DEGNZ has announced Bryn Evans as the recipient of our International Director’s Mentorship with award winning Canadian filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal.
Baichwal has been directing and producing documentaries for 15 years. Three of her theatrical titles have been selected for Hot Docs with Let it Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles and The Holier It Gets both winning there.
She’s currently researching for Anthropocene, the final part of a trilogy of collaborative documentary features.
Evans has a passion for exposing the political, social and personal stories of the world that we live in. Previously a photojournalist his first doco was 2002’s The Great Game – Afghanistan, on tour with the Taliban National Cricket Team.
His first feature doco here was the Maori Television-supported From Street to Sky, although he’s most widely-known for Hip Hop-eration. The film had its world premiere at IDFA and completed a successful theatrical run here. Its strong IFF run included awards in the US and Poland as well as wins at the 2014 NZ Film Awards. Next week it’s one of four NZ docos playing in competition at FIFO in Tahiti.
As part of the DEGNZ mentorship, Baichwal will visit New Zealand to work with Evans on developing his next project, A Season for Persimmons. This documentary delves into the story of Kiwi nurse Kathleen Hall who put herself on the line to smuggle medical supplies to the needy in China.
“I feel both excited and inspired and anticipate that it will have an immense impact on my development as a filmmaker and the project we will be developing together,” said Evans, whose current development slate focuses on concepts with entertainment value, non-conventional treatments and human stories with strong character-arcs.
“I commend his desire to push the boundaries,” said Baichwal, “and am looking forward to being part of that creative journey.”
The mentorship is intended to offer insight into creative process, while providing a solid platform upon which to build an international career.
“Jennifer’s approach to documentary is different than Bryn’s prior work, which should prove challenging and highly interesting for Bryn,” said Executive Director of DEGNZ Tui Ruwhiu.
The mentorship initiative is funded by the NZFC and managed by DEGNZ.