News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Inaugural Toronto Film Fest Award Goes to Taika

Inaugural Toronto Film Fest Award Goes to Taika

The Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker, Taika Waititi, will receive Toronto Film Festival’s (TIFF) first-ever Ebert Director Award, which will be handed out on 9 September at the inaugural TIFF Tribute Gala, reports…

Investigative Role for Lucy Lawless

Investigative Role for Lucy Lawless

In My Life Is Murder, a “delightful new detective show”, New Zealand actor Lucy Lawless plays Alexa Crowe, a former police investigator “half-reluctantly drawn back to work as an unofficial consultant on deaths the…

Thomasin McKenzie Chats to Vanity Fair

Thomasin McKenzie Chats to Vanity Fair

New Zealander Thomasin McKenzie, 19, made a name for herself in indie stunner Leave No Trace, Britt Hennemuth writes for US magazine, Vanity Fair. Now she’s taking winning turns in Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit…

Power Inclusion Summit Attracts More Big Film Names

Power Inclusion Summit Attracts More Big Film Names

Award-winning writer-director Jackie van Beek joins fellow New Zealanders Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Mulan director Niki Caro at the two-day Power of Inclusion Summit in Auckland on 3-4 October. According to The Hollywood…

Anti-Hate Satire Jojo Rabbit Trailer Out

Anti-Hate Satire Jojo Rabbit Trailer Out

The first trailer for Taika Waititi’s new “anti-hate” satirical film, set in Nazi Germany, has been released, featuring the much-loved Māori-Jewish actor and director playing a paunchy Adolf Hitler, Stephanie Convery writes for UK…

Taika Waititi Gives Vampire Film New Life

Taika Waititi Gives Vampire Film New Life

In-demand director Taika Waititi reveals to The Hollywood Reporter what it took for him and fellow New Zealander, Jemaine Clement to develop a TV show based on their 2014 film, What We Do in…

Inside Peter Jackson’s Personal Memorabilia Vault

Inside Peter Jackson’s Personal Memorabilia Vault

Like many directors, New Zealander Peter Jackson isn’t just a movie-maker, according to Empire magazine correspondent Ben Travis. Like the dragon Smaug, Jackson has his own stash of gold – a collection of some…

Taika Waititi Explains Our Sense of Humour

Taika Waititi Explains Our Sense of Humour

New Zealander Taika Waititi is now one of Hollywood’s hardest working filmmakers with a slew of projects in development, writes Joe Utichi, who interviews the director for entertainment news site, Deadline. Wherever he goes…

Jane Campion Casts Cumberbatch and Moss

Jane Campion Casts Cumberbatch and Moss

After a decade of being absent from the big screen, Academy Award-winner New Zealander Jane Campion is readying her first feature since 2009’s Bright Star. Campion will next direct her own adaptation of Thomas…

Patriot Star Michael Dorman Took a Risk and Won

Patriot Star Michael Dorman Took a Risk and Won

“Amazon’s Patriot is a spy show, a comic drama, an epic test of its protagonist’s will a boldly cinematic tale told occasionally through song, and perhaps the best…

Stefania LaVie Owen New Hollywood Star

Stefania LaVie Owen New Hollywood Star

Young actress Stefania LaVie Owen, 21, from New Zealand stars in The Beach Bum alongside Matthew McConaughey and will appear in a Netflix show later this year. Owen talks to the The New York Times…

Challenging Pacific Diets on TV with Robert Oliver

Challenging Pacific Diets on TV with Robert Oliver

A new reality TV cooking show, Pacific Island Food Revolution, aims to help reverse the trend of dietary-related health problems. Filmed in Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu and expected to air across the south…

Big Names to Speak at Film Summit in Auckland

Big Names to Speak at Film Summit in Auckland

New Zealand filmmakers Niki Caro, Philippa Boyens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and US film producer Charles King will headline global screen inclusion summit, Power of Inclusion, which will take place 3-4 October in Auckland. Mulan…

K.J. Apa & Maia Mitchell Make The Most Of The Last Summer

K.J. Apa & Maia Mitchell Make The Most Of The Last Summer

Netflix has just “released the trailer for The Last Summer” featuring Maia Mitchell and K.J. Apa,” writes Tyler Aquilina in an article for Entertainment Weekly. “The Last Summer follows a group…

