Skip to main content

Writer & Director Gender in NZ Feature Films 2003-2017

A Work Forever in Progress

New Zealand has such a small population that – with help – I’ve been able to identify most features filmed in New Zealand between 2003 and 2017 and written and/or directed by New Zealanders. Most on this list have been released (with a few that may never be) and all have reached at least pre-production, according the information I have available.

The list in general excludes feature documentaries. But it includes some hybrid works for cinema – Home By ChristmasRain of the ChildrenLove StoryThe Red HouseBeyond the EdgeGiselle, The Deadly Ponies Gang  and some heavily scripted work for television, based on real life events. 

I've attempted to classify the films according to the contribution of women writers and directors and whether they have female protagonists: my definition of 'female protagonist' excludes heterosexual 'couple' films like Sunday and multi-protagonist work like Apron Strings, but not My Wedding & Other Secrets, because of its perspective.

Some features by New Zealand women writers and directors don't appear here, because the list excludes work made overseas and not funded by New Zealand taxpayers, like Jane Campion's In the Cut and Bright Star, Niki Caro’s North Country, McFarland, USA and The Zookeeper's Wife, Christine Jeff’s Sunshine Cleaning and Miro Bilbrough’s Being Venice. But, because I want to be able to track the overall New Zealand taxpayer investment in women who write and co-write features, international co-productions we fund are included, even if they don't have New Zealand writers and/or directors and are not shot in New Zealand

Please let me know of any additions and/or if you’d like your information amended.

Abbreviations–
TF: Taxpayer Funded – for development and/or production and/or post-production, by the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), New Zealand On Air (NZOA), Creative New Zealand or other central government or local body film scheme. NZFC-funded features are usually also NZOA-funded.  
TM: Telemovie 
TFCP: Taxpayer funded international co-production 
**not yet incorporated into analysis 

Written & Directed by Women and With Female Protagonists
1. Perfect Strangers (2003) wr/dir Gaylene Preston TF
2. Sophie's Joy (2007) wr/dir Anna Breckon
3. Jinx Sister (2007) wr/dir Athina Tsoulis
4. Jan Was Worried (2008) wr/dir Anna Breckon
5. Piece of My Heart (2008) wr/dir Fiona Samuel TF TM
6. My Wedding & Other Secrets (2011) wr Angeline Loo & Roseanne Liang dir Roseanne Liang TF
7. Rebecca 2 (2011) wr/dir Anna Breckon
8. Kaikahu Road (2011) wr/dir Marama Killen
9. Bliss (2012) wr/dir Fiona Samuel TF TM
10. Existence (2012) wr Jessica Charlton & Juliet Bergh dir Juliet Bergh TF
11. White Lies/ Tuakiri Huna (2013) wr/dir Dana Rotberg TF
12. Bowie (2015) wr/dir Amanda Phillips
13. Watcher (2015) wr/dir Rose Goldthorp
14. The Inland Road (2016) wr/dir Jackie van Beek TF
15. Silverville (2016) wr/dir Rose Goldthorp
16. Stars in Her Eyes (2016) wr Athina Tsoulis and Lucy Zee/dir Athina Tsoulis
17. Vermilion (2017) wr/dir Dorthe Scheffmann TF
18Waru (2017) wr Briar Grace-Smith, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Cohen, Casey Kaa, Paula Jones, Renae Maihi, Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu dir Awanui Simich-Pene, Ainsley Gardiner, Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Paula Jones, Katie Wolfe, Renae Maihi, Chelsea Cohen TF

TF: 9

Written & Directed by Women (male protagonists or mixed gender protagonists)
1. Apron Strings (2007) wr Shuchi Kothari & Dianne Taylor dir Sima Urale TF
2. The Strength of Water (2007) wr Briar Grace-Smith dir Armagan Ballantyne TF
3. A Heavenly Vintage/ The Vintner’s Luck (2008) wr Niki Caro & Joan Sheckel dir Niki Caro TF
4. The Sword, the Wand and the Stone (2008) wr Lyn Renwick dir Marama Killen
5. Home For Christmas (2008) wr/dir Gaylene Preston TF
6. After the Waterfall (2010) wr/dir Simone Horrocks TF
7. Kawa (Nights in the Garden of Spain) (2011) wr Kate McDermott dir Katie Wolfe TF
8. The Most Fun You Can Have Dying (2012) wr/dir Kirsten Marcon TF
9. The Red House (2012) wr/dir Alyx Duncan TF
10. Beyond The Edge (2012) wr/dir Leanne Pooley TF
11. Irirangi Bay (2012) wr Riwia Brown dir Awanui Simich-Pene TF TM
12. The Rehearsal (2016) wr Emily Perkins Alison Maclean/dir Alison Maclean TF


