News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Battle of the Five Armies Packs Huge Chain Mail Punch

Battle of the Five Armies Packs Huge Chain Mail Punch

Upon its release in Britain, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was met with great enthusiasm, with UK newspapers agreeing the New Zealand director has completed his trilogy with verve. “Jackson’s…

Nine Things We’ve Learned about Peter Jackson’s Epic Saga

Nine Things We’ve Learned about Peter Jackson’s Epic Saga

“Just as there are nine members of the Fellowship, here are nine things we have learned from Peter Jackson’s six-picture behemoth …” Guardian journalist Ryan Gilbey gives us the rundown. “It’s big. But how big?…

Roger Donaldson Remembers New Zealand Beginnings

Roger Donaldson Remembers New Zealand Beginnings

Before he became one of Hollywood’s most dependable big-movie helmers with hits for stars such as Eastwood, Pacino, Cruise, Costner, Hopkins, Statham, Brosnan, Roger Donaldson, 69, literally helped invent the film industry in New…

Arrow Star Manu Bennett Revels in Playing the Bad Guy

Arrow Star Manu Bennett Revels in Playing the Bad Guy

Playing the bad guy has never worried New Zealand-born actor Manu Bennett who enjoys the roles of two deliciously deviant characters at the moment: Arrow’s anti-hero Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) and the terrifying Orc…

Amazing Race Host Phil Keoghan’s Workout-Anywhere Tips

Amazing Race Host Phil Keoghan’s Workout-Anywhere Tips

How does New Zealander Phil Keoghan, globe-trotting Amazing Race host, stay fit? the Los Angeles Times asks. By finding a “gym” anywhere he goes. Keoghan gets around. The host of the Emmy-winning CBS show since…

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Is One Epic Film

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Is One Epic Film

Seventeen years after Sir Peter Jackson won the rights to film The Lord Of The Rings, he is finally taking leave of JRR Tolkien and Middle-earth with the conclusion of The Hobbit. The new film marks a magnificent,…

Antarctica Travelogue Gorgeously Photographed

Antarctica Travelogue Gorgeously Photographed

“Anthony Powell’s Antarctica: A Year on Ice is a gorgeously photographed travelogue about the harshest terrain on Earth,” writes Star Tribune reviewer Colin Covert. “Powell’s feature-length documentary is a trove of time-lapse shots and…

Stars Dazzle At The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies World Premiere

Stars Dazzle At The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies World Premiere

Oscar Winning New Zealand director Sir Peter Jackson and his stars arrived on a green carpet for the world premiere of his latest film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. The premiere was…

NZ-China Sign World-First TV Co-Production Agreement

NZ-China Sign World-First TV Co-Production Agreement

The New Zealand and China governments have signed what’s said to be a world first television industry co-production agreement, which is in addition to a feature film treaty signed in 2010 and is the…

Stone Street Studios to Produce Pete’s Dragon

Stone Street Studios to Produce Pete’s Dragon

Walt Disney has confirmed that production of Pete’s Dragon, a remake of the 1977 film and starring Robert Redford, will be based at Peter Jackson’s Stone Street Studios. The live-action and CGI film…

Maori Martial Arts Rule the Big Screen in The Dead Lands

Maori Martial Arts Rule the Big Screen in The Dead Lands

Matthew Metcalfe’s feature film The Dead Lands, shot entirely in Te Reo Maori and the first to showcase the ancient Maori martial art mau rakau, is due for official worldwide release early next year. The…

Peter Jackson to Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Peter Jackson to Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

New Zealand filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson is set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ahead of the release of his new film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Jackson…

Lorde’s ‘Hunger Games’ Soundtrack

Lorde’s ‘Hunger Games’ Soundtrack

The Wall Street Journal’s John Jurgensen reviews the soundtrack Lorde curated for the latest blockbuster Hunger Games movie, in an article titled “How Lorde Played God on the ‘Hunger Games’ Soundtrack’.” ““The Hunger Games” has another…

‘What We Do In the Shadows’ Wins Hawaii Audience Prize

‘What We Do In the Shadows’ Wins Hawaii Audience Prize

“What We Do In the Shadows,” Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s New Zealand-made documentary-style comedy about three flatmates who happen to be vampires won the audience award for best narrative feature at the Hawaii International…

