The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ) has named Tusi Tamasese, director of The Orator, as the recipient of the first DEGNZ International Director Mentorship.
The inaugural DEGNZ International Mentorship in 2014 went to Cushla Dillon, who has been mentored by expat New Zealand editor Justine Wright, who’s edited titles including Locke, Iron Lady and The Last King of Scotland.
Tamasese’s The Orator was an award winner in Venice and played other international film festivals including Sundance. NZ’s submission for the Foreign Language Oscar. At the inaugural Moas bash, The Orator took eight gongs including Best Film, with Tamasese winning the Best Director and Screenplay awards.
Tamasese will be matched with an international film director as a mentor to help guide his career.
The selection panel comprised Guild president Peter Roberts, writer and director Roseanne Liang, the NZFC’s Bonnie Slater, independent producer (and previous DEGNZ Executive Director) Fiona Copland and current DEGNZ ED Tui Ruwhiu.
“The panel deliberated long and hard over all the candidates, but Tusi’s unique voice and cinematic vision ultimately won us over,” said Guild President Peter Roberts.
The International Director Mentorship is part of a three-year, intensive professional development programme that DEGNZ runs with the financial support of the New Zealand Film Commission. DEGNZ intends to award three further mentorships in 2015, starting with one for documentary directing, then one each for drama directing and editing.