News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Peter Jackson to Receive Visual Effects Accolade

Peter Jackson to Receive Visual Effects Accolade

New Zealand film director Sir Peter Jackson will receive the Visual Effects Society Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th annual VES Awards, which will be presented during a virtual ceremony on 6 April. “Sir Peter…

Deadpan NZ Comedy Acts Resonate Far and Wide

Deadpan NZ Comedy Acts Resonate Far and Wide

The peculiar brand of awkward, self-deprecating, deadpan humour Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie and Taika Waititi developed on stage in the late 1990s – let’s call it the Wellington School of comedy – has now…

Whina an Exacting Assignment for Rena Owen

Whina an Exacting Assignment for Rena Owen

None of veteran New Zealand actor Rena Owen’s tough previous roles prepared her for the demands – both physical and emotional – of playing Māori matriarch and political activist Whina Cooper, in the new…

Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan Fronts Tough as Nails

Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan Fronts Tough as Nails

Over the last two decades, Phil Keoghan has mostly led a nomadic life, Praveen Sudevan writes for The Hindu. As the host of The Amazing Race, a reality adventure show with 15 Emmy awards,…

Stunt Royal Zoë Bell Embracing Collaboration

Stunt Royal Zoë Bell Embracing Collaboration

It’s been 20 years since New Zealander Zoë Bell arrived in Los Angeles, where she soon took her stunt double career to another level. The Waiheke Island-native made her name after the iconic stunt collaboration…

There’s Extreme Tension Coming Home in the Dark

There’s Extreme Tension Coming Home in the Dark

“The enormity of nature hits you like a freight train in the early scenes of James Ashcroft’s taut and sinewy first feature, Coming Home in the Dark,” David Rooney writes in a…

Comedian Rose Matafeo’s 2021 is Shaping Up

Comedian Rose Matafeo’s 2021 is Shaping Up

With an acclaimed romcom, one-off HBO special and a new sitcom out this year, 2021 is looking good for New Zealand-born rising comic, Rose Matafeo, who is based in the UK. NME’s George Fenwick recently…

Popular Film Baby Done Released in UK

Popular Film Baby Done Released in UK

With New Zealand-made film Baby Done just released on digital platforms throughout the UK, the BBC’s Emma Jones writes about the film’s star, Rose Matafeo, and how the film explores misgivings about motherhood. Matafeo, 28,…

RuPaul’s Drag Race Heads Down Under

RuPaul’s Drag Race Heads Down Under

Emmy-winning production company World of Wonder is bringing RuPaul’s drag queen reality series to New Zealand and Australia, and it will be appropriately titled RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, Dino-Ray Ramos reports for Deadline. RuPaul…

Filmmaker Charlotte Larsen On Her Latest Projects

Filmmaker Charlotte Larsen On Her Latest Projects

US-based Charlotte Larsen, 38, is poised to become a household name. The New Zealand native has found success as a producer and actress on popular films like Gloria and Great Expectations. She is currently…

Emerging Actor Nathalie Morris Plays Teen Parent

Emerging Actor Nathalie Morris Plays Teen Parent

“Every few years, a tabloid story pops up about a teenager who didn’t know she was pregnant until she started giving birth. We never really hear about what happens next. The new Australian series…

Thomasin McKenzie Poised to Dominate 2021

Thomasin McKenzie Poised to Dominate 2021

“Even in a year free from Hollywood’s typical machinations – red carpets, fall festivals, movie theatres – stars could still be made seemingly overnight,” Keaton Bell writes for Vogue. “Here’s our rundown of 15…

Peter Jackson Astonishes With Beatles Documentary

Peter Jackson Astonishes With Beatles Documentary

“In a brilliant move, the Beatles him to work on the 56 hours of…

Rachel House Counts Souls in Pixar’s Latest Outing

Rachel House Counts Souls in Pixar’s Latest Outing

Auckland-born actor Rachel House, 49, is the voice of Terry, a Great Beyond “soul counter” in Pixar’s latest animated comedy-drama, Soul. House recorded remotely for the film from New Zealand, which also stars Jamie…

Martin Henderson Isn’t Just Jack From Virgin River

Martin Henderson Isn’t Just Jack From Virgin River

Auckland-born actor Martin Henderson, 46, stars in Netflix series, Virgin River as the love interest of Mel Monroe played by Alexandra Breckenridge – “who moves to the tiny titular town in hopes of escaping…