Weta’s Richard Taylor Takes on Thunderbirds Challenge

Weta’s Richard Taylor Takes on Thunderbirds Challenge

The idea to adapt half-century-old television series Thunderbirds began 12 years ago when New Zealander Richard Taylor an Oscar-winning visual effects, makeup and costumes wizard, went to the UK to ask for creator Gerry…

Teen Star James Rolleston on Why He’s “Nothing Flash-As”

Teen Star James Rolleston on Why He’s “Nothing Flash-As”

The New Zealand actor James Rolleston who impressed in Taika Waititi’s smash hit Boy is back with two new homegrown films that wowed at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. In The Dead Lands Rolleston,…

Taika Waititi Pens Disney Animation Film Moana

Taika Waititi Pens Disney Animation Film Moana

Disney’s 56th animated film Moana has magic written all over it, according to the Latin Post and New Zealand writer and director Taika Waititi has a hand in it. The film is the studio’s…

Lorde Dishes up Pre-fame Secrets for Billboard

Lorde Dishes up Pre-fame Secrets for Billboard

With the Lorde-curated Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack coming out on 17 November, the soon-to-be-18-year-old pop singer is proving her taste in collaborators – Kanye West, Chemical Brothers, Miguel and more – are…

Rena Owen’s Hollywood Revival

Rena Owen’s Hollywood Revival

On the telephone from her West Hollywood apartment New Zealand actress Rena Owen says the biggest misconception about her life in Los Angeles is that she leads one of movie-star luxury. “The amount of people…

Designer Sean Kelly Wins Project Runway Season 13

Designer Sean Kelly Wins Project Runway Season 13

New Zealander Sean Kelly, 25, has won season 13 of Project Runway, battling it out with a show at New York Fashion Week in a final judge Heidi Klum declared the best in the…

Weta Cave Workshop Expands for Tour Groups

Weta Cave Workshop Expands for Tour Groups

Hobbit fever is ramping up in Wellington ahead of the third and final installment of Peter Jackson‘s “Hobbit” trilogy and Weta Workshop is expanding to meet demand. In a bid to cater to growing demand from tour groups…

Andrew McCarten on How to Make a Film about a Living Person

Andrew McCarten on How to Make a Film about a Living Person

New Zealand producer and screenwriter Anthony McCarten discusses the difficulties in making a film about a person who is still alive. McCarten’s latest feature is a biopic about theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, The Theory…

‘Housebound’ a Satisfying Horror-Comedy Spookfest

‘Housebound’ a Satisfying Horror-Comedy Spookfest

The horror-comedy film Housebound, the writing-directing feature debut from New Zealand filmmaker Gerard Johnstone, is described as “creepy, silly, inventive, darkly funny and, at one point, mind blowingly bloody,” by Gary Goldstein for the…

Hospitality Guru Shane Green to the Rescue

Hospitality Guru Shane Green to the Rescue

Las Vegas hospitality guru New Zealander Shane Green is the host of new Travel Chanel reality show, Resort Rescue. Green shows owners his unbelievable hidden camera discoveries and why their resort is in bad…

US Indie Film Role for Former Vampire Jemaine Clement

US Indie Film Role for Former Vampire Jemaine Clement

New Zealand comedian Jemaine Clement, who played 862-year-old Vladislav in What We Do in the Shadows, will next star in the indie drama People Places Things directed by James Strouse. Following appearances in Hollywood films…

The Dead Lands Provoking Londoners to Travel South

The Dead Lands Provoking Londoners to Travel South

Director Toa Fraser’s latest film The Dead Lands (Hautoa) is one of 10 films from the 2014 London Film Festival “that are sure to see you planning trips to New Zealand, Borneo…

BBC Announces Cop Drama “Bay of Plenty”

BBC Announces Cop Drama “Bay of Plenty”

Two female detectives will be the lead characters in a new BBC drama set in Rotorua. Luther creator Neil Cross will return to BBC as the creator of the drama, provisionally titled Bay of Plenty. The show will focus on…

Marton Csokas Menacing in The Equalizer Opposite Denzel Washington

Marton Csokas Menacing in The Equalizer Opposite Denzel Washington

Invercargill-born film and theatre actor Marton Csokas – who plays Russian bad guy Teddy opposite Denzel Washington in The Equalizer – chats with entertainment industry magazine Backstage about his approach to his craft, his…

Sam Neill Says We Can All Identify with Working Class Crims

Sam Neill Says We Can All Identify with Working Class Crims

Ask Peaky Blinders star New Zealander Sam Neill to account for the success of the BBC’s six-parter about Birmingham razor gangs – an odd but winning mix of industrial grime, street violence, catwalk-friendly fashion…

Andrew McCarten’s Stephen Hawking Biopic a Comprehendible Hit

Andrew McCarten’s Stephen Hawking Biopic a Comprehendible Hit

New Zealand screenwriter Anthony McCarten’s latest The Theory of Everything, which hits American cinemas on November 7, is “a sensitively directed inspirational biopic centred around the great British physicist Stephen Hawking and his mind-over-body…

Martin Henderson Busy Thrilling on the Small Screen

Martin Henderson Busy Thrilling on the Small Screen

Star of Australian thriller Secrets and Lies Auckland-born Martin Henderson, 39, talks to DIY magazine about his part in the critically acclaimed series The Red Road opposite Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa and…

Filmmaker Taika Waititi Flourishing out of the Mainstream

Filmmaker Taika Waititi Flourishing out of the Mainstream

He’s best known as the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind hits like Flight Of The Conchords and New Zealand’s highest-ever grossing film Boy. But Taika Waititi had a brush with mainstream Hollywood fame when he starred alongside…

Lucy Lawless Plays a Teacher in New Outback Thriller

Lucy Lawless Plays a Teacher in New Outback Thriller

Lucy Lawless stars in ABC political thriller The Code as Alex Wisham, a teacher in a remote indigenous school who protects an Aboriginal boy blamed for the death of a teenage girl. She gets…

Cliff Curtis Gives Career-Making Performance as Genesis Potini

Cliff Curtis Gives Career-Making Performance as Genesis Potini

New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis, 46, who gives a career-making performance in fellow New Zealand director James Napier Robertson’s The Dark Horse (now playing the Toronto International Film Festival) is serious about his craft….

Wellington Vampire Movie Wins People’s Choice at Toronto Film Festival

Wellington Vampire Movie Wins People’s Choice at Toronto Film Festival

‘What We Do In the Shadows’ was a big hit at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, winning the Grolsch Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award.  Its co-creator, ‘Flight of the Conchords’ star Jemaine Clement,…

Good Kill Andrew Niccol’s Sobering 21st Century Riposte to Top Gun

Good Kill Andrew Niccol’s Sobering 21st Century Riposte to Top Gun

In Good Kill, which has its world premiere this month at the Venice Film Festival, New Zealand writer-director Andrew Niccol explores the implications of waging war while staying home, a development that – for…

Jemaine Clement Talks Conchords and Vampires

Jemaine Clement Talks Conchords and Vampires

Conchord and vampire Jemaine Clement is interviewed by The Guardian’s Alexander Bisley on his new film What We Do in the Shadows, share homes, and his Maori heritage. Clement is one of the most noted…

Black Ranger Power Given to Local Actor James Davies

Black Ranger Power Given to Local Actor James Davies

New Zealand actor James Davies will co-star as Black Ranger (pictured, far left) in Power Rangers Dino Charge, with the television show confirmed to return to the country for filming of the latest series. Davies…

Hobbit Trilogy Beating the Odds to Hit Screens

Hobbit Trilogy Beating the Odds to Hit Screens

“In one of the most epic feats in recent cinema history, New Zealander director Peter Jackson brought to life Tolkien’s fantastical universe with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Almost a decade later, the…

Lee Tamahori Teams up with Adrien Brody on Emperor

Lee Tamahori Teams up with Adrien Brody on Emperor

Director Lee Tamahori is in the Czech Republic filming Emperor, a movie based on 16th century Roman ruler Charles V and starring A-lister Adrien Brody. The 64-year-old director of cult 90s film Once Were Warriors…

Fassbender to Film in New Zealand

Fassbender to Film in New Zealand

Michael Fassbender is to shoot his new film, The Light Between Oceans, in New Zealand. Despite being set off the Australian coast, Derek Cianfrance’s big-screen adaptation of ML Stedman’s 2012 novel is to be filmed…

