As the saying goes, “It takes a village…”

Doc Edge was honoured to have so many talented people in its 2020 virtual village, contributing their experience and talents to the delivery of our industry programme.  Thanks to all of them.

We’ll announce our 2021 guests in the lead-up to May’s Doc Edge Forum.



FORUM Presenter
Andy is Founder and Chair of Dogwoof. He founded Dogwoof in 2003 as a film distributor and financier, with a focus on social issues and true stories. Andy negotiated direct deals with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Google and other key partners.Andy is responsible for funding, strategy, and business development with a goal to create a global film studio. Awards include: Sunday Times Film 20, Evening Standard’s Progress 1000, and The Guardian Film 100. Previously Andy was Group Digital Director at Barclays Bank. Andy was born in Manchester, UK.
NZ On Air

FORUM Presenter
Anna has been on the NZ On Air funding team since 2014, and is currently Acting Head of Funding.
NZ Film Commission 
FORUM Presenter

Annabelle joined the NZFC as CEO in 2018. Prior to this, she was CEO of South Australia Film Commission, CEO and Senior Agent at RGM Artist Group, and Head of Film and Television at Australia’s national production education centre – The Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

Her career began in post-production, from which she has an extensive list of credits, nominations and awards for her work on feature films such as Dead Calm, Mad Max 3, The Piano, Fearless and Portrait of a Lady.


FORUM Presenter

Anusha is the Acquisitions Manager for National Indigenous Television Australia (NITV). Prior to this role she worked as a Producer on films and television series, and has won awards including at the St Kilda Film Festival Award and ImagineNative Film Festival.She has over a decade’s experience working in indigenous community and business development. She has been a highly-regarded Business Mentor working with large multinationals, international companies to rural start-ups.

Anusha is a board member of the Aboriginal Women’s Consultation Network and New South Wales Women’s Legal Service since 2011. Anusha is a scholarship recipient of Executive Education Women in Leadership scholarship by Chief Executive Women Australia. This year Anusha has been appointed to Screen Australia’s Gender Matters Taskforce. She is a proud cinephile.

Pango Productions

FORUM Presenter

Bailey Mackey is an award winning New Zealand producer across a wide array of programme genres after starting as a DJ on iwi radio station Radio Ngati Porou (Ruatoria) in 1999.He is of Ngati Porou, Tuhoe and Rongowhakaata lineage and has a strong focus on Maori content programming for broad audiences and has produced shows such as The GC, One Land, With Strings Attached, Saving Gen Y, Kapa Haka Kids, Hip Hop High, Atamira, Beneath the Maori Moon, Mind Your Language, The Kapa, ANZAC Day and the Rise Up Telethon. A fluent speaker of Maori, Mackey also has a strong passion for New Zealand music and is keen to ensure it remains on network free-to-air television.

Bailey is the former Head of Sport at Maori Television and GM of Black Inc Media Ltd.

Screen Australia

FORUM Presenter
With more than 20 years’ experience Bernadine is both a content creative and executive. Her career started as a journalist and editor at TV3 News and her films have attracted several awards.Prior to joining Screen Australia as Head of Documentary in November 2018, Bernadine produced and directed both original content and format shows for many broadcasters.
NZ On Air

FORUM Presenter
Cameron is CEO of NZ On Air, having previously led CriqHQ and Park Road Post Production.He is a Director of Weta Workshop and Te Papa, and has served on both the NZ Film Commission and TVNZ boards.
HK Documentary Initiative

Catherine Chan is an independent producer and audience designer. She is currently producing documentary projects on various themes by emerging filmmakers in Asia. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Catherine started her film career as the project manager of Hong Kong Documentary Initiative, assisting Oscar winner Ruby Yang to establish the programme to support filmmakers in Hong Kong, China and Malaysia with seed funding and mentorship.The films she is producing have been pitched at international forums, including Hong Kong – Asia Film Financing Forum, CNEX Chinese Doc Forum in Taiwan, TokyoDocs in Japan, DMZ Industry in South Korea, Docs By The Sea in Indonesia, Berlinale European Film Market in Germany, Australian International Documentary Conference, FIFDH Human Rights Festival Impact Day in Switzerland and Doc Edge Pitch in New Zealand.Catherine is a journalism graduate and has worked in public relations and administration across Hong Kong and China over 10 years. She is selected for Torino Film Lab Extended – Audience Design 2019 and EURODOC 2020. She wants to help storytellers in remote areas to talk about sustainability issues, amplifying their voices to their remote neighbours. She embraces new perspectives, in search of the best platform to connect with audiences.
Beach House Pictures

Donovan is co-founder of Beach House Pictures and is amongst Asia’s leading documentary and unscripted Showrunners. He spearheads BHP’s expansion into the US market, producing 4K and scripted content, as well as growing its slate with SVOD players such as Netflix and Amazon Prime; and in China, with Tencent, Bilibili and Youku to name a few.He recently executive produced highly-rated shows such for broadcasters and platforms including Discovery International, Nat Geo, and Tencent. His Nat Geo/Tencent special China From Above, drew a record 300 million views in China.
Third Stage

FORUM Presenter

Erin Sorenson brings 23 years of experience in applying strategic planning and critical thinking to advance mission-centred organisations and activism to create long lasting social change.Prior to launching Third Stage Consulting in 2011, Erin was the Chief Programs Officer for the BeCause Foundation, a foundation dedicated to the power of documentary filmmaking and its fusion with creative outreach and engagement projects.

Erin is also a frequent trainer and consultant for Brit Doc, conducting training on impact production and consultation on new film campaigns.

Prior to working with documentary film projects, Erin founded three nonprofits. She was a subject in the documentary Alone No Love, and in 2001 she was awarded “Chicagoan of the Year” for her work with Chicago’s Mayor Daley in developing the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, one of the nations largest programs for abused children.

When not working on or watching documentaries, Erin is likely to be singing out of tune and playing guitar, baking or working on a new mosaic.

Hot Docs

FORUM Presenter
NZ Film Commission


Jasmin is the Head of Marketing at the NZFC, and responsible for the promotion and marketing of New Zealand films and the New Zealand Film Commission, in New Zealand and internationally. She works closely with filmmakers, sales agents, distributors and film festival programmers.

Terra Media

Jie-Ming has over 15 years of experience in the media sector as International Controller, Finance Director and management consultant for leading film/TV Studios and independent institutions. He has been involved in TV productions Downton Abbey, Camp, Dracula and The Worricker Trilogy.Jie-Ming has led several media business transformation projects including integration of Sky into NBC and Telefe into Viacom. His regular clients include Viacom, Paramount Pictures, IMG/Endeavor, Universal Studios and NBC.
Endeavour Ventures

FORUM Presenter

John Barnett is New Zealand’s leading TV and film producer. Over the past 45 years he has produced four of New Zealand’s top 10 grossing local feature films, among them the internationally acclaimed Whale Rider which was the second highest-grossing independent film worldwide in 2003.He was CEO and part owner of South Pacific Pictures Ltd, NZ’s largest production company from 1992 – 2015. He oversaw production of over 3500 hours of drama programme, and a strong slate of documentaries including Obsession & Discovery, the 4-part James Cook series and WA$TED!, one of the very first ecological series.

In 2002, he was made the New Zealand Screen Production and Development Association/OnFilm Industry Champion of the Year; and in 2003 was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, and was recently promoted to Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.