How Our Film Industry Boomed During the Pandemic

How Our Film Industry Boomed During the Pandemic

Thanks to its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand is enjoying an unprecedented boom in film production, with directors seeking safe conditions, and that most elusive thing this year – a normal life,…

Kiwi YouTube gaming comedy trio levels up

Kiwi YouTube gaming comedy trio levels up

New Zealand-based YouTube comedy trio Viva La Dirt League – which is behind popular video game skit series like Epic NPC Man and Game Logic – has signed with Creative Artists…

Henry Blake’s County Lines Draws From Youth Work

Henry Blake’s County Lines Draws From Youth Work

A thoroughly absorbing though deeply upsetting drama, County Lines is a remarkable debut feature from New Zealand-born writer-director Henry Blake. Inspired by his own experiences as a youth worker in East London, Blake hopes…

Rocky Horror Creator Richard O’Brien Interviewed

Rocky Horror Creator Richard O’Brien Interviewed

New Zealand-raised Richard O’Brien, the creator of the cult Rocky Horror Picture Show is not going quietly into his 70s. O’Brien, who lives with his third wife, Sabrina, just outside of Katikati, talks with…

Braindead Reflects Mindset of Early 1990s Youth

Braindead Reflects Mindset of Early 1990s Youth

“The rebellious nature of the mid-to-late 20th-century teenager sought to expose , deviating from the social norms to embrace the very depths of ‘bad taste’. Simultaneously, whilst yet unknown, New-Zealand…

Comedian Rose Matafeo Shines Bright in Baby Done

Comedian Rose Matafeo Shines Bright in Baby Done

Directed by Curtis Vowell and produced by Taika Waititi, award-winning comic Rose Matafeo “is wonderful in irresistible film about parenthood”, Guardian Australia critic Luke Buckmaster writes in a review of New Zealand comedy/drama, Baby…

Roseanne Liang’s Shadow in the Cloud a Blast

Roseanne Liang’s Shadow in the Cloud a Blast

“Imagine how Ripley of Alien would handle a Nightmare at 20,000 Feet-style gremlin attack. Sound wild? Roseanne Liang’s female empowerment thriller delivers on that premise.” Variety’s Peter Debruge reviews the New Zealand director’s film…

Underplayed Doco Stacey’s Lee’s Homage to Women

Underplayed Doco Stacey’s Lee’s Homage to Women

Electronic music documentary Underplayed is the feature debut of New Zealand-born director Stacey Lee, who has been shortlisted for the Cannes Young Directors Award. “Filmed through a deeply intersectional feminist lens, Underplayed highlights not…

Savage is a Moving Street-Gang Saga

Savage is a Moving Street-Gang Saga

“A pulse of vulnerability beats at the heart of Sam Kelly’s outwardly imposing but unexpectedly touching debut feature, Savage,” Phil Hoad writes in a review of the film for The Guardian. The film has…

Wheel Of Time Star Zöe Robins Profiled

Wheel Of Time Star Zöe Robins Profiled

Amazon Prime’s epic adaptation of The Wheel Of Time is based in an alternate world where magic exists, but only certain women are permitted to use it. One of those women, Nynaeve, is played…

Eco Challenge Racer Nathan Fa’avae Wins For NZ

Eco Challenge Racer Nathan Fa’avae Wins For NZ

Nelson-based adventure racer Nathan Fa’avae, 48, who led the New Zealand team on to win the World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji, is profiled by entertainment news site, Screen Rant. For the World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji…

Niki Caro’s Mulan “a dazzling, moving, hair-prickling spectacle”

Niki Caro’s Mulan “a dazzling, moving, hair-prickling spectacle”

An Empire reviewer bemoans this month’s “bittersweet” release of New Zealander Niki Caro’s live-action adaptation Mulan through online streamer Disney Plus. “Not only the best live-action Disney adaptation to date, but also a dazzling,…

Story of WWII Spy Nancy Wake To Hit TV Screens

Story of WWII Spy Nancy Wake To Hit TV Screens

Anonymous Content, the company behind True Detective and The Revenant, has acquired the TV rights to the New York Times bestselling novel Code Name Hélène written by Ariel Lawhon about Wellington-born World War II heroine…

