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Guillermo Arriaga

Guillermo Arriaga is a Mexican author, screenwriter, director and producer. His work as a screenwriter is one of the most revolutionary and interesting in world cinema. He has written the screenplays for award-winning films AMORES PERROS (2000), 21 GRAMS (2004), BABEL (2006) and THE BURNING PLAIN (2007) which he directed.

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Michael Goldenberg

Michael Goldenberg is a US playwright, screenwriter and director. His screenwriting credits include HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, PETER PAN, CONTACT and BED OF ROSES. He is a longstanding advisor at the prestigious Sundance Screenwriting Lab.

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Gyula Gazdag

Gyula Gazdag is a screenwriter and director of film, theater, and television, and is Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television. He has served as the Artistic Director of the Sundance Filmmakers Lab since 1997. He was a creative advisor at the Binger Film Institute for more than a decade and has worked at Berlinale Talents since 2006 and Sarajevo Talents since 2014. His feature films include multi award-winning A HUNGARIAN FAIRYTALE (Special Jury Prize at Locarno FF, one of Village Voice’s 10 best films, Best Feature Film – Hungarian Film Critics, and screened at Director’s Fortnight), STAND OFF (Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastián IFF), LOST ILLUSIONS (Best Screenplay Award at the Hungarian Film Week), SWAP, SINGING ON THE TREADMMILL, and THE WHISTLING COBBLESTONE (Best First Feature -Hungarian Film Critics). Gazdag has also directed documentaries including A POET ON THE LOWER EASTSIDE, HUNGARIAN CHRONICLES, PACKAGE TOUR; THE BANQUET, THE RESOLUTION (one of IDA’s best 100 documentaries of all time), THE SELECTION, and THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER. Most of his films have been banned for periods in Communist Hungary, and have been denied foreign exhibition, some of them have been banned again in 2012. Gazdag has directed many many plays, and has been named one of the ten best film teachers in America by Daily Variety in 2010.

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Gyula Gazdag

Gyula Gazdag is a screenwriter and director of film, theater, and television, and is Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television. He has served as the Artistic Director of the Sundance Filmmakers Lab since 1997. He was a creative advisor at the Binger Filmlab for more than a decade and has worked at Berlinale Talents since 2006 and Sarajevo Talents since 2014. His feature films include multi award-winning A HUNGARIAN FAIRYTALE (Special Jury Prize at Locarno FF, one of Village Voice’s 10 best films, Best Feature Film – Hungarian Film Critics, and screened at Director’s Fortnight), STAND OFF (Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastián IFF), LOST ILLUSIONS (Best Screenplay Award at the Hungarian Film Week), SWAP, SINGING ON THE TREADMMILL, and THE WHISTLING COBBLESTONE (Best First Feature -Hungarian Film Critics). Gazdag has also directed documentaries including A POET ON THE LOWER EASTSIDE, HUNGARIAN CHRONICLES, PACKAGE TOUR; THE BANQUET, THE RESOLUTION (one of IDA’s best 100 documentaries of all time), THE SELECTION, and THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER. Most of his films have been banned for periods in Communist Hungary, and have been denied foreign exhibition, some of them have been banned again in 2012. Gazdag has directed many many plays, and has been named one of the ten best film teachers in America by Daily Variety in 2010.

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Joan Tewkesbury

After script supervising on Robert Altman’s iconic MCCABE & MRS. MILLER, Joan Tewkesbury went on to write the screenplays for Altmans’ THIEVES LIKE US and NASHVILLE.  As a director, her first feature OLD BOYFRIENDS was presented at Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Tewkesbury has written and directed numerous hours of cable and network television and been a director and consulting producer for series television.  Her work has been honored by the Writers Guild, Humanitas, Golden Globes, the British Academy Awards, Cable Ace and the Academy Awards. Tewkesbury is a long-standing creative advisor for the Sundance Institute Lab program including The Native Lab, New Frontiers, U Tube New Voices, The art of Non-Fiction and the Director’s and Screenwriter’s Labs.

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Michael Goldenberg

Michael Goldenberg’s screenwriting credits include the film Contact, adapted from the Carl Sagan novel and directed by Robert Zemeckis, as well as PETER PAN, directed by P.J. Hogan. He also worked on the adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE for Universal Pictures and producer Tom Hanks, directed by Spike Jonze. Goldenberg wrote and directed the romantic drama BED OF ROSES, starring Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson, and wrote the screenplay for the fifth Harry Potter film, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHEONIX. More recently, he contributed to the screenplays for GREEN LANTERN and SHERLOCK HOLMES 2, adapted the novel Artemis Fowl, for Disney and producer Harvey Weinstein, and penned one of a long line of scripts for the upcoming WONDER WOMAN.