FORUM Presenter
Kate bio

Kay has produced and/or directed more than 20 one-off documentaries, and a range of factual television series and children’s programmes in English and te reo Māori.In late 2018, she joined RNZ as Senior commissioner and now overseas a varied slate of productions which includes documentaries, podcast series, investigative journalism projects, scripted comedy, and stories and song for children.
Māori Television

FORUM Presenter
A producer, director, writer and presenter, Lanita has worked in various roles for TVNZ and Māori Television. She created the first indigenous interactive documentary site about stories of poi from Aotearoa and first poi performance using 360 technology.Since 2019, Lanita has been Kaikōkiri Kaupapa (Commissioner) at Māori Television.
Spacific Films

Leanne Pooley ONZM is a Canadian filmmaker based in Auckland.
FORUM Presenter
Manukaroa is an experienced story creative having worked in most areas of the screen industry. She has a background in production, practice as a key creative, experience as a network executive and represents the industry in a range of governance boards and leadership roles.As a development executive, she is responsible for turning ideas into production, raising financing and persuading others to share in the vision.


Mareva is the Festival director of Tahiti’s FIFO, which screens documentary films dealing with Oceania in all its aspects. The festival aims to represent and share all cultures, people and issues from Oceania.

FIFO was created in 2004 to honour Oceanian documentary production, to promote Oceanian filmmakers throughout the world and to stimulate audiovisual industry in Oceania.


General Film Corporation

FORUM Presenter
Matthew has produced more than 200 million NZD worth of productions including 18 feature films, numerous tele-features, TV shows and documentaries over two decades in the industry.Matthew’s films have received some 16 NZ film awards, have been long-listed for two Oscars, two BAFTA awards and been recognised at film festivals as diverse as Cannes, Toronto and London.

FORUM Presenter

Mia Henry-Teirney (Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa, Te Rārawa, Ngāti Kuri) is passionate about producing New Zealand stories and sharing them with global audiences. She has worked on a variety of local and international productions, and produced a range of short films, docos and a season of award-winning series Baby Mamas Club. Mia is currently co-producing an anthology feature film between Aotearoa and Australia which explores the effects of colonisation on indigenous peoples.

Mia was a participant in Script to Screen’s 2019 Development Lab.


FORUM Presenter
Mohammed Ali Naqvi is an internationally celebrated filmmaker whose work has won over twenty-five prestigious awards and honours, and whose films have been showcased in film festivals including Toronto, Tribeca, Berlin, IDFA, Full Frame and AFI and venues including the Museum of Modern Art and the United Nations in New York.

FORUM Presenter
Naashon is an award-winning director and cinematographer with over 25 years of experience.


He has directed and filmed numerous documentaries, predominantly for Al Jazeera English. In New Zealand over the last two years, he has directed, filmed and written two groundbreaking web series. K Rd Chronicles, which documents homelessness, is New Zealand’s most viewed web series to date. Breaking Silence, an eight-part web series about surviving domestic abuse, will launch in the second half of 2020.

Paco De Onis
FORUM Presenter

Paco grew up in several Latin American countries during periods of dictatorships. He is the Executive Director and Executive Producer of Skylight, a human rights media organisation dedicated to advancing social justice through storytelling, by creating documentary films and media tools that can applied in long-term strategies for positive social change.

Paco’s film producing credits include 500 YEARS, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, Rebel Citizen, Disruption, State of Fear, and The Reckoning and he is now producing a new project titled Borderlands on immigration justice in the United States. The project highlights powerful stories of “righteous persons” who are motivated by moral conviction and compassion that show how courageous actions can lead to mobilization and the defense of human rights in the face of hate and discrimination.


FORUM Presenter

Pamela Yates is the Co-founder and Creative Director of Skylight, a non-profit company dedicated to creating feature length documentary films and digital media tools that advance awareness of human rights and the quest for justice.

She is the Director of the Sundance Special Jury award winning When the Mountains Tremble; the Executive Producer of the Academy Award winning Witness to War; and the Director of State of Fear: The Truth About Terrorism, which has been translated into 47 languages and broadcast in 154 countries. Her film Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, for which she awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, was used as key forensic evidence in the genocide trial against Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala.


FORUM Presenter

Pnina has been producing and creating content for film festivals and film events for over 15 years. She specialises in film distribution and international sales. Pnina previously worked as a Distribution Manager with a variety of organisations including Heymann Brothers Films, Orlando Films, and with numerous independent documentarians.

After serving as the CoPro Screen Market’s Executive Producer for the past 3 years, Pnina was appointed to serve as CoPro’s Executive Director on late 2019.

FORUM Presenter
Prash is the founder and principal of Prash Naik Consulting. He’s a legal advisor to TV, film and digital clients in London and Sydney, General Counsel to the Doc Society (London and New York) and a member of the media boutique law firm Reviewed & Cleared (London).

FORUM Presenter

Roger is an award-winning director, producer and writer – and the first African American director to win an Academy Award ®, with his film Music By Prudence. Williams directed Life, Animated, which won him the Sundance directing award, was nominated for an Academy Award ® in 2016 and won three Emmys in 2018.

His production company One Story Up is currently in production on several projects, and recently produced three episodes of the critically acclaimed Netflix limited series The Innocence Files which Williams directed. He is currently directing a new documentary feature, and his first scripted feature for Amazon studios.



Simon Kilmurry is the executive director of the International Documentary Association (IDA). He joined IDA in July 2015 and oversees all IDA programmes and operations, including filmmaker services, funding, educational programmes, the IDA Awards, and advocacy for the field.

In 2017 he launched IDA’s Enterprise Documentary Fund, a $1 million annual granting fund supporting creative documentary and journalism, and which also provides funded projects with a range of legal support and research services.

He is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Producers Guild of America, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He serves as an advisor to The Redford Center and Firelight Media.

Prior to joining IDA he served as the executive producer of POV, the long-running PBS showcase of independent documentaries where he received one Prime Time Emmy, and three nominations; 17 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, and over 60 nominations; six George Foster Peabody Awards, four DuPont Columbia Awards and two International Documentary Association Best Curated Series Awards.


FORUM Presenter

Thom is the artistic director of DOC NYC, the largest documentary festival in the United States, and host of its weekly web show Friday Fix.

He is the documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival and host of the podcasts Pure Nonfiction and WNYC Documentary of the Week.


FORUM Presenter

Tom is the Awards Manager at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where he manages the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject categories, as well as the Live Action Short Film, and Animated Short Film.

Vikram Channa
Discovery Networks Asia Pacific
FORUM Presenter
Fish+Bear Pictures

FORUM Presenter

Violet Du Feng is an independent documentarian.

Her producing credits include Singing In The Wilderness, Confucian Dream (Karlovy Vary Special Jury Award, Chinese Documentary Academy Award, Doc Edge 2020), Maineland (Jury Award, SXSW), and Please Remember Me (IDFA, GZDoc Best Documentary).

Her films have screened at over 120 international festivals and institutions, with US and China theatrical releases, public broadcasts and digital releases globally. Violet started her career as a co-producer on the critically-acclaimed 2007 Sundance Special Jury winner, Peabody and Emmy winner Nanking, which was screened theatrically in 30 countries, and was the highest-grossing documentary in China.

Violet is the producer of the forthcoming People’s Hospital and the director of her first feature documentary Hidden Letters.

Born in Shanghai and based in New York, Violet is a Sundance Creative Producing Fellow. Her work has received support from funders such as Sundance, ITVS, IDA, Ford Foundation, Chicken & Egg and Doc Society. Violet is also a consulting producer for CNEX, the Chinese Documentary Foundation, and a consulting programmer for Shanghai International Film Festival.


FORUM Presenter
Yonatan bio
Ngā Aho Whakaari


Hineani (Tūhoe, Tainui) has worked as a Producer, director, writer in television, film & radio (BBC & Radio Waatea); has been a NAW Board member, Deputy Chair, Chair and is presently Executive Director.She started in television as an effective method to promote, inform and entertain in the Māori language and culture. Hineani was a foundation member of TV3 and the Māori Programmes Dept at TVNZ and Waka Huia series, and has worked at ATN, ED of Internal Productions at Māori Television Service.