Patriot Star Michael Dorman Took a Risk and Won

Patriot Star Michael Dorman Took a Risk and Won

“Amazon’s Patriot is a spy show, a comic drama, an epic test of its protagonist’s will a boldly cinematic tale told occasionally through song, and perhaps the best…

What We Do In The Shadows “Has Bite”

What We Do In The Shadows “Has Bite”

“Taika Waititi’s cult mockumentary has arisen on the small screen with the same mix of gravity-defying slapstick and endlessly amusing squabbles,” writes Charles Bramesco in a review for The Guardian.…

The Breaker Upperers a Netflix Smash Hit

The Breaker Upperers a Netflix Smash Hit

For New Zealander comedy collaborators Madeleine Sami and Jackie Van Beek, it all started with an idea, a friendship, and one magical ingredient: Celine Dion. Los Angeles Times correspondent Jen Yamoto investigates. Van Beek was…

Living the Change Inspired by Sustainable Stories

Living the Change Inspired by Sustainable Stories

Sometimes focusing on the ecological and environmental problems facing the world is overwhelming – so why not put the spotlight on the solutions instead? That was the aim of Christchurch-raised filmmaker Antoinette Wilson and…

Danielle Cormack’s Political Role in Secret City

Danielle Cormack’s Political Role in Secret City

New Zealand-born actor Danielle Cormack (pictured left) seems passionate about politics. She was in the Australian capital recently talking to the Canberra Times about the second series of Secret City: Under the Eagle, which…

What We Do in the Shadows on TV and Note-Perfect

What We Do in the Shadows on TV and Note-Perfect

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s TV reboot of their vampiric comedy, What We Do in the Shadows is “wonderfully, absurdly over-the-top and hilarious”, according to Hollywood Reporter reviewer Tim Goodman. “There is a point early…

Taika Waititi to Direct ‘Time Bandits’ Series

Taika Waititi to Direct ‘Time Bandits’ Series

The “Thor: Ragnarok” director is set to helm Apple’s TV adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s 1981 fantasy flick Time Bandits, which is currently in development,” writes Bill Thorne in an article for Variety. “The…

Cliff Curtis Set to Soar in Avatar Epics

Cliff Curtis Set to Soar in Avatar Epics

New Zealand actor Cliff Curtis, 50, modestly acknowledges he is not a brand or a marquee name, despite a vast body of work which includes Once Were Warriors, Whale Rider, The Dark Horse, Blow,…

Storyteller Anthony McCarten Humanises the Iconic

Storyteller Anthony McCarten Humanises the Iconic

An “exploration of humanity” drives novelist, playwright, television writer, and filmmaker New Plymouth-born Anthony McCarten to write about famous people. Initially a journalist, McCarten credits his time in the newsroom for learning how structure and…

Merata Mita Doco Reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter

Merata Mita Doco Reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter

The legacy and personal life of the late New Zealand filmmaker Merata Mita are brought to life in the documentary Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen. The film, which had its international premiere at…

Flack Stars First-Rate Cast Including Anna Paquin

Flack Stars First-Rate Cast Including Anna Paquin

“In Flack, Anna Paquin plays Robyn, an American living in London and working in a high-powered PR firm, an outfit just as moral as it needs to be to protect its own…

‘The Changeover’ “a Perfect Genre Movie”

‘The Changeover’ “a Perfect Genre Movie”

The opening weekend of ‘The Changeover’ – the New Zealand film of Margaret Mahy’s beloved, award-winning 1984 young-adult novel by the writer-director team of Miranda Harcourt and Stuart McKenzie, drew rave…

The Breaker Upperers Adds Some Welcome Irreverence to Netflix Comedies

The Breaker Upperers Adds Some Welcome Irreverence to Netflix Comedies

“The New Zealand comedy The Breaker Upperers adds some welcome irreverence to the homogenized mix of Netflix comedies. This collaboration between Jackie van Beek and Madeleine Sami — who wrote, directed and star together…

Director Taika Waititi Tackles Star Wars

Director Taika Waititi Tackles Star Wars

After directing Thor: Ragnarok, which was a worldwide blockbuster hit, New Zealander Taika Waititi next explores the Star Wars universe and returns to the world of vampires. The multitalented Wellingtonian directs an episode of The…