TF: 12

Written by Women & Directed By Men
1. Until Proven Innocent (2008) wr Donna Malane & Paula Boock dir Peter Burger TF TM
2. Bloodlines (2010) wr Donna Malane & Paula Boock dir Peter Burger TF TM
3. Billy (2011) wr Briar Grace-Smith dir Peter Burger TF TM
4. Tangiwai (2011) wr Donna Malane & Paula Boock dir Charlie Heskell TF TM
5. Fresh Meat (2012) wr Briar Grace-Smith dir Danny Mulheron TF
6. Journey of a Story (2012) wr Chantal Rayner-Burt dir Jonathan Rayner-Burt
7. Fantail (2013) wr Sophie Henderson dir Curtis Vowell
8. Pirates of the Airwaves (2014) wr Donna Malane & Paula Boock dir Charlie Heskell TF TM
9. Field Punishment no 1 (2014) wr Donna Malane & Paula Boock dir Peter Burger TF TM
10. Consent: the Louise Nicholas Story (2014) wr Fiona Samuel dir Rob Sarkies TF TM
11. Broken Hallelujah (2014) wr Vanessa Cohen-Riddell/ dir Alistair Riddell
12. Abandoned (2015) wr Stephanie Johnson /dir John Laing TM
13. West of Eden (2016) wr Vanessa Riddell/ dir Alistair Riddell
14. Jean (2016) wr Donna Malane, Paula Boock/dir Rob Sarkies TF TM
15. The Stolen (2017) wr Emily Corcoran/ dir Niall Johnson TF

TF: 9
Female protagonist: 3

Co-written by Women, Directed by Women
1. Desired (2011) wr D F Mamea, Amanda Phillips/ dir Amanda Phillips
2. Shackleton's Captain (2012) wr Leanne Pooley, Tim Woodhouse dir Leanne Pooley
3. The Deadly Ponies Gang (2013) wr Zoe McIntosh, Clint Rarm dir Zoe McIntosh TF
4. Timeslow (2014 p/p) story by Sally Tran wr Steve Barr & Sally Tran dir Sally Tran TF
5. Sunday (2014) wr Dustin Clare, Camille Keenan, Michelle Joy Lloyd, dir Michelle Joy Lloyd

TF: 2
Female protagonist: 0


Co-written & Co-directed by Women
1. Down By the Riverside (2007) wr/dir Marama Killen & Brad Davison TF
2. Taking the Waewae Express (2007) wr Andrea Bosshard dir Andrea Bosshard & Shane Loader
3. Invitation to a Voyage (2007) wr Victoria Wynn-Jones & Daniel Strang dir Victoria Wynn-Jones & Daniel Strang TF
4. Hook, Line & Sinker (2011) wr Andrea Bosshard & Shane Loader dir Andrea Bosshard & Shane Loader
5. Fear North (2011) wr Jadin Leslie, Joey Moncarz dir Sandra Brace, Asha Haines, Jessica Hyland, Jadin Leslie
6. Talk: A Portmanteau (2013) wr Christopher Stratton dir Natalie Clark, Alice May Connolly, Arthur Gay, Renee Lyons, Romaine Mereau, Heidi O'Loughlin, Ruby Reihana-Wilson, Christopher Stratton, Aidee Walker, Simon Ward
7. The Great Maiden's Blush (2016) wr Andrea Bosshard dir Andrea Bosshard & Shane Loader TF (development only)

TF: 3
Female protagonist: 1 

Written By Men & Directed/Co-Directed by Women 
1. John (2005) dir Astrid Glitter
2. The China Cup (2009) wr Peter Frahm/ dir Fiona McKenzie
3. The Insatiable Moon (2010) wr Mike Riddell/ dir Rosemary Riddell
4. The Monster of Mangatiti (2015) wr John Banas /dir  Riccardo Pellizzeri, Philly de Lacey TM TF
5. The Changeover (2016) wr Stuart McKenzie/dir Stuart McKenzie, Miranda Harcourt TF