Hineani has produced TV drama and short films including 13 Days Out, The Winter Boy and Ūkaipō Whenua, and is presently working on a feature documentary.

Parkdale Pictures

FORUM Presenter

John is an Oscar-nominated executive producer and development executive focusing on new non-fiction series and feature documentaries.He is the creator of Dirty Money, the 6-part financial crime investigative series for Netflix and executive produced by Alex Gibney, and is currently executive producer of a new crime feature also in production for Netflix.

A 5-film anthology short series John developed and executive produced about the immigration crisis in America for Davis Guggenheim’s Concordia Studio and New York Times’ OpDocs, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. One of those films, Walk Run Cha-Cha, was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the 2020 Academy Awards.

An in-demand producer and development consultant with 20 years of multi-platform media experience and storytelling, John also served as the Director of Development during the launch of Viceland and on development for a wide range of series and documentaries for Jigsaw, A&E, CNN and HBO.

Aurora Media Holdings


Justin oversees the production, acquisition, and development activities of 108 Media, a global IP and licensing firm with offices in Singapore, Toronto, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Ho Chi Minh City and currently serves as Managing Partner of Aurora Media Holdings, one of Southeast Asia’s pioneering private content investment outfits and financing facilities. He is also the Co-Founder/Executive Director of the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA), a non-profit creative producing network seeking to unify producers, creative entrepreneurs, and media investors around ASEAN, and is also a member of the EAVE network of European producers through co-organising the highly-regarded Ties That Bind Co-Production Workshop in Asia.Most recently, Justin co-founded and operates the Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Forum, the region’s only media financing platform and advises on and organises the programming in ASEAN’s largest and most influential media events and content markets in BroadcastAsia, ASEAN International Film Festival, and the Singapore Media Festival’s ScreenSingapore and the Asia TV Forum.

In a previous life he was a journalist, and a film critic working in New York with the Village Voice, in London with TimeOut and in Rotterdam with the International Film Festival of Rotterdam as well as holding creative executive positions in LA/NY with Hyde Park Imagenation, VH1, and Fox Searchlight.


Mandy Chang is the Commissioning Editor at BBC Storyville. Before that she was Head of Arts at ABC TV and Acting Head of Non-Scripted TV at ABC. Previously an award winning documentary producer/director and filmmaker, Mandy has won respect in her industry for her work and has received many nominations and several eminent awards including an Emmy for her films.Her work has spanned a range of factual genres – music, arts, history, observational, polemical & biographical. She has a successful track-record for developing projects and for making, developing and commissioning visually arresting, intelligent films. She also has extensive experience as an executive and series producer, and script writer. Mandy has been a regular juror for the Emmy, London Film Festival and Grierson Awards and is on the board of AIDC.
Tahu Films and Media

Mike is an accomplished media professional with global experience in television, digital media and radio; from multi-national environments to indigenous and grassroots. He has core competencies in governance, strategy, leadership, commercial, editorial and a full range of production, operational and performance skills and experience.


If I was to sum up my career I’d say it’s basically been about trying to find simple ways to understand enormously complex things and then to turn those learnings into actionable steps.

Just because the problem may be enormously complex, doesn’t mean the solution has to be. In fact, the solution to enormously complex problems is often surprisingly simple.

Madman Entertainment

FORUM Presenter
Paul co-founded Madman Entertainment in 1996, leading independent distribution and rights management company for film and television. The company has offices in Melbourne, Auckland and Berlin; it operates an integrated business structure established on four key commercial pillars: Theatrical Distribution, Physical Media (DVD & Blu Ray), Digital and Ancillary sales. 80+ staff.Paul is currently a board member or chair of the Australian Independent Distributors Association; the Australian Centre Moving Image; Australia’s Home Entertainment Distributors Association; he recently joined the board of the Australian International Documentary Conference.
Flying Sparrow Films

FORUM Presenter
Yung is the director of Up the Yangtze, Doc Edge 2012 title China Heavyweight and Doc Edge 2020 title This is not a Movie, about the iconoclastic Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk.Yung has participated in Sundance Labs, and last year’s Reel Asian IFF. His award-winning short Gatekeeper qualified for the 2016 Oscars® and is a Vimeo Staff Pick, distributed by Field of Vision, Laura Poitras’ curated online film unit.
Wairoa Māori Film Festival

FORUM Presenter

Leo (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka) is founder and director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival. It is the longest-running indigenous film festival of New Zealand and will be taking place in a traditional marae (Maori assembly house) for the 15th time this year.Leo also worked as cultural advisor in the Ministry of Maori Development and curates short films for the New Zealand International Film Festival (Ngā Whanaunga Maori Pasifika programme). He also curates for various film festivals in Canada, Italy, Polynesia, the United States and Australia. Leo is curator of the annual CineMarae art exhibition at the Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland. He is the subject of short film Native in Nuhaka by award winning film maker Hiona Henare.

Leo is a member of the Anishnaabe Bawaadan Artists Collective based in Ontario, Canada. In 2019, he was presented with the Te Aupounamu Māori in Screen Excellence Award. In 2020, he was a guest film expert in the visitor programme of the Goethe Institute at the Berlinale film festival.


Screen Australia


Alyssa Orvis has been a Documentary Development/Investment Manager at Screen Australia for the past 7 years and works across the Production Investment slate. She has overseen a number of online initiatives, including Art Bites and Love Bites with ABC Arts, Doco 180 for, the short-documentary initiative with The Guardian UK and Pitch Australiana with VICE.Prior to commencing with Screen Australia, Alyssa divided her time between Sydney Film Festival and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, where she oversaw guest and industry teams and advised on programming from 2009-2012.

Alyssa lived in New York for 10 years, where she worked at Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and the Bicycle Film Festival.



Ania is a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, focusing on US and World documentary features. Most recently, she was the Sales & Acquisitions Executive for doc sales agency, Autlook Filmsales.Prior to that she was with the NYC-based agency, Visit Films, where she served as Senior Director of Acquisitions since 2015.

Aside from her work at Sundance, Ania is also the artistic director of Off Camera IFF (Krakow, Poland), which she has been programming since 2008. She trained in production and post-production at the BBC and the British Museum, and holds a Master’s degree in film studies as well as an M.A in Digital Culture and Technology.

Anite Reher
Nordisk Panaroma


Anita Reher is the Director of Nordisk Panorama, the biggest festival for Nordic documentaries and short films featuring industry events such as the Forum for Co-Financing of Documentaries, the Short Film Meet-Up, the Nordic Market & Seminars, and year-round activities bringing Nordic filmmaker delegations to the world.


Anita is a strong believer in the importance of diverse and independent voices in non-fiction filmmaking and in pushing the boundaries of creative storytelling.


Anita was one of the co-founders of the European Documentary Network (EDN), a non-profit membership-based association with members from 60 countries. As EDN’s first Network Manager she was responsible for developing its structure and coordinating over 50 international workshops on pitching, storytelling and distribution.

After 10 years Anita successfully transitioned to the role as Head of International Relations to develop new strategies and partnerships for EDN and its many filmmaker members.

Rise and Shine


Anja Dziersk started her career as a TV journalist and film critic for German TV before joining broadcaster SAT.1 in the department for acquisitions of films and series.In 2002, she and her partner Stefan Kloos founded the production company Kloos & Co. Medien which produces documentaries for international TV and cinema. Together with Kloos, she also directed and edited the documentary Dance With Me about the history of film musicals for a theme evening on ARTE.

Together, they founded Rise and Shine World Sales in 2008, today one of the world’s leading international boutique sales agents. Rise and Shine markets and sells outstanding documentaries to broadcasters and distributors around the world.

With an average of 15 new films per year the exquisite catalogue of award-winning films from all over the world includes Walking Under Water, Hip Hop-Eration, Gayby Baby, Raving Iran, The Trial – The State Of Russia Vs. Oleg Sentsov, Where Man Returns, Genesis 2.0, When Tomatoes Met Wagner and Waterproof.


Bob Moore is Co-President and Creative Producer at EyeSteelFilm in Montreal, where he has produced over 35 feature documentaries since 2008. Together with his talented partners and collaborators, he has been the recipient of over 100 international awards, including Emmys, Cinema Eyes, Golden Horses, Owls, Phoenixes, and a variety of other celebratory animal-themed prizes.Bob also oversees EyeSteelFilm’s dedicated theatrical distribution company, and works with artists exploring meaningful interactive storytelling (which, again, has led to prizes, though in this case less animal-related and more pixel and digital-themed).

He’s been the subject of a Producer’s Spotlight at the Cannes Marché du Film, is currently an advisor for the Sundance Creative Producing program, an international advisor to DMZ Docs in South Korea, a mentor for an RIDM / Hot Docs young Quebec Producer’s initiative, and generally enjoys working with and mentoring emerging filmmakers.

NZ Film Commission

Dale is responsible for overseeing all areas of talent development including short film and interactive funding, training support and mentorships, attachments and professional placements.He’s the primary NZFC contact with NZ screen industry guilds and organisations. He was previously CEO/Creative Director of GMAC Film in Scotland for 11 years.

Erkko Lyytinen is a commissioning editor for Finnish public broadcaster YLE, focusing on co-productions of creative documentaries.

Fergus is a director/producer, sales & distribution consultant who has over 10 years’ experience in the film industry. Fergus currently serves as consultant Acquisitions Manager at Limelight Distribution. His directorial debut Camino Skies world premiered at the Newport Beach film festival and went on to win Best NZ Director and Best NZ Emerging Filmmaker awards at Doc Edge 2019, where it sold out all of its screenings.

Camino Skies then went on to become one of the top four highest-grossing NZ or Australian documentaries released in both countries last year, grossing excess of $700K during its ANZ theatrical run.

Fergus was also an executive producer on the Netflix original film Cargo, as well as a producer intern on Daffodils, and associate producer on West of Sunshine which competed at Venice Film Festival in 2017.

Flame Distribution


With nearly 30 years experience in content sales and marketing, Fiona has licensed content to a wide variety of platforms and market segments in nearly every territory.

Beginning at Film Australia in 1989 and the Sales and Marketing Operations Manager, Fiona built the content sales catalogue across all genres for distribution into markets worldwide and in doing so built strong relationships with the independent production sector and content buyers. Fiona was also a staff elected director on the Film Australia board from 1992 – 1996.As Content Sales Manager at SBS from 1996, Fiona assessed the commercial potential of projects at every stage of production, developing strategies for the marketing of each and compiling sales projections. She worked with producers to obtain production funding from the market securing presales and other market interest to get content into production. During her time at SBS the sales catalogue, which had previously only represented local SBS productions, grew to represent content from Australian television producers with content commissioned outside SBS.

Fiona established her own consultancy business, Fi’sAbility, in 2009 and worked with producers to maximise commercial opportunities for their content, helping them with business plans and working in the market on their behalf.

In early 2011 Fiona joined the newly established Flame Distribution, a specialist factual distributor, as its Content Sales & Acquisitions Director. Since that time Flame Distribution has grown to 15 staff and established sales offices in Sydney, London, Singapore, New York and Eastern Europe. Flame Media, the umbrella company of which Flame Distribution is a part, has spread into production, channel sales and business advisory work with over 40 staff across its 7 offices around the world.

Flame currently represents over 3,000 hours of factual and documentary content from over 160 producers from around the world.

Its sales staff attend nearly 30 trade fairs and conferences around the world each year as well as making territory trips to meet with buyers face to face in order to stay abreast of their content needs. Flame works in the TV, online, inflight, and educational markets and also assists producers in securing presales and commissions.

Fiona is currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

Hanne Biermann
Deckert Distribution


Hanne Biermann joined Deckert Distribution as festival manager in March 2019. The world sales company is based in Leipzig, Germany and stands for excellent, director-led, award-winning documentary films. Hanne graduated from Bauhaus University Weimar with a degree in Media Studies.

She works as a freelance film journalist, was a member of the Doc Alliance Award Jury in 2017 and part of the Thessaloniki-Locarno Industry Academy in 2019.

The Whickers


As Consultant Editor for documentary funding foundation The Whickers, Jane nurtures and supports new audio and film documentary-makers who share a curiosity for the world.She has helped develop filmmakers at Docs by the Sea (Bali), MyDocs (Malaysia), AND – Asian Network of Documentary (Busan), as well as leading documentary training in Uganda and for the British Film Institute in London.

The former UK MD of Al Gore’s documentary channel Current and Executive Editor, BBC London, Jane has worked for Discovery, Turner, BBC Worldwide, UKTV and the Africa channel. She is also Director of UK-based beechtobeach ltd.

Screen Australia


Jeanie manages Screen Australia’s Documentary Development slate, as well as commissioning initiatives including the ABC’sArt Bites series and Al Jazeera’s long-running documentary strand Witness.She spent 10 years in London producing TV programmes for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Five, before taking on Head of Factual and Head of Development roles for production companies in the UK, Australia and New Zealand – including five years in Wellington as the Gibson Group’s Head of Popular Factual & Formats, developing and producing series for TVNZ, TV3 and Prime.

Jeanie also has extensive experience field producing and directing TV and digital content around the world for high-profile NGOs including UNICEF, Amnesty International and Comic Relief.

Jill Macnab (NZ)


Jill has rich and varied experience across marketing, distribution and acquisitions, and is now making waves as a producer with features Born to Dance, In the Zone and Pecking Order.

She began her career working in theatre management, then worked in home entertainment in the UK and New Zealand for five years, marketing numerous blockbuster and arthouse releases across rental and retail. From here she moved to distributor Vendetta Films to head up their sales and marketing team, and then helped launch the international acquisitions side of the business. Jill has acquired multiple award-winning films and revenue winners across varied genres, and now oversees the whole business, which encompasses all-rights distribution across Australia and New Zealand.

Notable Pictures


Julia is an award-winning producer and documentary director. During 20 years working in the entertainment industry, Julia has developed a singular ability to direct striking documentary with emotional depth, receiving local and international acclaim for her films and television series, such as; The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps, Drug Court, Arranged, Both Worlds, Wilbur: The King in the Ring, Restoring Hope and Anthems: New Zealand’s Iconic Hits.For over a decade Julia has also taken the role of lead producer on an incredibly wide range of factual television, documentary and short film, distributed across digital, television and theatrical. This work is further enhanced by Loading Docs, an initiative that she co-founded and continues to run, which has supported over 100 filmmakers to create short documentary films amassing over 13 million views worldwide.

Recipient of the WIFT Woman to Watch award in 2010, The NZIFF Best Short 2013, Show Me Shorts Best Short 2014 and Best Web series 2016 & 17, Julia’s work has also been chosen for festivals in New Zealand and Australia; Doc Edge, NZIFF, SFF and MIFF, as well as around the world at SXSW, Tampere, Palm Springs, Bermuda, Rhode Island and Puchon.

Committed to producing quality content that matters, Julia has had the courage to choose projects that champion the underdog, challenge the status quo and seek to reflect deeply on the world in which we live.

NHK Enterprises


Ken-Ichi entered NHK in 1983 as a TV director. His main focus of interest has been in international affairs. Between 2005-2009, he worked for NHK Enterprises and distributed NHK programmes abroad.

He transferred to NHK headquarters and was the producer and the commissioning editor of the “World Documentary” slot. In 2012, he moved to NHK Enterprises and is now the executive producer in charge of co-production, pre-buy and production, mainly of documentary.



Lorraine Hess is a producer/programmer and tastemaker based in San Francisco, CA.  Co-Founder/VP Programming/Acquisitions, producer for PBS series Global Spirit, and consultant for Bertha Foundation, KCETLINK, Conscious Good, DocLands Film Festival and others.

Over the years, Lorraine has followed her passion to produce and curate programming that opens our eyes to the people and cultures of the world with stories that transform, rouse, inspire, galvanise and provoke.


Meghan Monsour is the Programming Director of The Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, a traveling festival that promotes documentary film in Mexico and abroad in order to foster new forms of expression and encourage debate around key issues.Since 2008, she has been part of the team that has positioned Ambulante as Mexico’s most far-reaching film festival and as a unique exhibition model due to its geographic reach and innovative spirit.
Ten Thousand Pictures


Mette is an Emmy-nominated and award-winning producer, interactive producer and editor of feature documentaries. She started her career as an editor over 20 years ago.In 2014, she founded her own production company, Ten Thousand Images AS (TTI), based in Norway. Through TTI, she has produced and edited the award-winning documentary No Word for Worry (2014) and produced the critically-acclaimed Nowhere to Hide (2016), which screened at over 100 festivals worldwide, won over 20 international awards including the first prize at IDFA and the One World FF, and was nominated for 2 Emmy-Awards in 2019.

Mette’s also a producer of Petr Lom’s Doc Edge 2020 feature Angels on Diamond Street and his Doc Edge Pitch 2020 project We Are The River.



Mila is co-founder of the Montreal documentary production company EyeSteelFilm. He’s produced over 40 feature documentaries including Last Train Home (winner of 2 Emmy Awards); Up the Yangtze (Independent Spirit Award Nominee; Golden Horse Award winner); Rip: A Remix Manifesto (Webby Award Honoree; IDFA audience choice prize winner); and I Am the Blues (Canadian Screen Award winner).He directed, produced, and edited Let There Be Light (Big Sky Film Fest’s Artistic Vision award winner). In 2020, he won an award for editing at the Sundance Film festival for SOFTIE, directed by Sam Soko. He was President of RIDM, Montreal’s international documentary festival, and has served on the juries of the Sundance Film Festival, the International Emmy Awards, and the New Zealand Screen Awards.

Mila frequently mentors and gives documentary storytelling seminars to up and coming filmmakers – recent workshops include Guangzhou, China; Durban, South Africa; and Yangon, Myanmar.


Miriam Carbe is a commissioning editor for the German/French broadcaster ZDF/Arte. She trained at the German Journalism School in Munich and has worked for several years as a filmmaker and freelancing journalist before joining ZDF/Arte in 2011.Her focus is on current affairs and investigative documentaries.
Orly Ravid
The FIlm Collaborative


Born in Israel, raised in Manhattan, and living in Los Angeles, Orly Ravid is the Founder and Co-Executive Director of The Film Collaborative (TFC), an entertainment attorney at MSK (Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP), and the Director of the Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute at Southwestern Law School.

Orly has over 20 years of experience in independent film as an acquisitions and business affairs executive, and her experience encompasses all aspects of distribution, domestic and international sales/licensing, development, production, grassroots marketing, and festival programming.

She has served as a Programming Associate for documentaries at Sundance Film Festival and a programming consultant at Palm Springs International and the Middle East Film Festivals. Orly co-authored the book series Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul and recently contributed to How Not to Sign a Film Contract, and is a passionate advocate for filmmakers.

Paradiddle Pictures


Working in the international documentary sector since 2003, Ove Rishøj Jensen has an extensive network within the industry. In addition to producing and co-producing films, he gives lectures and run workshops about script writing, project development, international financing, co-production, impact, outreach and distribution.Since 2011 Ove has worked for the Swedish production company Auto Images as Producer and Outreach Manager, which he continues to do. Here he has produced and created outreach campaigns for documentaries including Only the Devil Lives Without Hope and Every Face Has a Name.

Alongside working for Auto Images, Ove launched in 2019 his own company for documentary training and consultancy, Paradiddle Pictures. Here he collaborates with partners like IDFA, Fresh Pitch China, Dix in Vitro, Mediterranean Film Institute, Nordisk Panorama and many others.

From 2003 to 2019 Ove worked for EDN – European Documentary Network. He has a master’s degree in film studies, with additional studying of cultural journalism and humanistic computer informatics.

NYLA Pictures


An Emmy award-winning filmmaker recently named to DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40” List, Rachel is a sought-after producer whose work has earned accolades and sparked impact, at venues ranging from the Tribeca Film Festival to Capitol Hill.With Kartemquin Films, she produced The Trials of Muhammad Ali (PBS/Independent Lens, 2014), which won a national Emmy for Best Historical Long-Form Program, and associate produced A Good Man (PBS/American Masters, 2011). With Siskel/Jacobs Productions, she directed and produced the short film GRACE (Condé Nast Entertainment), which was digitally released by SELF in October 2018 and has garnered 150K views, and counting. Her most recent projects include No Small Matter, a Gates- and Bezos-supported doc about early childhood education, which will have its online premiere this summer; and Represent, about three female candidates running for office, which will have its broadcast premiere on PBS/Independent Lens this fall.

A versatile producer/director, Rachel has created promotional content for Fortune 500 companies such as Pepsi and USAA, as well as branded videos for companies such as Manduka and UBER. She remains active in the independent filmmaking community and co-chairs the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA). She resides in Chicago, USA.

Participant Media

Rory Thost is a Creative Executive of Documentary Film & TV at Participant, where he reviews potential projects and provides strategic support for the company’s documentary film and television slate from development through post-production and release.
HK Documentary Initiative


Filmmaker Ruby Yang has worked on a range of feature and documentary films exploring Chinese themes as director, producer and editor. She won an Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject for The Blood of Yingzhou District in 2007. She is also known for her feature documentary Citizen Hong Kong and the award winning documentary My Voice, My Life.With filmmaker Thomas F. Lennon, Yang founded the Chang Ai Media Project in 2003 to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in China. Since then, its documentaries and public service announcements have been seen by hundreds of millions of Chinese viewers. Together they made a trilogy of short documentary films about modern China, including The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won an Oscar, Tongzhi in Love and The Warriors of Qiugang which was nominated for Academy Award Best Documentary Short Subject in 2011.

Yang lived and worked in San Francisco for many years, relocated to Beijing in 2004 and now lives in Hong Kong. She was appointed by the University of Hong Kong as Hung Leung Hau Ling Distinguished Fellow in Humanities in 2013. Her feature documentary My Voice, My Life was named one of “Hong Kong’s five most-notable films of 2014” by Wall Street Journal. Her 2016 documentary In Search of Perfect Consonance received the Excellence in Filmmaking Award at the Sedona International Film Festival. Her recent mid-length documentary Ritoma, follows the nomads of Ritoma as they navigate the collision of tradition and modernity.

In May 2019, she received Artist of the Year in Film of Hong Kong Arts Development Awards.

Yang is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She now heads the Hong Kong Documentary Initiative at the University of Hong Kong, which aims to nurture the next generation of documentary filmmakers in the region.

S. Leo Chiang (US)
Wandering Iris


Leo is a Taiwanese-American filmmaker based in San Francisco and Taipei. His most recent film, Our Time Machine, won the Best Cinematography Award at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and Best International Director award at Doc Edge Festival.

His previous film, the Emmy® Award-nominated A Village Called Versailles, picked up eight awards and aired on PBS series Independent Lens. Leo’s work has received funding support from the Sundance Documentary Fund, the Tribeca Film Institute, and ITVS. Leo received a MFA in film production from University of Southern California




Rise and Shine

FORUM Presenter

After six years at leading youth and music TV producer MME, an Adolf Grimme TV-Award for ARD-series POP 2000 and a 2-year-interval in multimedia, Stefan founded Kloos & Co. Medien in 2002 and has since produced numerous award-winning creative documentaries with international TV broadcasters and for the cinema.Stefan is a member of EDN and AG DOK, an alumnus of the Documentary Campus Masterschool, and one of the most active and experienced German producers on the international market and festival circuit. He regularly lectures on documentary film and distribution.

Recent award-winning films and co-productions include The Other Chelsea, Putin’s Kiss, Of Sharks and Fish, Planet Galata and The Day We Danced to the Moon.


Türkan Schirmer has been a commissioning editor for the German/French broadcaster ZDF/Arte since 2008. Before that she worked as commissioning editor and author for 3sat, the joint programme of public broadcasters from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.For ARTE, Türkan is in charge of documentaries for the TV slots Theme Evenings, Geopolitics, History and the reportage series ARTE RE.

A seasoned Producer/Director and journalist, Vicki has spent the majority of her career in the UK making prime-time factual and factual entertainment shows for the BBC, ITV and Sky One.At TVNZ her focus is on Popular Factual commissions in primetime for TVNZ 1, TVNZ 2, Duke and On Demand as well as overseeing internal productions such as Have You Been Paying Attention?



Alice Burgin is the current CEO/Conference Director of the Australian International Documentary Conference, Australia’s premier event for non-fiction screen content.She is also on the selection committee of Creative Victoria’s Screen Creative Grant and Chair’s the Department of Film and Animation Course Advisory Committee for the Swinburne University of Technology.
Pacific Screen

PITCH Mentor

With more than 30 years’ experience as a TV producer in Australasia, Amanda Evans has worked in everything from comedy to documentary, children’s programmes, reality, arts and current affairs.As an independent producer, she focuses her energies on developing TV concepts for broadcast – both in New Zealand and overseas. She has also acted as a consultant to other independent producers, and as an intermediary between them and the funding bodies and broadcasters in New Zealand.

Amanda began her career as a TV producer in Australia with the ABC. She’s subsequently worked both on staff and as an independent producer for the ABC and TVNZ, and as a consultant to Ten (Australia), Freemantle Media and Pearson International, among others. In addition to format development, producing series and documentaries for Pacific Screen, and she has continued her relationship with selected corporate clients to develop and produce educational resources for health consumers, students, employees and corporate trainees.

She combines a busy family life with managing Pacific Screen in New Zealand and Australia, her own creative writing, developing an orchard, and her favourite contact sport – quilting.


PITCH Mentor

Amelia is the Programme Director of In-Docs, a documentary organisation in Indonesia that has championed documentary films for more than 17 years; developing talents, growing a supportive ecosystem, connecting great films with funding, distribution and audience that can help them create social impact.Amelia is also the co-creator of Dare to Dream Asia, Docs By The Sea and the Good Pitch programme in Southeast Asia.

Amelia Hapsari is the Program Director of In-Docs, a documentary organization in Indonesia that has championed documentary films for more than 17 years; developing talents, growing a supportive ecosystem, connecting great films with funding, distribution and audience that can help them create social impact. Amelia is the co-creator of Dare to Dream Asia, Docs By The Sea and the Good Pitch program in Southeast Asia.


PITCH Mentor

Bryn is an award-winning documentary director and photographer whose twenty-five year career began covering human rights and indigenous issues in areas such as New Zealand, Afghanistan, India, Bosnia & Herzegovina, East Timor, West Papua and the South Pacific region.His most recent film endeavour Born Racer (2018) for Universal Pictures, catapulted global audiences into the world of six times Indycar motor-racing champion Scott Dixon but its his film Hip Hop-eration (2015) that sits most at ease with Bryn’s story-telling sensibilities.Hip Hop-eration won best feature documentary, best documentary director and best cinematography at the New Zealand Film Awards (2014) along with best feature film at the Chargrin Int. Film Festival (2015) and Audience Awards at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (2015), FIFO (2016), Two Rivers (2015) and runner up Audience awards at IDFA (2014), One World Human Rights (2015) and Thessaloniki (2015), it was also presented at Cannes and Berlinale markets.

In 2005 Bryn established the beginning of an eight-year relationship with the broadcaster Māori Television producing amongst many projects the acclaimed documentary series Tatai Hono (2005) and the documentary film From Street to Sky (2008), that captured the spirit of renowned New Zealand musician & activist Tigilau Ness. Bryn also produced the series Te Ara Wairua.

Bryn has written and directed prime-time factual documentary for other broadcasters within New Zealand including the series Beyond the Darklands, Descent from Disaster, I am Innocent and was a producer for the acclaimed current affairs series 60 Minutes.

Recognised by the international documentary community, he has been awarded recognition via placement with the Berlinale Talents scheme (2016), received a nomination for the coveted IDFA First Appearance Award (2014), and a Directors and Editors Guild of New Zealand Mentorship Award (2016).

Bryn currently works between New Zealand and Germany.



Cass has been the EVP of Development and Executive Production at Augusto for the past 8 years. As a producer and writer, Cass has helmed and scripted more than 40 documentaries and TV series in NZ and Australia.She produced Chasing Great, NZ’s highest ever grossing cinema documentary. The Girl On The Bridge, co-produced with Alex Reed and directed by Leanne Pooley, is due for release in 2020. Cass is also the writer and Executive Producer of the multi-award-winning series Jessica’s Tree.

Augusto is a hybrid production company and agency with offices in Auckland and New York. Augusto focuses on telling stories that promote change, and that celebrate and inspire.


PITCH Mentor
FORUM Presenter

Corey Tong is a filmmaker, producer, writer and photographer. He is also a creative consultant for film festivals/exhibitions programming, co-productions, sales/acquisitions, public relations, representation and frequently curates, presents film and cultural programs. Corey is a producer of Emmy-nominated Forever, Chinatown (2016); exec producer of Oscar®-nominated, Emmy-winning Last Day Of Freedom (2015); producer of the drama The Land Has Eyes (2005); producer of Beyond The Team (2013); consulting producer on documentaries Defender (2017), Point Of No Return (2017), Love Boat Taiwan (2019); currently in production on Her Excellency.

Projects in development include a doc series focused on indigenous Pacific Islander culture and several other international co-productions. He regularly advises, speaks, serves on juries at festivals such as Doc Edge, Cinematografo (Phillippines), and Hawaii.

Park Road Post


In 2002 Damien started work as an Assistant Colorist on the second and third of the Lord of the Rings films working with Senior Colorist Peter Doyle. Following this he worked as a freelance colourist until he moved into the Editorial department for King Kong. Damian continued working on local and international features in New Zealand, as an Assistant Editor.In 2008 he moved to Los Angeles to work with Senior Colourist David Cole at Laser Pacific. Damian was employed by Technicolor Hollywood in 2011 and in May 2014 moved back to New Zealand to work for Park Road Post Production as a Colourist.

Most recently he’s been working on Mortal Engines, from the initial camera testing and as on-set supervising colourist through to the final grade.

Apart from film, Damian enjoys photograpghy, eating spicy food and Brizilian Jiu Jitsu.


Dana is the Programme Officer in the Grants Department at the International Documentary Association. Prior to joining IDA, Dana was the production manager for Al Jazeera America’s documentary unit and the Peabody Award winning series Fault Lines.She has served as a production manager on numerous film and television productions.


Joining AIDC in 2016 to oversee the marketplace, Danielle has worked both internationally and in Australia for over a decade. Her past work at film festivals has included producing, programming, and liaison roles at Tribeca, Sundance, TIFF, and the Melbourne International Film Festival.Prior to joining the festival world she worked on Steve McQueen’s award-winning Shame, and was also a producer and first AD in Australia. Danielle also holds a Master of Communications Law from the University of Technology Sydney.