Anna Paquin On Flack & Gender Power Balances in Film

Anna Paquin On Flack & Gender Power Balances in Film

“After five years trying to get it off the ground, filming for Anna Paquin’s new TV series Flack has completed and the series is about to be released. Paquin, who stars in the series…

They Shall Not Grow Old Highest Grossing Release

They Shall Not Grow Old Highest Grossing Release

Originally presented on 17 and 27 December in the United States, Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, grossed US$2.6 million in its encore, bringing the total gross for the…

Peter Jackson Making New Beatles Documentary

Peter Jackson Making New Beatles Documentary

Lord of the Rings filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson is making a new documentary on The Beatles using 55 hours of never-before-seen studio footage that was shot in early 1969 for the 1970 feature film…

Breaker Upperers Talk to Vanity Fair

Breaker Upperers Talk to Vanity Fair

Even if good friends and creative partners Madeleine Sami, 38, and Jackie van Beek, 43, don’t immediately look familiar to Americans, their new comedy, The Breaker Upperers, will sound immediately recognisable. That’s not because…

Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Picks Up Merata Doco

Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Picks Up Merata Doco

American director Ava DuVernay, of A Wrinkle in Time fame, has acquired the Sundance Film Festival (SFF) documentary MERATA: How Mum Decolonised the Screen. The pick-up by DuVernay’s film collective, ARRAY…

Dunedin Film Crew Gets Their Dream Job

Dunedin Film Crew Gets Their Dream Job

A small team of filmmakers from Natural History New Zealand (NHNZ) has made it their mission to tell the stories of Indonesia’s orphaned orangutans in a new documentary called, Orangutan Jungle School. Cameraman Alex Hubert…

Big New Zealand Presence at Berlinale and SXSW

Big New Zealand Presence at Berlinale and SXSW

Ten New Zealand features and shorts including a record number by female directors will screen in official selection at the Berlin International Film Festival in February while two will feature at the SXSW Festival…

Thomasin McKenzie Reflects on Breakout Year

Thomasin McKenzie Reflects on Breakout Year

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, 18-year-old Wellingtonian Thomasin McKenzie reflects on her breakout year (after Debra Granik’s latest film Leave No Trace premiered at Sundance, she shot four other films), frequent comparisons…

Looking Forward to Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit

Looking Forward to Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit

“Matthew McConaughey as a stoner poet, Hitler as an imaginary friend and Cats the movie – the third in our five-part look at 2019’s key titles takes us into strange territory,” Guardian film writes. “[Jojo…

Leave No Trace’s Thomasin McKenzie a Breakout Star

Leave No Trace’s Thomasin McKenzie a Breakout Star

Wellington-born teenager Thomasin McKenzie is named one of the year’s “standout stars” by The Atlantic for her role as ‘Tom’ in director Debra Granik’s celebrated 2018 film, Leave No Trace. “Granik has a way of…

Peter Jackson Calls up Protégé Christian Rivers

Peter Jackson Calls up Protégé Christian Rivers

In 2015, Peter Jackson was feeling burned out – and you could hardly blame him. The New Zealand director had just finished work on the Hobbit films, wrapping up production on his supersized fantasy…

Rising Star Thomasin McKenzie Wanted to be a Vet

Rising Star Thomasin McKenzie Wanted to be a Vet

When she was a young girl in New Zealand, Thomasin McKenzie wasn’t sure what she wanted to be when she grew up. But she knew what she didn’t want to be. McKenzie sits down…

Peter Jackson Wants to Restore His Gory Early Films

Peter Jackson Wants to Restore His Gory Early Films

“It’s funny how few of the average theater-goers for Peter Jackson epics, whether it’s The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit or the upcoming Mortal Engines, realize just how debauched the director’s early career…

Rose McIver Inspired by Duchess in Christmas Role

Rose McIver Inspired by Duchess in Christmas Role

When A Christmas Prince, starring New Zealander Rose McIver in the lead role, debuted on Netflix late last year, it became a cultural phenomenon. Sure, A Christmas Prince might have served as emotional catharsis for…