TF: 1
Female protagonist: 2

Co-written by Women, Directed by Men
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) wr Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson dir Peter Jackson TF
2. Gupta versus Gordon  (2003) wr/ Jitendra Pal & Lucy White dir Jitendra Pal
3. King Kong (2005) wr Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson dir Peter Jackson TF
4. Little Bits of Light (2005) wr Grace C Russell, Campbell Walker with Nia Robyn, Rob Jerrabomberra dir Cam Walker
5. Rain of the Children (2007) wr Vincent Ward and Alison Carter, Louis Nowra dir Vincent Ward TF
6. Second-hand Wedding (2007) wr Nick Ward & Linda Niccol dir Paul Murphy 
7. Men Shouldn't Sing (2007) wr Jeff Clark dir Sarah Higginson & Michael Bell
8. Hugh & Heke (2010) wr Reston Griffiths & Tricia Kelly dir Reston Griffiths
9. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) wr Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro dir Peter Jackson TF
10. Fundamental (2012)  wr James Dunlop, Bill Hunt, Christof Mueller, Tatjana Schaefer, Marianna Terezov dir Bill Hunt
11. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) wr Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson dir Peter Jackson TF
12. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) wr Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson dir Peter Jackson TF
13. Penny Black (2015) wr Joe Hitchcock, Fiona Jackson/dir Joe Hitchcock
14. The Umbrella Man (2015) wr Lennie Hill, Tanya M Wheeler dir Lennie Hill, Mark Ruka, Daren Simmonds 

TF: 6
Female protagonist: 3

Written & Directed by Men & With Female Protagonists
1. River Queen (2005) wr Vincent Ward & Toa Fraser dir Vincent Ward TF
2. Luella Miller (2005) wr Owen Black Dane Giraud dir Dane Giraud
3. What Really Happened - Votes for Women (2011) wr Gavin Strawhan dir Peter Burger TF TM
4. Mr Pip (2012) wr/ dir Andrew Adamson TF
5. Safe House (2012) wr John Banas dir John Laing TF TM
6. Giselle (2012) wr/dir Toa Fraser TF
7. Ghost Bride (2014) wr/dir David Blyth
8. Housebound (2014) wr/dir Gerard Johnstone TF
9. The Cure (2014) wr/dir David Gould
10. Nancy Wake: the White Mouse (2014) wr/dir Mike Smith TM TF
11.  Lexi (2014) wr/dir Wayne Turner
12. Belief: the Possession of Janet Moses (2015) wr/dir David Stubbs TM TF
13. End of All Things wr/dir A K Strom
14. Catching the Black Widow (2017) wr/dir Thomas Robins TM TF