PITCH Mentor

Gaylene Preston is a national treasure, with an exceptional career over more than three decades. An innovative writer, director, and producer, Gaylene has insisted that it is possible to live in New Zealand and contribute New Zealand stories to global cinema, and her award-winning work has screened extensively at international festivals including Venice, Sundance, Toronto. In 2001 Gaylene was the first filmmaker to receive an Arts Foundation Laureate Award and in 2002 she was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the film industry. In 2010 she received the inaugural lifetime achievement award for outstanding contribution to documentary from Documentary Edge.

In 2016 she was awarded the SPADA Industry Champion Award and a NZ Women of Influence Award for Arts & Culture and in 2017 she was given the Lia Lifetime Achievement Award from the Stranger with My Face International Film Festival for her contribution to women’s genre film making in 2017.

Gaylene has served on most industry boards including the NZFC and NZ On Air, and has chaired Creative New Zealand’s Film Innovation Fund and the New Zealand Film and Television Awards Society. At the same time, as evidenced in her executive producer credits of many award-winning films, including Annie Goldson’s Punitive Damage, Brita McVeigh’s Coffee, Tea or Me?, Michelle Savill’s Ellen is Leaving and Paora Joseph’s Tatarakihi – The Children of Parihaka, her generosity of spirit and her powerful mentorship and advocacy skills have been central to the development of New Zealand’s contemporary filmmaking community.

Frank Film

PITCH Mentor

Gerard has produced and/or directed over 60 documentaries. He has extensive experience producing, directing, filming, and writing documentary films. His early training, at firstly the NZBC and then TVNZ, was as a cameraman.In 2012 Gerard was awarded  ‘Best Director Documentary’ at the New Zealand Television Awards for his feature When a City Falls. This grass-roots tale of the Christchurch Earthquakes also won the TV Guide’s People’s Choice award for best documentary.

In 2014 he was a finalist in the New Zealand Film Awards in two categories, (Best Director and best Cinematography,) for his documentary Aunty and the Star People.  In 2008 he was a finalist Best Director Documentary in the NZ Qantas Film and Television Awards for his biography Barefoot Cinema – the life and art of cinematographer Alun Bollinger.

NZ On Air


Glenn has more than 30 years television experience in a number of senior positions in both state and private broadcasting companies. Prior to joining NZ On Air, he was the Programme Manager for the Rialto Channel on Sky TV, and was responsible for the channel’s establishment as the Sundance Channel.

Previously Glenn worked at TVNZ in both acquisitions and programming roles, with his last position being programmer for TV One. He has also held programming positions at Kid’s TV and former Telecom channel First Media.

Department of Post


James Brookes is a Company Director of Auckland’s Department of Post, and Post Supervisor for up to 15 major film and television productions, annually. A graduate of South Seas Film and Television school, Brookes’ technical background as an Online Editor gives him a unique working knowledge of the post process, from production through delivery.Over the years he has become known for his collaborative nature, working to ensure that every producer is empowered and enabled to access the best technology, resources and expertise our region has to offer, regardless of scope or budget.

James Brookes endeavours to unite the Screen Production community, towards the common goal of working together to create a stronger regional Film sector across Auckland.

Independent Producer

PITCH Mentor

Jill is best known as a Line Producer, Production Manager and Production Supervisor on numerous projects from Features Films to Television and Documentary.After spending time living in the UK and working in international foreign exchange markets, Jill continued in this line of work after returning to New Zealand. Seeking a change of direction, she took advantage of The Lord of the Rings trilogy shooting in New Zealand and managed to get herself on to the crew. From there she continued to develop her skills working with some Hollywood’s elite on blockbusters including The Legend of Zorro, The Last Samurai, Aliens in the Attic, The Waterhorse, Pete’s Dragon and Dinosaurs of Antarctica.

Jill has also worked on a number of local New Zealand films and to compliment her feature film work she branched out into television and documentaries,  adding to her credits with shows such as Spartacus and feature documentaries McLaren and Colours of China.

Jill’s enviable experience is multifaceted and spans all aspects of film & TV production. An expert in managing budgets, resources and logistics, her skills are often called upon by local and international productions and funding bodies.



Karen is responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of the NZFC’s Te Rautaki Māori. She is of Te Arawa descent, born and raised in Rotorua. Waaka-Tibble is a producer with extensive experience in governance, culture, intellectual property rights, iwi and community organisations as well as active involvement in Māori screen issues.

For the past 15 years she has been producer for Kura Productions, working with Quinton Hita on a range of television productions using te reo Māori. Karen has served as a board member of Ngā Aho Whakaari – the Māori in Film & Television collective. Prior to her screen industry career, she worked extensively in the tourism industry in Rotorua.Karen is responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of the NZFC’s Te Rautaki Māori. She is of Te Arawa descent, born and raised in Rotorua. Waaka-Tibble is a producer with extensive experience in governance, culture, intellectual property rights, iwi and community organisations as well as active involvement in Māori screen issues.



For the past 15 years she has been producer for Kura Productions, working with Quinton Hita on a range of television productions using te reo Māori. Karen has served as a board member of Ngā Aho Whakaari – the Māori in Film & Television collective. Prior to her screen industry career, she worked extensively in the tourism industry in Rotorua.

NZ Film Commission

Leanne is responsible for overseeing the development of films from the early development stage to the end of post-production.Her department focuses on supporting exciting ideas to become great films.
Māoriland Film Festival

PITCH Mentor


Media Stockade

PITCH Mentor

Madeleine is an experienced director and producer. She works across a wide range of documentary and top rating factual programs.  Her filmmaking has taken her around the world from diamond diving in Africa to wildlife trafficking in Burma and through the remote Australian outback.Recent work includes Series Producer/Creator for 8 x 1hr series The Surgery Ship series for National Geographic Channel and Debi Marshall Investigates: Frozen Lies – a 5 x 1hr True Crime series for FOXTEL. Madeleine is currently producing Back To Nature – an 8 part series for the ABC.

In 2012 she co-founded the independent production company Media Stockade with Rebecca Barry.

Good Pitch


Malinda joined Doc Society as the Global Director of Doc Society’s Good Pitch programme in September 2019. She is the former Executive Director of Good Pitch Australia and Shark Island Institute. Good Pitch Australia raised more than $14 million in philanthropic grants for the funding of 19 social impact documentaries and their impact campaigns, forging over 300 new collaborative cross-sectoral partnerships connecting the NGO and business sectors, education and policy leaders and the media in support of the impact campaigns aligned with each of their documentaries.Malinda’s professional experience spans senior roles within the corporate, political, philanthropic and NGO sectors. She has been the recipient of a number of scholarships most recently, the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship from the European Commission (2010-2012) where she completed a double Masters in Public Policy & International Development (Democracy and Governance) with distinction.

Malinda is an Executive Producer of the environmental justice documentary, 2040 by Director Damon Gameau, The Final Quarter by Director Ian Darling and Democracy Project by Director Craig Reucassel. She has advised on business and strategic planning for a number of production and distribution companies including Madman, Hopscotch, Transmission, and Revolver. She serves on the Board of the Reichstein Foundation, Pro Bono Australia News Editorial Advisory Board, Screen Australia’s Gender Matters Task Force, is a founding member of Mannifera Democracy Funders Network, and is Deputy Chair of The Caledonia Foundation.

Malinda has served as a mentor for pitch and impact workshops including Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and IDFA, served on the jury of FIFO, HIFF, Antenna and Environment Film Festivals. In 2016 Malinda was recognised as one of the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence, and delivered a TEDx talk on the role of documentary in strengthening democracy in 2018.


PITCH Mentor

Marilyn is a well-rounded factual film and television professional, skilled in producing and directing – from concept development, research and script writing, right through to post-production and final delivery.Her beginnings in the industry were as part of New Zealand studio crews, where she grew her skills as a script writer and script editor, providing the springboard to develop her interest in documentary production.

