Ever wondered how to start a career writing for film or television? Three highly accomplished and successful writers will share their stories about the pathways they took to a career in the screen industry. Hear about the discoveries they made along the way, difficulties they encountered, and how they overcame obstacles to establish successful screenwriting careers.
An exceptional group of New Zealand screenwriters, our speakers for this event now include Pip Hall (The Dance Exponents-Why Does Love, One Lane Bridge, Runaway Millionaires), Briar Grace-Smith (Cousins, Rurangi, Strength of Water), and Michael Bennett (The Gone, In Dark Places, Matariki). Jackie Dennis, Executive Director of Script to Screen, will moderate the TALK.
Each speaker has a unique story that demonstrates their choices on the road to success. Come along – they will inspire you on your journey.
Friday, 11th August 2023
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – TALK
Screen CanterburyNZ Office
ChristchurchNZ – BNZ Centre, Level 3, 101 Cashel Street
For access to the venue, there is a lane off Cashel St Mall between Michael Hill & Spark. Lifts are on the left.
Wheelchair access is available.
$5.75 (incl. GST) for sales via EventBrite to secure your seat.
7:15 pm – 8:15 pm – Optional socialising
After the TALK we will move to the Kaiser Brew Garden for socialising with other attendees. Script to Screen will provide pizza, and it’s buy your own drinks.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS
Pip Hall has written for television and theatre, and won awards in both mediums. She started her screen career writing for sketch shows like Skitz and Telly Laughs, and enjoyed a long working relationship with soap Shortland Street. She went on to work on the scripts for Kiwi TV movies Why Does Love? and Runaway Millionaires, miniseries Jonah (about Jonah Lomu) and crime show One Lane Bridge.
“I love telling stories because I want to share the human condition, so that we know we are not alone in this big, crazy world; so we can celebrate our similarities and our differences.” – Pip Hall
Briar Grace-Smith is of Ngā Puhi descent and a 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 Arts Foundation Laureate and was recently made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film, television and theatre. She has 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 Fresh Meat. Her television credits include Fishskin Suit, Being Eve, Kaitangata Twitch and the Australian children’s television series, Grace Beside Me (2017). She was a director and co-writer of the short film, Nine of Hearts, and wrote and directed Charm for the feature project Waru (2017). She collaborated with Toi Whakaari, directing Krystal, a short film by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu. She was the screenwriter and co-director of the feature film Cousins, and is a writer and co-director of Rūrangi, Series 2. Briar was made a member of the Directors branch of the Academy in 2022.
Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker and author. He is the 2020 recipient of the Te Aupounamu Māori Screen Excellence Award, awarded by the NZ Film Commission for excellence in Māori filmmaking. Michael’s short films and feature films have screened and won awards internationally, including Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Locarno, New York, London, ImagiNative and Dreamspeakers. Michael devoted many years of his recent career to the fight for justice for Teina Pora, a young Māori man wrongly imprisoned for 21 years. Michael made the documentary The Confessions of Prisoner T, which lead to the discovery of evidence pivotal to Teina’s exoneration. Michael directed and co-wrote the feature film In Dark Places (2019) about Teina’s case, which was finalist for a record 11 awards in the NZ Television Awards, winning Best Film and Best Director. Michael has been head writer or showrunner for many dozens of hours of prime-time television drama including The Gone (NZ / Ireland crime thriller), Vegas (crime thriller), Te Kohu (supernatural drama), Mataku (the Māori Twilight Zone). Michael’s debut novel Better The Blood, a crime thriller, was published in 2022 in the UK, USA, Australia and NZ, with nine international translations. Better The Blood was a finalist for the fiction prize at the 2023 New Zealand literary awards (The Ockhams), the first time a crime novel has been shortlisted for the premiere NZ literary award. Michael is currently adapting his novel for television, and writing the second book in the series, Return To Blood.