TF: 8

Written & Directed by Men & with Male or Multiple Protagonists
1. Nemesis Game (2003) wr/dir Jesse Warn
2. Skin & Bone (2003) wr Greg McGee dir Chris Bailey TF TM
3. Fracture (2003) wr/dir Larry Parr TF
4. For Good (2003) wr/dir Stuart McKenzie TF
5. The Locals (2003) wr/dir Greg Page TF
6. Christmas (2003) wr/dir Gregory King TF
7. Woodenhead (2003) wr/dir Florian Habicht TF
8. This Is Not A Love Story (2003) wr/dir Keith Hill
9. Orphans & Angels (2003) wr/dir Harold Brodie
10. I Think I’m Going (2003) wr Alexander Greenhough & Richard Whyte dir Alexander Greenhough & Elric Kane
11. Why Can’t I Stop This Uncontrollable Dancing (2003) wr/ dir Campbell Walker
12. In My Father’s Den (2004) wr/dir Brad McGann TF
13. Spooked (2004) wr/ dir Geoff Murphy TF
14. 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous (2004) wr/ dir Stewart Main TF
15. Murmurs (2004) wr/dir Alexander Greenhough & Elric Kane
16. Futile Attraction (2004) wr Mark Prebble & Benedict Reid dir Mark Prebble TF
17. 1 Nite (2004) wr/dir Amarbir Singh
18. The World’s Fastest Indian (2005) wr/ dir Roger Donaldson TF
19. Perfect Creature (2005) wr/ dir Glenn Standring TF
20. No 2 (2005) wr/ dir Toa Fraser TF
21. {Dream Preserved} (2005) wr/ dir Stephen Kang
22. Sione's Wedding (2005) wr James Griffin & Oscar Kightley dir Chris Graham TF
23. Memories of Tomorrow (2005) wr/dir Amit Tripuraneni
24. Blackspot (2005) wr Ben & Luke Hawker dir Ben Hawker
25. Hidden (2005) wr/ dir Tim McLachlan
26. Tyrannical Love (2005) wr/dir Scott Boswell
27. April Sun (2005) wr/dir Paul McBride
28. Be Sharp See Flat (2006) wr/ dir Jack Woon
29. The Ferryman (2006) wr Nick Ward dir Chris Graham TF
30. Black Sheep (2006) wr/ dir Jonathan King TF
31. Out Of The Blue (2006) wr Graeme Tetley & Robert Sarkies dir Robert Sarkies TF
32. Eagle vs Shark wr/dir Taika Waititi TF
33. The Devil Dared Me To (2007) wr Matt Heath & Chris Stapp dir Chris Stapp TF
34. Event 16 (2006) wr/ dir Derek Pearson TF
35. The Waimate Conspiracy (2006) wr/ dir Stefen Lewis TF
36. The Tattooist (2006) wr Matthew Grainger & Jonathan King dir Peter Burger TF
37. Quiet Night In (2006) wr/ dir Christopher Banks
38. The Last Magic Show (2007) wr/ dir Andy Conlan TF
39. A Song of Good (2007) wr/ dir Greg King TF
40. We're Here To Help (2007) wr/ dir Jonathan Cullinane TF
41. Kissy Kissy (2007) wr/ dir Alexander Greenhough & Elric Kane
42. When Night Falls (2007) wr/ dir Alex Galvin
43. Love Has No Language (2007) wr T J Millbank dir Ken Khan
44. Show of Hands (2007) wr/ dir Anthony McCarten TF
45. FIVE (2007) wr D F Mamea dir Amit Tripuraneni
46. Fallacy (2007) wr Timothy Michael H & Gair Cook dir Gair Cook
47. The Last Great Snail Chase (2007) wr/ dir Edward Lyndon-Bell
48. Waiting For The Big Fat One (2007) wr/ dir Troy Williams
49. Stringer (2007) wr Steven Morrison & Poata Eruera dir Steven Morrison
50. Last of The Living (2007) wr/ dir Logan Macmillan
51. Dean Spanley (2008) wr Alan Sharp dir Toa Fraser TF
52. Under The Mountain (2008) wr/ dir Jonathan King TF
53. Separation City (2008) wr Tom Scott dir Paul Middleditch TF
54. Life's a Riot (2008) wr Dean Parker dir Ian Mune TF
55. The Map Reader (2008) wr/ dir Harold Brodie TF
56. Russian Snark (2008) wr/ dir Stephen Sinclair
57. I'm Not Harry Jenson (2009) wr/ dir James Napier Robertson
58. Predicament (2010) wr/ dir Jason Stutter TF
59. Eruption (2009) wr Graeme Tetley dir Danny Mulheron TM TF
60. Boy (2010) wr/ dir Taika Waititi TF
61. Matariki (2010) Michael Bennett, Iaheto Ahi, Gavin Strawhan dir Michael Bennett TF
62. The Hopes & Dreams of Gazza Snell (2010) wr Brendan Donovan & David Brechin-Smith dir Brendan Donovan TF
63. Captain Amazingly Incredible and The Space Vampires From The Evil Planet! (2010) wr/ dir Karl Burnett
64. The Holy Roller (2010) wr/ dir Patrick Gillies
65. Amiri & Aroha (2011) wr/dir David Whittet
66. Wound (2010) wr/ dir David Blyth
67. Desert (2010) wr/ dir Stephen Kang
68. Rage (2011) wr Tom Scott & Grant O'Fee dir Danny Mulheron TF TM
69. Waitangi – What Really Happened (2011) wr Gavin Strawhan dir Peter Burger TF TM
70. Rest for The Wicked (2011) wr Bob Moore dir Simon Pattison TF
71. Lovebirds (2011) wr Nick Ward dir Paul Murphy TF
72. The Fall Guys (2011) wr/ dir Scott Boswell
73. The Devil's Rock (2011) wr Paul Finch, Paul Campion, Brett Ihaka dir Paul Campion TF
74. Tracker (2011) wr Nicolas Von Pallandt dir Ian Sharp
75. Everybody Loves Murder (2011) wr/dir Corran Lindsay
76. Dreamer By Design (2011) wr David Chan, Jordan Edgar dir David Chan
77. Vindaloo Empire (Curry Munchers) (2011) wr Padma Akula dir Cristobal Araus Lobos
78. Good For Nothing (2011) wr/ dir Mike Wallis
79. The Orator/ O Le Tulafale (2011) wr/ dir Tusi Tamasese TF
80. Seige (2011) wr John Banas dir Mike Smith TF TM
81. Love Story (2011) wr/ dir Florian Habicht TF
82. Two Little Boys (2012) wr Robert Sarkies & Duncan Sarkies dir Robert Sarkies TF
83. Kiwi Flyer (2012) wr Tony Simpson & Andrew Gunn dir Tony Simpson TF
84. Sione's Wedding – Unfinished Business (2012) wr James Griffin & Oscar Kightley dir Simon Bennett TF
85. We Feel Fine (2012) wr Jeremy Dumble dir Adam Luxton & Jeremy Dumble
86. Eternity (2012) wr/dir Alex Galvin
87. Mt Zion (2012) wr/ dir Tearapa Kahi TF
88. Journey to Fuerte Valley (2012) dir Richard Todd
89. How To Meet Girls From a Distance (2012) wr Dan Hewison, Richard Falkner, Sam Dickson dir Dean Hewison TF
90. Netherwood (2012) wr John Argall dir Cristobal Araus Lobos
91. Propaganda (2012) wr/dir Slavko Martinov
92. The Weight of Elephants (2012) wr/ dir Daniel Joseph Borgman TF
93. The Pa Boys (2012) wr/ dir Himiona Grace TF
94. Mr Singh Wants PR (2012) wr Fahad Sher Hussain, Dion James Pitman dir Fahad Sher Hussain
95. Romeo and Juliet: A Love Song (2013) wr Michael A J O'Neill, Peter Van Der Fluit, Tim Van Dammen dir Tim Van Dammen
96. Colliding Lives (2013) wr Steven Samuel Johnston, Janson Ryan/ dir Steven Samuel Johnston, Alistair Riddell, Janson Ryan TM
97. Ghost TV (2013) wr/dir Phil Davison
98. The Kick (2013) wr Tom Scott and Phil Smith dir Danny Mulheron TF TM
99. Shopping (2013) wr/dir Mark Albiston & Louis Sutherland TF
100. Crackheads (2013) wr Andy Sophocleous, Tim Tsiklauri, dir Tim Tsiklauri
101. Jake (2013) wr/dir Doug Dillaman
102. Million Dollar Mate (2013) wr Chris Herd and Matthew Scott dir Chris Herd
103. Kiwi Productions (2013) wr/dir Cheng Chen Yu
104. Edwin: My Life as a Koont (2013)  wr Kevin Stevens, Jason Stutter dir Jason Stutter
105 Floyd (2013 p/p) wr/dir Matt Gibbons
106. Enter/Man (2013) wr/dir Patrick Gillies
107. Valley of the Succubus (2013) wr/dir Samuel Wheeler, story Dylan Keating
108. Ghost Bride (2014) wr/dir David Blyth
109. Everything We Loved (2014) wr/dir Max Currie TF
110. The Dark Horse (2014) James Napier Robertson TF
111. The Dead Lands (2014) wr Glenn Standring dir Toa Fraser TF
112. The Last Saint (2014) wr/dir Rene Naufahu
113. Realiti (2014) wr Chad Taylor dir Jonathan King
114. What We Do in the Shadows (2014) wr/dir Taika Waititi/Jemaine Clement TF
115. Amiri's Child (2014) wr/dir David Whittet
116. Rere's Children (2014) wr/dir David Whittet
117. Three Mile Limit (2014) wr Andrew Gunn dir Craig Newland TF
118. I Survived a Zombie Holocaust (2014) wr/dir Guy Pigden TF
119. Orphans & Kingdoms (2014) wr/dir Paolo Rotondo TF
120. The Z-Nail Gang (2014) wr/dir Anton Steel
121. Erewhon (2014) wr/dir Gavin Hipkins
122. A Motel & A Hard Place (2014) wr/dir Luke Bremner & Kirk Bremner
123. Venus & Mars (2015) wr John Banas dir John Laing TM TF
124. How to Murder Your Wife (2015) wr John Banas dir Riccardo Pellizzeri TM TF
125. Bombshell  wr John Banas dir Riccardo Pellizzeri TM TF
126. Born To Dance (2015) wr/dir Tammy Davis TF
127. The Dead Room (2015) wr Kevin Stevens & Jason Stutter/dir Jason Stutter
128. Not For Children (2015) wr/dir Richard S Long
129. Mahana (The Patriarch) 

