Original title: Dame Valerie Adams-More Than Gold
Directed by: Briar March
Produced by: Leanne Pooley (Eight Productions, New Zealand)
Country of production: New Zealand
Expected release: October, 2022
Production stage: Post Production
Budget: $1,250,000 USD (100% in place)
1st feature: No
Looking for: Sales Agents, Festivals, Distributors, Buyers
The inspirational story of one of the World’s greatest shot-putters; Olympic gold medallist Dame Valerie Adams. Tokyo was the Tongan, New Zealander’s 5th Olympic campaign and the culmination of an odyssey that started with a troubled childhood, traversed poverty, health issues and a near death experience…to the top of the sport’s world – where she stands as a role model, a mother, and an athletics icon.
Briar March is a filmmaker and Fulbright scholar. Her films have been broadcast on major television networks around the world, have been theatrically released, and are regularly exhibited in film festivals having won over 30 international awards. Her last feature Mother’s of the Revolution premiered at the BFI London Film Festival (2021). Her filmography also includes feature documentaries, A Place To Call Home (2014), There Once was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho (2010), and Allie Eagle and Me (2004), as well as documentary shorts: The Coffin Club (2017), Smoke Songs (2012), Michael & His Dragon (2010), Sick Wid It (2010), and Promenade (2011). In 2011-2012 she was a full-time Instructor in Documentary Film Production at Florida Atlantic University. Briar received an M.F.A in Documentary Film and Video Production at Stanford University, and a B.F.A at Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts.
Leanne Pooley has been a documentary filmmaker for over 25 years. She has directed films all over the world, winning over 30 international awards awards (including Best Documentary at TIFF). Leanne is a New Zealand Arts Laureate, an “Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit” and a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscars). Born in Canada, Leanne immigrated to New Zealand in the mid-1980’s and began working for TVNZ. In 1992 she moved to England where she made documentaries for Britain’s major broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 as well as PBS and Discovery in America. Leanne returned to New Zealand in 1999 and established SPACIFIC FILMS. Her documentaries have screened in more than 100 countries and include topics ranging from rugby to the Pope.
Original title: Dark Child
Directed by: Ursula Williams
Produced by: Alexander Behse (Monsoon Pictures International, New Zealand)
Country of production: New Zealand
Expected release: Januray, 2024
Production stage: Shooting
Budget: $1M USD (100% in place)
1st feature: Yes
Looking for: Sales Agents
Eminent household star Marlon Williams is pissing off his publicist by choosing to write and record his next album in the indigenous language of New Zealand, te reo Māori. This feature music documentary secures a years unvarnished access to a rising star from the bottom of the globe on his journey to international fame. Dark Child, befitting the laid back personality of its subject, will never take itself too seriously and it will never forget that, at heart, it is a story of joyful self discovery and reclamation; on that journey, we witness Marlon connecting the threads of self. This, of course, is always something to celebrate.
Ursula has a knack for telling intimate stories. As Head of Production for VICE New Zealand she produced and directed a number of award-winning documentaries. Her most recently awarded documentary, Deportees of Tonga: Gangsters in Paradise, has so far been viewed by over eleven million people worldwide and was awarded Best Feature Video at the 2021 Voyager Media Awards. The Zealandia series, which Ursula produced and directed, has been picked up by networks all over the globe and viewed collectively by nearly twenty five million people. Since VICE, Ursula has directed the six part series Milk and Money on the New Zealand dairy industry which was picked up by The Guardian.
German born Alexander Behse has been in the Pacific for over two decades and swiftly established himself as one of NZ’s most respected film and television producers. Landmark productions include, the top 3 NZ feature documentaries of all time POI-E: The Story of our Song (Sony Pictures); the Hulu released and globally sold Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web; My Year with Helen about former PM Helen Clark (EP) and NZ’s first HBOmax Original: There is no I in Threesome.
