STS TALK: Adapting Real Life For The Screen

Take care of our children. Take care of what they hear. Take care of what they see. For how the children grow, so will the shape of Aotearoa.
– Dame Whina Cooper

So many screen stories start with a personal or memorable experience that often includes other people. When developing a script based on actual events, it helps to understand your place in the story, how far you can stray from the truth, and who you need to consult with. This TALK will cover those challenges and other considerations for autobiographical projects and stories about a public figure.

Hear from three outstanding writer-directors, Welby Ings (Punch, Sparrow), Mathew J. Saville (Juniper, Dive) and Paula Whetu Jones (Whina, Waru), as they discuss their recent experience weaving screen stories from truth, memory, and social history. Moderated by filmmaker Karin Williams (SIS, Teine Sa), this promises to be an insightful and valuable conversation.

Join us at Tapac on Wednesday, the 29th of March, at 6:30 pm.

Wednesday 29 March 2023
6:30 – 7:30pm -TALK
7:30 – 8:30pm – Cash bar, socialising and pizza
TAPAC, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs, Auckland

After the TALK, stay and have pizza on Script to Screen, there will be a cash bar and socialising with fellow filmmakers.

$5.75 (incl. GST) for sales via EventBrite to secure your seat.
$5.00 cash at the door.


WELBY INGS is a multi-award winning designer, filmmaker, and writer. His short films, Boy, Munted and Sparrow have been selected in competition at over 80 international film festivals. His critically acclaimed LGBTQI+ feature film Punch had its international premiere last year in Tallinn Black Nights, and it is currently programmed across a spectrum of international festivals. As well as being a film director Welby is also a Professor in Narrative Design at Auckland University of Technology.

MATTHEW J. SAVILLE is an award-winning writer, director and actor. Having graduated from New Zealand’s National Drama School, Toi Whakaari, it was directing that really sparked Matt’s passion. HIs directorial debut – 2012’s NZFC funded short film Hitch Hike – thumbed its way to festivals all around the world and Matt’s sophomore effort, the multi-award winning Dive, premiered at the prestigious Telluride Film Festival. Both films have garnered millions of views online. In 2021 he wrote and directed his first feature film Juniper, starring Academy Award nominee Charlotte Rampling. Aside from a strong festival run, Juniper opened theatrically worldwide in territories including the UK, Scandinavia and Australia and will be released theatrically in the US and Canada in January 2023.

Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Whakatohea  Ngati Porou

Born and raised in Hastings, I went to film school where I specialised in things I never went on to do but I did learn the processes and discipline of film and TV. My foray into documentary came from being tired of people perpetuating stereotypes and getting “our” stories wrong. For me, it is all about context. If you don’t know the world, it’s much harder to get authenticity in your story.

I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years and have worked in all production areas, but lately I have moved from doco to drama. I recently co-directed and co-wrote the feature film Whina and was one of the Māori Women writer-directors on Waru. I am currently a co-writer and co-director on a Warner Bros NZ series, the creator, co-writer and co-director of a series for Neon, and I’m in the second draft of a historical NZ feature script for Sweetshop and Green.

KARIN WILLIAMS is a descendant of British settlers in Aotearoa and ancestors from the South Pacific island of Aitutaki. She began her career as a reporter at the Cook Islands News in Rarotonga, going on to work as a writer, director and producer for broadcast networks in New Zealand and the USA. She founded Multinesia Productions to support global indigenous storytelling and has worked with first nations communities in Canada, Alaska and the Pacific. Her independent film projects have screened at festivals around the world. Recent credits include Teine Sā, a Pacific horror/anthology series for Sky NZ Originals, and the acclaimed Polynesian sketch comedy series, SIS for Comedy Central.

Script to Screen TALKS are made possible thanks to generous support from New Zealand Film Commission, Foundation North and White Studios.





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