(2016) wr John Collee
 dir Lee Tamahori TF
130. Three Wise Cousins  (2016) wr/dir Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa
131. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) wr/dir Taika Waititi TF
132. This Giant Papier-Mâché Boulder Is Actually Really Heavy (2016) wr Andrew Beszant, Christian Nicolson/ dir Christian Nicolson
133. One Thousand Ropes wr/dir Tusi Tamasese TF
134. Goodbye Pork Pie wr/dir Matt Murphy TF
135. Human Traces wr/dir Nic Gorman TF
136. Chief Gary wr William Brandt, the downlowconcept (Jarrod Holt, Nigel McCulloch and Ryan Hutchings)/ dir the downlowconcept TF
137. Chronesthesia (2016) wr/dir Hayden J Weal
138. Groove City (2016) wr Pele Nili dir Pele Nili & Alan Smithee (first Alan Smithee appearance in NZ!?)
139. This Giant Papier Maché Boulder is Actually Really Heavy (2016) wr Christian Nicolson, Andrew Bezant dir Christian Nicolson
140. On the Conditions and Possibilities of Hillary Clinton Taking Me as Her Young Lover (2016) wr Arthur Meek,  Geoff Pinfield/ dir Dean Hewson
141. The Catch (2016) wr Simon Mark-Brown & Glenn Wood dir Simon Mark-Brown
142. Resolve (2017) wr John Banas dir Peter Burger TM TF
143. Kiwi Christmas (2017) wr Andrew Gunn, Tony Simpson, Dave Armstrong, dir Tony Simpson

TF: 70

Taxpayer funded and (co)written or directed by New Zealanders, though not necessarily filmed here

1. Beyond the Known World wr Dianne Taylor dir Pan Nalin (India) TFCP
2. Free in Deed wr/dir Jake Mahaffy TF
3. 6 Days  wr Glen Standring/dir Toa Fraser TF

Taxpayer-funded but not written or directed by New Zealanders

1. Deathgasm (2015) wr/dir Jason Lei Howden
2. Turbo Kid wr/dir Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann Whissell (Canada) TFCP
3. *Atomic Falafel wr/dir Dror Shaul (Israel) TFCP (post-production only)
4. Slow West wr/dir John Maclean
5. Beast of Burden wr/dir Kirby Atkins, co-writer Ge Jing, co-director Huang Jun (China/NZ TFCP)

Female protagonist: 1


ANALYSIS

There are many ways to approach this data. My focus is on women-written and -directed work and on female protagonists and their presence in taxpayer-funded projects.

So, here are two kinds of pie-chart. The first two include mixed gender writing and directing teams. The second two refer only to those features that are written or directed either by a man or by a woman.

For me, it's important to focus on the proportions of these features where women write and/or direct on their own and in the lists above to break down the data further by reference to women who write for men to direct, women who write female protagonists, etc etc. And the 16% (director)-21% (writer) representation of these women are sufficiently similar to argue that any gender policy has to take equal account of both, without privileging the director role.

Even if women's storytelling and eyes are strongly affected by consistent exposure to the men's storytelling and the male gaze it's possible they/we will be more autonomous outside a mixed gender team, which is in my view more likely to privilege the 'male gaze' and sensibility than women writers and directors who work independently.  There are various reasons for joining a mixed gender team, often very good ones, but I think it's likely the combination changes the dynamics of the work made (as well as making it more likely that the project will have access to necessary resources). In a mixed gender writer or director team, a woman is sometimes included primarily to advise on female characters. On other occasions, life partners like to work together, as writers and/or directors with complementary skills of various kinds. Or, a more experienced male director may be there to support a woman directing her first feature or during a shift to or from documentary to narrative.



Mixed Gender teams included







Mixed Gender teams excluded–








Female Protagonists

We can also consider the proportion of female protagonists in all local features to March 2016: 16.7%.

Broken down, these are the figures–  

Written and directed by women and with a female protagonist – 7.5%
Written and directed by men and with a female protagonist – 5.75 %
Mixed gender writers and/or directors with a female protagonist – 3.5%


And they're worse for TF features. Of these, 17% had female protagonists *but* only 6.5% were written and directed by women *and* had female protagonists.