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Brita McVeigh

Brita McVeigh works with actors, directors, writers and producers, as a dramaturg, coach and consultant. In less than a decade, Brita’s working methodology has contributed to the development of more than 123 feature film, short film, television and theatre projects. Brita began working in the film industry at the age of 19 and directed her first film at 28.  She had previously worked in story development, casting, production and post-production in both NZ and the United States. Since 2011, over 400 creative professionals have attended Brita’s Acting for Humans workshops. She is an advisory board member of Story Camp Aotearoa.

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Kath Shelper

Kath produced SAMSON & DELILAH, Warwick Thornton’s film which took out the Camera d’Or prize for best first feature in Cannes in 2009 as well as many other accolades worldwide. She produces the ABC TV Indigenous sketch comedy show Black Comedy, and in the last few years has produced Brendan Cowell’s debut feature Ruben Guthrie, Warwick Thornton’s doco THE DARKSIDE, Beck Cole’s feature HERE I AM, Lynette Wallworth’s doco TENDER, two chapters of THE TURNING feature film (dir: Warwick Thornton, Mia Wasikowska) and a further short film contribution to a feature anthology, also directed by Mia Wasikowska called MADLY, which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to this, Kath produced more short films than she cares to remember.

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Briar Grace-Smith

Briar Grace-Smith is of Ngā Puhi descent and has lent her writing and acting talents to the screen, page and stage. She wrote the TV play FISH SKIN SUIT and has been a writer on various TV series including BEING EVE, MATAKU, KAITANGATA TWITCH and WHEN WE GO TO WAR (to premiere 2015). Her feature film THE STRENGTH OF WATER won a NZ Scriptwriters Award for Best Feature Film Script in 2010. The horror-comedy FRESH MEAT featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014.

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Dana Rotberg

Dana Rotberg is a Mexican filmmaker. Her feature films are critically acclaimed and have played at numerous prestigious festivals, with ANGEL DE FUEGO, MAN GOD AND THE MONSTER and THE PERFECT CIRCLE all screening at Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. Her feature INTIMIDAD also played at Berlinale and OTILIA RAUDA was awarded with the Sundance Filmmaker’s Award. Dana is a member of the European Film Academy and is on the Mexican Council for Culture and the Arts. During her time living in New Zealand, Dana wrote and directed WHITE LIES, adapted from the novella MEDICINE WOMAN by Witi Ihimaera. She is currently living in Mexico City, where she is working on her next feature film.

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Bret McKenzie

A writer, musician, comedian and actor, Bret first became internationally well-known as one half of the Grammy Award-winning musical comedy duo FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS along with Jemaine Clement. The show was initially a BBC radio series and then after a performance at the Aspen Comedy Festival, Colorado, which caught the eye of HBO executives, FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS became a sitcom hit. Bret was also the music supervisor for two Muppet films, THE MUPPETS (2011) and MUPPETS MOST WANTED (2014), the former of which won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song ‘Man or Muppet’.  Bret’s current projects include writing a screenplay and songs for a film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book ‘Fortunately the Milk’ and preparing for an upcoming tour of the UK and Ireland.

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Dana Rotberg

Dana Rotberg is a Mexican filmmaker. Her feature films are critically acclaimed and have played at numerous prestigious festivals, with ANGEL DE FUEGO, MAN GOD AND THE MONSTER and THE PERFECT CIRCLE all screening at Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. Her feature INTIMIDAD also played at Berlinale and OTILIA RAUDA was awarded with the Sundance Filmmaker’s Award. Dana is a member of the European Film Academy and is on the Mexican Council for Culture and the Arts. During her time living in New Zealand, Dana wrote and directed WHITE LIES, adapted from the novella MEDICINE WOMAN by Witi Ihimaera. She is currently living in Mexico City, where she is working on her next feature film.

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Duncan Sarkies

Duncan Sarkies is a screenwriter, novelist, performer and short story writer. He has written seven plays, including SAVING GRACE which won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award. In screen he is known for his screenplays SCARFIES and TWO LITTLE BOYS (adapted from his novel of the same name). He has also brought his dark, quirky sensibility to FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, short films and has written for Australian comedy series MAXIMUM CHOPPAGE. His recent project is the audio extravaganza THE MYSTERIOUS SECRETS OF UNCLE BERTIE’S BOTANARIUM.