Director Jessica Hobbs Charged with Crown’s Finale

Director Jessica Hobbs Charged with Crown’s Finale

For New Zealand-born Jessica Hobbs, being asked to direct episodes of feted Netflix period drama The Crown was one thing but being tasked with helming the season finale was quite another, Nikki Baughan reports…

Taking Māori Narratives to Hollywood a Good Thing

Taking Māori Narratives to Hollywood a Good Thing

In a story published by Cambridge University student newspaper, Varsity, Emily Moss argues that we have “nothing to fear” from New Zealander Taika Waititi’s move into the mainstream, “as he seems intent on taking…

Actor Michael Dorman Star of Creepy New Thriller

Actor Michael Dorman Star of Creepy New Thriller

Veteran actor Auckland-born Michael Dorman, 39, stars as Jack Shaughnessy, an ambitious TV sports reporter in the new six-episode Australian thriller The Secrets She Keeps screening on US channel, Sundance Now. The New York Post…

Amazing Race Host Phil Keoghan on Future of Travel

Amazing Race Host Phil Keoghan on Future of Travel

Los Angeles-based Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race, has been working on a new competition show for CBS called Tough As Nails featuring essential workers, which finished filming before the coronavirus outbreak and premieres…

Hamish Bennett’s Bellbird Antidote to Winter Gloom

Hamish Bennett’s Bellbird Antidote to Winter Gloom

“Warming the cockles of audience hearts at last year’s Sydney Film Festival, New Zealander Hamish Bennett’s comedy Bellbird is a defiantly optimistic tribute to the Northland region where the primary school teacher-cum-filmmaker grew up,”…

Everything You Need to Know about The Luminaries

Everything You Need to Know about The Luminaries

“Set during the New Zealand gold rush in the 1860s, is a heady concoction of love, murder and revenge. It follows the story of Anna Weatherell (played by…

Sam Neill Back on Set with Anna Paquin

Sam Neill Back on Set with Anna Paquin

The Jurassic Park star Sam Neill has been entertaining the masses during lockdown with his ukulele playing and ‘Cinema Quarantino Productions’. He talks to The Independent’s Alexandra Pollard about his new role on season…

Lighting Up the TV Screen With a Wild Rush

Lighting Up the TV Screen With a Wild Rush

The six-part television adaptation of New Zealand author Eleanor Catton’s award-winning 2013 novel, The Luminaries is “a romantic introduction to the Southern Hemisphere country’s 19th century gold rush”, according to The National’s correspondent, Farah…

Sam Neill Locked in the Kitchen

Sam Neill Locked in the Kitchen

New Zealand actor Sam Neill talks to the UK’s Observer about shunning fame, putting his latest movie on hold, online cooking … and playing Radiohead’s Creep on the ukulele. Neill, star of Jurassic Park, The…

Cogs Begin to Turn on Avatar Sequel Set

Cogs Begin to Turn on Avatar Sequel Set

Leave it to James Cameron to find a way to work through a pandemic, Yohana Desta writes for Vanity Fair. Like every other major film production, the Avatar sequel – which has been in…

Russell Crowe’s Gladiator Marks Two Decades

Russell Crowe’s Gladiator Marks Two Decades

As the Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott epic, Gladiator marks two decades since it first hit cinemas, UAE English-language daily newspaper, The National looks back at how Ait Benhaddou in Morocco formed the backdrop to some…

Jemaine Clement Prefers to See the World by Bike

Jemaine Clement Prefers to See the World by Bike

New Zealand actor Jemaine Clement, 46, has spent the last two decades or so travelling from his homeland to Los Angeles and beyond for his career, and has come up with some pretty good…

Sixty Seconds With Anna Paquin

Sixty Seconds With Anna Paquin

New Zealand-Canadian actress Anna Paquin, 37, speaks with UK newspaper Metro about season two of television series, Flack, being a child star, and living under lockdown. “Nobody wants to hear actors complaining about anything ever…

Singer Shirley Setia Debuts in Netflix Film Maska

Singer Shirley Setia Debuts in Netflix Film Maska

Aucklander Shirley Setia, who has made her acting debut with the Netflix film, Maska, recently spoke with India’s Bollywood Life. The actress, who began her career as a musician, hopes that the film will…

