes NZ has lead a NZ IP driven business for the last 15 years from Taika Waititi’s Academy Award winning Jojo Rabbit for Searchlight Pictures, to creating reality series WA$TED! which was remade in seven countries worldwide. He also produced David Farrier’s Tickled for HBO, and Dark Tourist for Netflix.

Catherine Fitzgerald
Catherine Fitzgerald ONZM, founded Blueskin Films in 2002, which produced One Thousand Ropes, The Orator and Bellbird amongst its extensive slate of features, shorts and documentaries. Catherine has a record of producing films by women, Māori and Polynesian and other underrepresented voices. Recent releases include Helen Kelly: Together in February 2020, with feature Coming Home in the Dark and short The Meek scheduled for release later in the year.

Firefly Films
Spearheaded by Emma Slade, the company’s broad slate includes local projects as well as international co-productions, which range from high concept to low budget; including thriller, Come to Daddy, The Changeover, Into the Rainbow and Little Secret, the Brazilian Oscar entry for Best Foreign Film 2017.

Four Knights Film
Four Knights Film launched into the international film market, off the back of its debut feature film, The Dark Horse in 2014. The same year, Four Knights also produced and released the micro-budget, festival darling, Everything We Loved. In 2016, Four Knights produced Pork Pie, a modern, rollicking, length-of-New Zealand-road-movie, and reimagining of the 1980's kiwi hit, Goodbye Pork Pie. They are currently in post on Roseanne Liang's, Shadow in the Cloud.

Greenstone TV
A leading indie, Greenstone has been telling New Zealand stories for over two decades.  Specialists in observational reality (including long running Border Patrol, Motorway Patrol and Dog Squad) and documentaries (Artefact with Dame Anne Salmond, Go South, The Women of Pike River, Decades In Colour) their programmes are enduringly among Kiwi audience’s prime-time favourites – and entertain viewers in over 30 countries. In drama, teen sci-fi The Cul de Sac ran for three seasons on TVNZ2, is currently screening on the BBC and won the Asian Academy Creative Award for Best Children’s Series in 2019, and telefeature The Tender Trap, starring Rima Te Wiata and directed by Sima Urale, was completed just days before COVID-19 lockdown.

Jill Macnab
Jill Macnab is the General Manager of AU/NZ distributor Vendetta Films. Vendetta Productions was set up in 2015 to create compelling feature films, with Jill as lead producer. Their first feature production was Born to Dance. Jill produced Suffrage 125 interactive project Give Kate a Voice and documentary In the Zone both of which released in 2018. Jill is also EP of Pecking Order, The Butterfly Tree and Repeat Attenders.

Overactive Imagination
Based in Christchurch lead by Nadia Maxwell, Overactive Imagination is committed to creative, thought-provoking, genre projects with emotional depth – including Reunion directed by Jake Mahaffy due for release in 2020 and Human Traces (2017) the debut feature of director Nic Gorman which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Screentime NZ
Now a Banijay Group company, Screentime launched in 1996 and is headed by Philly de Lacey. Over the last ten years Screentime has won a raft of awards with the black comedy tele-feature, How to Murder Your Wife. Dramas also include the series Dear Murderer and Underbelly: Land of the Long Green Cloud. One- off telemovies include Bloodlines, Siege, Safe House, Venus & Mars, Bombshell, Resolve, In a Flash and the docu-dramas Pike River and The Monster of Mangatiti.

Southern Light Films
Southern Light Films was established in the mid-1990s by producer Timothy White as part of setting up Toa Fraser’s debut film Number Two. Since then the company has been involved in many landmark New Zealand films, including: Out of the Blue, Mr Pip, The Dark Horse, Chasing Great, Do No Harm, and I Am Mother. The company has also been involved in creating work for the small screen, most recently, Lisa Chatfield produced The Luminaries for BBC, TVNZ and Fremantle Media. In an on-going partnership Lisa and Tim are developing a variety of screen projects.



Anick Poirier (Canada) is a former Seville International executive who launched sales agency WaZabi Films in July 2019 to handle exclusive distribution of the Séville International catalogue (including Cannes selections Matthias et Maxime from Xavier Dolan and Monia Chokri’s La Femme de Mon Frère.) Anick assessed BOOST UP.

Brian Backus (USA) is a creative Digital Media Producer and Strategic Partnerships Executive with special expertise in children's content, and depth as a producer of interactive entertainment, mobile games, and educational content.  He has raised funds from top venture firm and has expertise in developing business plans and financial models. I enjoy mentoring, and also serves in interim executive roles in product, strategy, or business development. Brian worked as an award-winning Creative Producer at Disney Interactive and Voyager, and then produced game, video, and interactive experiences for DreamWorks and NBCUniversal. He thrives in mission-focused organizations that create amazing story-driven interactive experiences, with cultures that are smart, transparent, and have a sense of humour. Brian assessed BOOST and BOOST UP.

Briar Grace-Smith (NZ, Māori, Ngā Puhi) is a highly regarded playwright, screenwriter, poet and short story writer. Belonging to the Ngati Hau hapu of Nga Puhi, her work is at once lyrical, political and wickedly funny. Her first major play, Ngā Pou Wahine, earned her the 1995 Bruce Mason Playwriting Award, and Purapurawhetu won Best New Zealand Play at the 1997 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, subsequently touring Canada and Greece. In 2000 Briar received the Arts Foundation Laureate Award and in 2009 her first feature film, The Strength of Water, premiered internationally. Most recently Briar directed the highly anticipated feature film, Cousins. Briar assessed he Ara.

Caren Rangi (NZ, Cook Islands Māori, Rarotonga, Rakahanga, Aitutaki) is an accountant/auditor who founded Ei Mua Consulting Ltd. She was National President of the Pacific women’s council PACIFICA Inc. She is Chair of Pacific Island Homecare Services Trust and a Trustee of Te Matau a Maui Voyaging Trust. She is an Associate of the Centre for Social Impact New Zealand and was a Trustee of the Eastern and Central Community Trust. She is a Director of the Cook Islands Investment Corporation in Rarotonga and of Pacific Inc. Limited, and is a past Trustee and Chair of the Pacific Business Trust Board. She was part of the inaugural Pacific Women’s Economic Development Advisory Board and a founding member of the Charities Registration Board. Ms Rangi is currently the Deputy Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand. Caren assessed He Ara.

Christina Milligan (NZ, Ngāti Porou) is a respected and experienced screen practitioner with a career producing film and television such as  iconic NZ series Marlin Bay, and Ian Mune’s classic award-winning film The End of the Golden Weather. She has also worked as a writer and script editor in Australia on projects including McLeods Daughters and All Saints. Many of her projects relate to her heritage, among them big screen Māori-language drama Whiria (written by Rawiri Paratene and Patu Hohepa), 2010 telemovie Nights in the Garden of Spain and a number of documentaries. Currently running company Conbrio with her partner Roger Grant, her producing resume includes documentary Let My Whakapapa Speak and executive producing hit film Mt Zion. Christina assessed BOOST and He Ara.

Henning Kamm (Germany) a producer known for Unorthodox (2020), The Special Need (2013) and Department Q: A Conspiracy of Faith (2016). Henning was Germany’s “Producer in the move“ in 2014, is a board member of the European Film Academy, an Inside Pictures alumni and was chosen as one of Variety’s “Ten Producers to Watch“ in 2017. Henning assessed BOOST UP.

Ray Strache (USA) has spent over two decades with 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Global Acquisitions and Co-Productions for the studio. In his varied role at Fox, he championed numerous films, having played a part in more than fifty acquisitions for Searchlight: from early favorites such as Napoleon Dynamite and Little Miss Sunshine to memorable Academy contenders like Brooklyn, Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Tree of Life, to name a few. his international role, Ray oversaw a network of more than a dozen local language productions in multiple countries across the globe, from the Asia/Pacific region to Europe and all of Latin America. Ray assessed BOOST.

Rhonda Kite, ONZM (Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kuri, Ngai Tākoto ) an award-winning producer with more than 20 years’ experience in the production and post production industry, Rhonda founded KIWA Digital in 2003 as a screen production company while developing VoiceQ a foreign-language dubbing solution for the screen industry.  Find out more here. Rhonda assessed BOOST UP.

Tanya Phegan (AUS) joined Easy Tiger in 2017. As a Development Producer she works across the company’s global development and production slate. Tanya was the former Head of Television for Porchlight Films and is the co-creator and producer on Operation Buffalo (Porchlight Films), a 6-part drama series for ABC Australia. Tanya worked for over a decade in the UK and US in international development, production and acquisitions. In the UK she held roles at Universal Pictures, BBC Films (Development Editor) and DNA Films/Fox Searchlight (Head of Development and Acquisitions). She developed projects with the UK's top creative talent, working on films including The Last King of Scotland, 28 Weeks Later, Dredd, The History Boys, Never Let Me Go, Sunshine, Notes on a Scandal Far From The Madding Crowd and 360°.  Tanya assessed BOOST.





Last updated: 
Tuesday, 2 June 2020