Lucy Lawless to Star in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Lucy Lawless to Star in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Former Xena: Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless, 46, will join the cast of American television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D in an unspecified role later this year. According to TV Line, the show is looking to fill…

Kiwi Directs New Katy Perry Video

Kiwi Directs New Katy Perry Video

Joel Kefali has directed music videos for Lorde, The Naked and Famous and David Dallas – but he’s just released his biggest one yet. The Kiwi director is the man behind Katy Perry’s latest video, This…

Revisiting Jane Campion’s Haunting Classic The Piano

Revisiting Jane Campion’s Haunting Classic The Piano

The New Zealand-born director Jane Campion won the 1986 short film Palme d’Or at Cannes with her nine-minute Peel, shared the Palme d’Or for The Piano (with Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine) in 1993,…

Keisha Castle-Hughes Picked for Game of Thrones

Keisha Castle-Hughes Picked for Game of Thrones

Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes will join the cast of hit HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones, starring as Obara Sand, Oberyn’s eldest daughter and a fearsome warrior in her own right. In a video of…

Melanie Lynskey Revising Cinematic Female Archetypes

Melanie Lynskey Revising Cinematic Female Archetypes

Melanie Lynskey has built a career on genuine, naturalistic portrayals of women in films like Up in the Air, Win Win, Hello, I Must Be Going, and, at age 16, in the Peter Jackson-directed…

Photographer David Melcalf Travelling Home with Borneo Tribe

Photographer David Melcalf Travelling Home with Borneo Tribe

In the face of threats to Borneo’s cultural history, New Zealand-born photographer David Metcalf is seeking to help reunite the North Kalimantan Kenya Dayak tribe with their ancestral homelands. Environmentalists estimate that over 52 per…

Planet of the Apes Sequel Motion Rapture by Cinematographer Michael Seresin

Planet of the Apes Sequel Motion Rapture by Cinematographer Michael Seresin

Cinematographer Michael Seresin’s recent work on Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is “stunning, especially when we are following the apes swinging through the trees and across girders,” the Birmingham Mail declares in…

Comic-Con Kicks Off Featuring Strong Kiwi Contingent

Comic-Con Kicks Off Featuring Strong Kiwi Contingent

Comic-Con begins in San Diego today, with the New Zealand representatives ranging from Peter Jackson and the Hobbit producers to a small movie made by an Auckland animation school. The Hobbit will be a major…

Antipodean Superheroes Cross the Bridge onto US Screens

Antipodean Superheroes Cross the Bridge onto US Screens

New Zealand-made television series The Almighty Johnsons, which made its American network premiere this month, is reviewed in the Los Angeles Times and stands out according to Robert Lloyd, for its scenery, its 100…

Luther Creator up for an Emmy

Luther Creator up for an Emmy

Neil Cross, the Wellington-based English screenwriter and novelist figures among the Emmy nominations announced in the United States, up for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for the third season of…

From Scotland with Love Narrates a Country’s Heritage

From Scotland with Love Narrates a Country’s Heritage

Compiled from hundreds of hours of archive material, director Virginia Heath’s From Scotland With Love narrates Scottish history and heritage through the lives of everyday people, to a soundtrack by native Kenny Anderson…

Daughter’s Homage to Father Makes US Premiere

Daughter’s Homage to Father Makes US Premiere

Filmmaker Alyx Duncan’s conservationist father is the inspiration for her latest work, a short film mixing puppetry with live action called, The Tide Keeper. The film makes its premiere at the 2014 Palm Springs…

Jackson to Be Honoured with Walk of Fame Star

Jackson to Be Honoured with Walk of Fame Star

Sir Peter Jackson will be immortalised in brass as one of the movie world’s greats with the director set to get his name on a Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame star. “Being honoured with a…

Crossing over Entertainment Mediums at Paris Market

Crossing over Entertainment Mediums at Paris Market

Actress and screenwriter Emily Corcoran, the New Zealand-born founder of London-based Cork Film Ltd., is one of a number of film professionals crossing over to the web, and presented transmedia projects at Cross…

Long May the Embassy Theatre Prosper

Long May the Embassy Theatre Prosper

Wellington’s “architecturally indulgent” Embassy Theatre, which was built in 1924 and restored “to its former glories” in 2003, is included in the Guardian’s Cine-files series. Thomas Page of The Guardian describes the Embassy Theatre is the perfect shop…