Original title: Gloriavale: New Zealand’s Secret Cult
Directed by: Noel Smyth, Fergus Grady
Produced by: Fergus Grady, Noel Smyth
Country of production: New Zealand, Australia
Expected release: September, 2022
Production stage: Production
Budget: €677,035 (100% in place)
1st feature: No
Looking for: Festivals, sales agents/distributors, buyers, & strategic guidance
When widespread abuse is uncovered at a New Zealand cult, a family must turn to the legal system in an effort to save themselves and their community from the all powerful leaders.
Noel Smyth is an Australian based documentary writer, director, producer, cinematographer and editor. Having worked in the industry for 17 years, he started as an editor and cinematographer before moving into directing and producing. This experience across all stages of production has greatly informed his creative practice that centres around intimate stories of the human condition told through a verite lens. His debut feature documentary Camino Skies (co-directed with Fergus Grady) won the Doc Edge Film Festival awards for ‘Best NZ Directors’ and ‘Best NZ Emerging Filmmakers’ and was nominated for ‘Best NZ Feature’, ‘Best NZ Editing’ and ‘Best NZ Cinematography’. His nuanced and empathetic approach to following real life stories comes from a place of curiosity and it is this approach to storytelling that makes him an exciting new voice in the Australian cinema landscape.
Fergus Grady is a producer, sales & distribution consultant who has over fifteen years experience in the film industry. His debut feature documentary Camino Skies was the second highest grossing NZ documentary of 2019 and won the Doc Edge Film Festival awards for ‘Best NZ Directors’ and ‘Best NZ Emerging Filmmakers’. He also associate produced West of Sunshine which competed for the Orizzonti section at the Venice Film Festival in 2017.
Noel Smyth & Fergus Grady’s debut feature documentary Camino Skies was the second highest grossing NZ documentary of 2019 and won the Doc Edge Film Festival awards for ‘Best NZ Directors’ and ‘Best NZ Emerging Filmmakers’. Gloriavale: New Zealand’s secret cult is their second feature.
Original title: Minor Attraction
Directed by: Amelia Evans
Produced by: Letisha Tate-Dunning (Little Fire Productions, New Zealand) Sam Oliver (Unvoicedmedia, United States)
Country of production: New Zealand, United States
Expected release: December, 2022
Production stage: Post-Production (Advanced rough cut)
Budget: $251,000 (23% in place)
1st feature: Yes
Looking for: Sales agents / distributors, buyers, strategic guidance
A filmmaker attempts to craft empathetic portraits of three people who acknowledge they have pedophilic desires but who claim never to have sexually interacted with a child—and who each want more support to keep it that way. What emerges is an intimate exploration into shame and loneliness, the limits of empathy, and the cost of our collective silence around desire, pleasure and the body.
Amelia Evans, a human rights lawyer-turned-filmmaker, is originally from New Zealand. She moved to the United States in 2010 after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship to study, and later teach, at Harvard University’s International Human Rights Clinic. But she had a hidden agenda: to learn filmmaking. She began sitting in on courses offered by nonfiction filmmakers she had long admired—Ross McElwee, Robb Moss and Alfred Guzzetti—eventually becoming part of the filmmaking community in Cambridge, MA. She has since received numerous art fellowships from some of the leading art institutions and residencies in the US for her work on Minor Attraction, including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, MacDowell, Millay Arts, Blue Mountain Center and Yaddo. She was named one of Independent Magazine’s “10 Filmmakers to Watch”. Minor Attraction is her first feature film.
Producing in both London and New Zealand for the past 7 years, Letisha Tate-Dunning has worked on uncovering stories from the farthest corners of the globe. Her short documentary OK Chlöe (Dir: Charlotte Evans) was picked up by The New Yorker Documentary and numerous festivals including Short of the Week and Cinequest and she is currently in development on a follow-on feature documentary. Her docuseries We Speak Music screened at Sheffield DocFest and BFI London and most recently she produced a local story for Netflix Original docuseries Stories of a Generation. She is currently completing a producer placement with Catherine Fitzgerald of Blueskin Films, courtesy of the New Zealand Film Commission, and works part-time as a development producer for Warner Bros. NZ. She is in development on three feature documentaries, as well as several scripted and television projects.