I also created this sad list–

Based on Historical Women's Lives & Taxpayer-Funded
Written & Directed by Women  
1. My Wedding & Other Secrets (2011) wr Angeline Loo & Roseanne Liang dir Roseanne Liang TF (from Banana in a Nutshell) TF
2. Bliss (2012) wr/dir Fiona Samuel TF TM 

Written by Women &/or Men & Directed by Men  
1. Rain of the Children (2007) wr Vincent Ward and Alison Carter, Louis Nowra dir Vincent Ward TF
2. What Really Happened - Votes for Women (2011) wr Gavin Strawhan dir Peter Burger TF TM
3. Safe House (2012) wr John Banas dir John Laing TF TM
4. Nancy Wake: the White Mouse (2014) wr/dir Mike Smith TM TF
5. Consent: the Louise Nicholas Story (2014) wr Fiona Samuel dir Rob Sarkies TF TM
6. Belief: the Possession of Janet Moses (2015) wr/dir David Stubbs TM TF
7. The Monster of Mangatiti (2015) wr John Banas /dir  Riccardo Pellizzeri, Philly de Lacey TM
8. Jean wr Donna Malane, Paula Boock/dir Rob Sarkies TF TM

Sources

Michael Stephens, whose ongoing and generous collegiality I much appreciate.
My PhD Development: Opening Space for Women's Participation in Scriptwriting for Feature Films?
New Zealand Films on VHS Tapes & DVD
NZOnScreen
imdb
New Zealand Film Commission Past Funding Decisions
Flicks.co.nz

Many thanks to Benedict Reid for some excellent fine-tuning and additions!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

#Cannes2017 Excludes #WomeninFilm Who Bring Their Children

Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir’s track record is pretty impressive.

She has written, directed and produced over sixteen films. One of Filmmaker’s 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema and Variety’s Arab New Wave, two of her films have premiered as Official Selections in Cannes, one in Venice and one in Berlin.

Annemarie’s short film like twenty impossibles (2003) was the first Arab short film in history to be an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival and continued to break ground when it went on to be a finalist for the Academy Awards.

Her second work to debut in Cannes, the critically acclaimed Salt of this Sea (2008), went on to win the FIPRESCI Critics Award, and garnered fourteen other international awards including Best Film in Milan. It was the first feature film directed by a Palestinian woman and Palestine’s 2008 Oscar Entry for Foreign Language Film.

Her latest film When I Saw You won Best Asian Film at the Berlinale , Best Arab Film in Abu Dhabi and Best Film in…

'Water Protectors', by Leana Hosea

Leana Hosea's Water Protectors isabout ordinary women in Flint, at Standing Rock and on the Navajo reservation who have had their water poisoned and are at the forefront in the movement for clean water.

Water is a big issue in Aotearoa New Zealand, too– the degradation of our waterways; drinking water contamination; the offshore sale of our pure water; the debate about Maori sovereignty over water, under Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ the Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840.  Partly because this has raised my awareness about the significance of access to water, my heart is absolutely with the women in Leana's work. And with Leana, editing through the night as I write this.

Leana is a reporter/producer for BBC's World Service Radio and has held many other roles within the BBC. As a highly experienced multimedia journalist she's originated ideas, fixed stories, written scripts, filmed and edited them.

She was a shoot/edit/reporter/producer for the BBC in Egypt during the revoluti…

Dana Rotberg and White Lies|Tuakiri Huna

Cushla Parekowhai and I went to previews for Dana Rotberg's new feature White Lies/Tuakiri Huna – Cush in Auckland and me down here in Wellington. And the film excited us. White Lies/Tuakiri Huna, described as 'a story about the nature of identity: those who deny it and those who strive to protect it', comes from Medicine Woman, a novella by Witi Ihimaera, who also wrote Whale Rider. (Witi is Cushla's cousin. Witi's father, Tom Smiler, and Cush's grandmother, Pani Turangi, were raised in the same household in Manutuke.)

Dana wrote, in the book that accompanies the film, that after she read Medicine Woman –
...Paraiti, the medicine woman, was a stubborn presence who refused to leave. I felt that was a clear sign that the story...was speaking to me from places other than where the original work had come from. Places that belonged to my intimate family history and my most unresolved conflicts as a person in the world. It was a call from the core of my origins to l…