Stacey Lee’s Doco Underplayed to Show at TriBeCa

Stacey Lee’s Doco Underplayed to Show at TriBeCa

Among the documentaries premiering at this year’s TriBeCa Film Festival in April is New Zealand-born, Los Angeles-based Stacey Lee’s debut feature-length project, Underplayed, about the gender inequality in electronic music, Lily Moayeri reports for…

Taika Waititi Takes on the Chocolate Factory

Taika Waititi Takes on the Chocolate Factory

Academy Award-winning director New Zealander Taika Waititi has signed a deal with Netflix to write, direct and produce two animated series based on the works of the children’s author, Roald Dahl, The Guardian reports. The…

Dream Catchers Charts 32 Remarkable New Zealanders Making an Impact in the UK

Dream Catchers Charts 32 Remarkable New Zealanders Making an Impact in the UK

Dream Catchers is on YouTube! Produced by Hilary Timmins, the full eight episodes celebrating 32 New Zealand innovators and cultural pioneers in the UK has posted online as well as on Air…

Why Niki Caro Was Right Choice for Disney Remake

Why Niki Caro Was Right Choice for Disney Remake

Mulan director New Zealand-born Niki Caro, 53, has a message for those who take issue with the fact that Disney’s latest live-action remake was not helmed by an Asian filmmaker, Christopher Rosen writes for…

The Luminaries TV Adaptation Coming Soon

The Luminaries TV Adaptation Coming Soon

Lead produced by Working Title Television, distributed internationally by Fremantle and coming soon to BBC Two, period thriller The Luminaries, adapted from New Zealand author Eleanor Catton’s prize-winning novel, has initiated a global roll-out,…

“Favorite Weirdo” Taika Waititi Wins Oscar Glory for Jojo Rabbit

“Favorite Weirdo” Taika Waititi Wins Oscar Glory for Jojo Rabbit

The multi-talented Taika Waititi – writer, director, lead actor – took out the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay at the 2020 Oscars on Sunday evening in Los Angeles. Adapted from Christine Leunens book “

Ant Timpson’s Tribute to Father Stars Elijah Wood

Ant Timpson’s Tribute to Father Stars Elijah Wood

The death of his father led New Zealand producer Ant Timpson to decide it was time to direct. His new film and directorial debut, Come to Daddy, stars Lord of the Rings favourite, Elijah…

Screenwriter Anthony McCarten Talks Two Popes

Screenwriter Anthony McCarten Talks Two Popes

For the Oscar-nominated film The Two Popes, New Zealand-born screenwriter Anthony McCarten had to imagine what took place between Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Jorge Bergolio in the weeks before the latter became Pope…

Filmmaker Sasha Rainbow Inspired in India

Filmmaker Sasha Rainbow Inspired in India

New Zealand-born filmmaker and director Sasha Rainbow explains what a six-year-old Indian skateboarder taught her about life in a story for HuffPost UK. “Kamali’s defiance of gender boundaries showed me we all have the power…

Jojo Rabbit Star Thomasin McKenzie in Demand

Jojo Rabbit Star Thomasin McKenzie in Demand

After her stunning breakthrough in Leave No Trace, Wellington actor Thomasin McKenzie, 19, landed roles in four major films including awards contender Jojo Rabbit, directed by Taika Waititi. Screen talks to the fast-rising star. There…

Niki Caro’s Mulan a Timeless Re-Creation

Niki Caro’s Mulan a Timeless Re-Creation

Disney has been busy of late reviving our favourite childhood animation films into live-action remakes. Following in the footsteps of Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King (which were all released in 2019), New Zealander…

Jane Campion’s The Piano No 1 on BBC Poll

Jane Campion’s The Piano No 1 on BBC Poll

New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion’s stunning 1993 classic, The Piano has topped BBC Culture’s poll of 368 critics in 84 countries. The broadcaster’s Hannah Woodhead reveals why it’s a worthy winner. “In 1993, Campion made history…

Sam Neill Earns AACTA’s Highest Screen Accolade

Sam Neill Earns AACTA’s Highest Screen Accolade

When Sam Neill first stepped in front of a camera on a movie set he had no idea he was launching a career that would span five decades and take him around the world,…

Taika Waititi Puts on a Tuxedo

Taika Waititi Puts on a Tuxedo

His film Jojo Rabbit may be the year’s most unlikely Oscar contender: a Nazi comedy. How will the irreverent director fare amid Hollywood’s sacred rituals? Pop culture reporter Kyle Buchanan investigates for a New York…