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Briar Grace-Smith

Briar Grace-Smith is of Ngā Puhi descent, and is an award-winning writer of short fiction, stage plays and feature films. Her plays include Ngā Pou Wāhine, Purapurawhetū and When Sun and Moon Collide. She is an inaugural Arts Foundation Laureate and was the writer in residence at Victoria University in 2003. She has also worked as a Development Executive for the New Zealand Film commission and taught ‘Writing for Theatre’ at IIML (2015). Briar is a Sundance alumni and the writer of the feature films THE STRENGTH OF WATER and the horror comedy FRESH MEAT. Her television credits include FISHSKIN SUIT, BEING EVE, KAITANGATA TWITCH and the Māori Television drama THIS IS PIKI. She was a director and co-writer of the short film, NINE OF HEARTS, and recently wrote and directed CHARM for the collaborative feature project WARU (BSAG Productions), which brings together the work of eight Māori women directors.

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Jake Mahaffy

Jake Mahaffy’s self-produced, micro-budget shorts and features were made single-handedly, featuring untrained actors in rural settings. His films have screened in international venues such as Sundance, Venice, SXSW, Rotterdam, MoMA (NY) and others. In 2008 his film WELLNESS won the Grand Jury prize at SXSW and in 2015 his film FREE IN DEED won Best Film Orizzonti Prize at Venice Film Festival. He founded two new filmmaking programs at two universities as an Associate Professor of Film and Art in the United States and currently coordinates the Screen Production program at the University of Auckland.

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Brita McVeigh

Brita McVeigh works with actors, directors, writers and producers, as a dramaturg, coach and consultant. In less than a decade, Brita’s working methodology has contributed to the development of more than 123 feature film, short film, television and theatre projects. Brita began working in the film industry at the age of 19 and directed her first film at 28.  She had previously worked in story development, casting, production and post-production in both NZ and the United States. Since 2011, over 400 creative professionals have attended Brita’s Acting for Humans workshops.

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Ainsley Gardiner

Ainsley Gardiner has produced shorts, feature films, TV series and commercials. In 2004 she established Whenua Films with actor Cliff Curtis to promote indigenous story-telling on screen. After working on award-winning shorts with Taika Waititi, Ainsley produced his first two features, EAGLE VS SHARK and breakout hit BOY. She is also producer of 2014 road movie THE PA BOYS, the feature debut of director Himiona Grace. Ainsley has recently written and directed one of 8 vignettes for the feature WARU and is writing an adaptation of a teen novel, as well as developing a slate of female driven features with her producing partner Georina Conder.

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Ainsley Gardiner

Ainsley is a writer, director and producer. Best known for producing Taika Waititi’s Oscar-nominated short film TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT and features EAGLE VS SHARK and NZ box-office hit BOY, Ainsley has also produced THE PĀ BOYS amongst a range of other films and television drama. Ainsley has now partnered with Georgina Conder to form Miss Conception Films, focusing on female-led stories. They are currently in pre-production on Jackie Van Beek and Madeline Sami’s THE BREAKERUPERERS alongside fellow producer Carthew Neal of Piki Films. Recently Ainsley wrote & directed a short for the collaborative anthology feature WARU.

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Loren Taylor

Loren Taylor is an actor, writer, director and casting director. She has been acting in film, television and theatre since she was 17. Loren co-wrote and starred in geek romance EAGLE VS SHARK by Taika Waititi, which took her to the Sundance Lab in 2005, and for which she won two best Best Actress awards. As a writer/director she recently completed an NZFC Premiere funded short film, and her Phoenix Foundation music video starring Bret McKenzie was selected for The Guardian’s website. She has been writing and directing commercials for international brands with the agency Wrestler and for local brands with the agency Double Denim. Loren is also a sought after casting director for film and commercials, and in 2015 worked with Derek Cianofrance on his film THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS. She has a feature film in development with the NZFC.

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Loren Taylor

Loren Taylor is an actor, writer, director and casting director. She has been acting in film, television and theatre since she was 17. Loren co-wrote and starred in geek romance EAGLE VS SHARK by Taika Waititi, which took her to the Sundance Lab in 2005, and for which she won two best Best Actress awards. As a writer/director she has a feature film, and a VR project in development with the NZFC, and her Phoenix Foundation music video was selected for The Guardian’s website. She has also been writing and directing commercials for international and local brands. Loren is a sought after casting director for film and commercials – she has a co casting credit on WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, and collaborated on Derek Cianfrance’s film THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.

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David Seidler

David Seidler has a vast oeuvre writing for stage, television, and feature film. In 2011, he was rewarded for his talent when he received both an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay for THE KINGS SPEECH. His previous work has included Francis Ford Coppola’s TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM, QUEST FOR CAMELOT, and the WGA Award winning ONASSIS THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD.