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DEGNZ appoints new ED

Longtime screen industry practitioner Tui Ruwhiu has been appointed Executive Director, Directors and Editors Guild. He replaces producer Fiona Copland who is moving back to independent producing to progress projects in advanced development.

“Tui brings a wealth of knowledge and contacts from both New Zealand and overseas,” said guild chairman Peter Roberts. “The board is pleased he has taken up the role.”

Ruwhiu spent over a decade working in Japan. In more recent times he is one of a growing number of New Zealand filmmakers engaging with China.

“I’m excited to be working on behalf of New Zealand directors and editors at this time of massive upheaval in the screen industry, largely due to digital technology,” said Ruwhiu. “With great change comes great opportunity. I look forward to helping DEGNZ members pave their career pathways into the future.”

Ruwhiu started out in television in Tokyo, working on stories for US entertainment shows. He then set up a line producing company bringing crews to New Zealand to shoot TV commercials. Two stints followed in various production positions at one of New Zealand’s largest television production companies, interspersed with roles in Japan with a global information news service. Ruwhiu then spent seven years with a boutique marketing communications company in Auckland before returning to work more directly in the screen industry as a writer, director and or producer of corporate videos and television. His attention shifted to film in 2007.

Together with colleagues he operated one of the New Zealand Film Commission’s Premiere Shorts PODs from 2010 – 2012. In the last two years he has written and directed one short, and produced another that has had a strong showing on the film festival circuit here and offshore, while developing feature film projects.

Ruwhiu took up his position at the guild this week and will be available to meet existing and prospective members at the DEGNZ booth at the Big Screen Symposium in Auckland this weekend.

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