Hollywood Movies Are Keeping NZ Busier Than Ever

Hollywood Movies Are Keeping NZ Busier Than Ever

“Hollywood films have shot intermittently in New Zealand for decades, taking advantage of the country’s seasoned film workers, world-famous landscapes and opposite seasons. But Kiwi production veterans say they’ve never seen their crews and…

Peter Jackson Earns Rare Blue Peter Gold Badge

Peter Jackson Earns Rare Blue Peter Gold Badge

Sir Peter Jackson has received Blue Peter’s highest accolade – a gold badge. The Oscar-winning director, who is best known for The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit films, joins just a select…

Jason Momoa Performs Haka at Aquaman Premiere

Jason Momoa Performs Haka at Aquaman Premiere

Aquaman star Jason Momoa has wowed fans when he led a massive red carpet haka at the film’s premiere on Thursday night. Variety reports. “For the uninitiated,…

Predator Cities Fight For Survival in Mortal Engines

Predator Cities Fight For Survival in Mortal Engines

“Oscar winning filmmaker Peter Jackson is returning to the big screen with adventure fantasy “Mortal Engines”, a post-apolcalyptic tale of survival in his first feature film project since his award-winning adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s…

Actress Thomasin McKenzie on LA Indie Panel

Actress Thomasin McKenzie on LA Indie Panel

Wellington-born actress Thomasin McKenzie, 18, star of Leave No Trace, recently attended the AFI Fest in Los Angeles, where she joined a panel to reflect on life in independent film. The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg…

Keisha Castle-Hughes Gets into the Ring

Keisha Castle-Hughes Gets into the Ring

New Zealander Keisha Castle-Hughes, 28, has packed a bit in since she travelled to Australia to promote the breakout 2002 New Zealand film Whale Rider, alongside director Niki Caro. Her latest role is in…

Exploring the Planet with Phil Keoghan

Exploring the Planet with Phil Keoghan

National Geographic’s critically acclaimed documentary series Explorer recently returned to screens with breakthrough stories designed to magnify curiosity, innovation, news and information in its viewers. Hosted by New Zealander Phil Keoghan, the all-new 13-episode…

They Shall Not Grow Old – “Utterly Breathtaking”

They Shall Not Grow Old – “Utterly Breathtaking”

“Peter Jackson and team’s painstaking restoration of first world war footage is a cinematic triumph that all but brings young British soldiers back to life,” writes film critic Mark Kermode in a review published…

Thomasin McKenzie One of Hollywood’s Rising Young Stars

Thomasin McKenzie One of Hollywood’s Rising Young Stars

New Zealand actress Thomasin McKenzie, 18, has been featured on The Hollywood Reporter’s list of “Hollywood’s Rising Young Stars”. Bryn Elise Sandberg reports. “McKenzie’s grandmother, parents and siblings are all actors,…

Production Wraps on Sam Kelly’s Savage

Production Wraps on Sam Kelly’s Savage

Wellingtonian Sam Kelly’s directorial debut Savage has now wrapped up production. The drama is inspired by the true stories of New Zealand’s street gangs and their founding members. Savage stars Australian actor Jake Ryan (The Great…

Vincent Ward’s Alien 3 a Fascinating Film

Vincent Ward’s Alien 3 a Fascinating Film

“For every glittering Hollywood project that hits cinemas, there’s a whole lot more that don’t make it,” the Guardian’s Tom Huddleston reports. Included in his top five is New Zealand-born photographer and filmmaker Vincent…

‘Anything You Can Imagine’ Recounts Quest to Film Tolkien

‘Anything You Can Imagine’ Recounts Quest to Film Tolkien

“Reaching the final sentence in film writer Ian Nathan’s 576-page exploration of movie director Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy requires the stoicism of Frodo and the vigor of Gandalf. So much…

Peter Jackson Brings to Life WWI on The Big Screen

Peter Jackson Brings to Life WWI on The Big Screen

Peter Jackson “is up to his usual ambitious tricks in his latest project, the World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old,” writes Zack Sharf in an article for…

What We Do In the Shadows Premieres at NY Comic Con

What We Do In the Shadows Premieres at NY Comic Con

The first episode of the upcoming What We Do in the Shadows TV show, featuring co-creators Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement, has been screened at New York Comic Con.” Christian Holub reports in an…