Marilyn’s subsequent experience has taken her all over Asia and Australasia, Europe and the US, with clients including the BBC, National Geographic, The History Channel, Discovery Networks, Channel News Asia and TVNZ.

She was author, researcher and editorial lead on Veil of Dreams, a feature film that was able penetrate the secretive world of women’s football in Iran. She researched, wrote and directed a 3-part series on the unknown history of WW2 in Asia, that included the dramatic stories of Filipino guerillas foiling the Japanese Army and the women’s regiment of the Indian National Army, who fought alongside the men to oust the British from India.

In 2019 she researched and wrote the theatrical feature Colours of China a New Zealand / Germany / China co-production ( now in post production ) and has several new projects in development as part of Yalla! Media’s new slate. These include the NZFC supported, hybrid documentary, True Colours, and Vrindavan, a Canadian co-production currently on hold due to Covid-19



Brenda is the CEO of Nomad8, a leading Agile consultancy that works with companies throughout New Zealand.Prior to that, Brenda was Head of Digital and Innovation at NZ On Air, and a key person behind the Digital Media Fund and support for online series and projects. She continues to work in the creative sector whenever possible, bringing a valuable business and technology perspective to production.


Chris Henry is the Managing Director of boutique entertainment PR agency 818 and the newly formed social partnerships agency PEOPLE OF INFLUENCE.

Launched in 2014, 818 has been is the PR force behind some of New Zealand’s most successful entertainment projects including kiwi films The Breaker Upperers, What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and more recently JOJO Rabbit.

Recently 818 has taken the PR lead on The Legend of Baron To’a, Dan Carter biopic A Perfect 10 and The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillips.

2020 will see 818 release the feature films Baby Done, Lowdown Dirty Criminals and the powerful gang drama Savage.

In 2019, Chris launched PEOPLE OF INFLUENCE, a division specialising in a new breed of talent representation working with influential talent on creating longer term genuine brand partnerships in the social space that truly fits the ethos of the talent.



Christina Milligan (Ngāti Porou) is an Auckland-based film producer.

Her recent credits include the feature documentaries The Price of Peace and In The Zone and the television documentary Let My Whakapapa Speak. Her drama feature credits include Mt Zion (as executive producer) and Nights in the Gardens of Spain (US title: Kawa), as well as the iconic feature The End of the Golden Weather.

She is currently executive producing the Australian-NZ co-production Ngā Pouwhenua/Cook 2020 which is in pre-production. Christina lectures and supervises postgraduate students at Auckland University of Technology and her research in screenwriting and screen production is published internationally.

She has served on the boards of the NZ Film Commission, Ngā Aho Whakaari and Script to Screen, and is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Screenwriting (UK).

Gibson Group


Beginning her career in Wellington in 2004, Jane has worked in the UK, China and UAE, creating and prducing documentaries and TV series that have screened worldwide.She has produced a number of crime documentary series, including Prison Families for Three, The Trouble with Murder and Bullies, both for Prime.

Jane and Tess Hutson won Doc Edge Pitch 2019 with their pitch for feature A Place to Stand.



Jay is the founder of Taiwanese production house and OTT service Portico Media, co-founder of the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, and creator of Asia’s first LGBTQ+ streaming platform, GagaOOLalawhich is available to watch worldwide.  

Since 2017 GagaOOLala has produced over 30 original features, shorts and series, including Taiwanese feature The Teacher, Thai-Taiwanese co-pro Present Still Perfect and the world’s first LGBTQ+ quarantine anthology series Unlocked. 

NZ Film Commission


Jude manages the funding process for the NZFC’s bi-annual Fresh Shorts rounds, including development labs. She supports filmmakers in their career development from the short to feature space.

She has extensive production and development experience in the New Zealand screen industry. Commencing her career initially as Production Manager and then Development Executive at the Gibson Group, Jude has most recently been Digital Producer at Storybox, developing and producing online video.

In 2013 Jude graduated from AUT with a Certificate in Career Development with a chosen focus on the creative sector.

Notable Pictures


With two years as Loading Docs producer for Notable Pictures, six years at the New Zealand Film Commission as short film manager, and one year running the South Shorts mentorship programme for Script to Screen, Juliette Veber has extensive experience in the areas of developing filmmaking talent, documentary storytelling, short film funding, production and distribution.A documentary maker in her own right, Juliette conceived and helmed the feature film Trouble is My Business and interactive website Conversations with Teen Mum.

She also produced New Zealand feature film Toy Love and associate produced The Price of Milk. Juliette brings a passion for nurturing storytellers to reach their full potential while ensuring promising projects evolve from good ideas to critically acclaimed films.


Kath Akuhata-Brown (Ngāti Porou) is a writer, director, former New Zealand Film Commission development executive and television documentarian.


With over 30 years’ experience in festival programming, film publicity and producing, Kathleen helps filmmakers merge their creative and business development via the film festival circuit.

As strategic publicist, Kathleen represents world cinema films premiering at Toronto, Cannes, Berlin, Sundance, and Karlovy Vary festivals.

Kathleen currently curates the Seattle Int’l Film Festival’s New Works-in-Progress Forum, and has previously been a programmer and/or festival director for Hot Docs, Palm Springs, Slamdance, Toronto and Tribeca.


Nick is the Managing Director of Christchurch’s Lumiere Cinemas, a two-screen arthouse/crossover theatre presenting a wide cross-section of independent, festival, cult, and documentary programming. 
Nick has a 40-year history in the industry and is driven to preserve the art of cinema-going, especially at a time of increasing digital delivery into homes. 
Bigger Picture


Simon is an experienced editor who loves a challenge. Graduating through the evolution of television in London facilities, Simon has amassed years of valuable experience, a strong sense of story, craft and technical know-how. An experienced offline and online editor, he has seen many  projects through to delivery.In addition to editing Simon has also been responsible for post-directing, creating visual FX and co-writing on a number of projects. He has received a number of awards for his craft and has worked on many award winning projects in New Zealand and Internationally.

Simon’s recent work includes Annie Goldson’s Kim Dotcom – Caught in the Web and David Farrier, Dylan Reeve’s Tickled – and previous Doc Edge award winners Chris Dudman’s The Day That Changed My Life by (Doc Edge 2015) and Charlotte Purdy and Peter Burger’s Erebus: Operation Overdue by (Doc Edge 2014).

Sabine Programme


Motivated by a major health scare, Slavko Martinov decided to make films. He began by devoting years to a film that attacked Western propaganda, but was itself disguised as a piece of North Korean propaganda. Since being loaded onto YouTube in 2012, Propaganda has continued to fool many viewers.

Slavko went on to make acclaimed documentary Pecking Order, about the world of bird breeding. Like Propaganda, it was invited to a number of global festivals. He has also directed two documentaries for television: The Nip Tuck Trick, on plastic surgery, and One 16th, about a man capitalising on his Māori heritage.



Steve Barr moved to NZ in 2010 after working for 16 years in the Hollywood industry. He has been a studio suit for Universal Studios, a feature screenwriter for Walt Disney Pictures, and VP Development for indie production company SMASHfilms. Steve has been hired to write a dozen screenplays in the New Zealand, American, and Chinese industries, two of which have been produced – Timeslow and Born To Dance. He has produced nearly 20 short films and two features – Chronesthesia and Hang Time.

Steve has a BFA in Theatre from the University of Southern California, and has taught screenwriting for the NZ Film and Television School, the New Zealand Writers Guild, Massey University, and Victoria University. He is a member of the WGA, WIFT, SPADA and served as president of the NZ Writers Guild. He is currently the commissioner for drama and scripted comedy for Television New Zealand.

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