SPADA Conference Speakers

The creator of Netflix’s most-watched original show, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, Jenji Kohan will be headlining this year’s SPADA Conference.The event will be held at Auckland’s Aotea Centre across 20 and 21 November, and also features an international address from Lord David Puttnam along with an array of talented screen sector professionals from New Zealand and the world.


Lord David Puttnam

Chair - Atticus Education & Member of the House of Lords

Lord David Puttnam spent thirty years as an independent producer of award-winning films including The Mission, The Killing Fields, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Local Hero. Together these films have won ten Oscars, ten Golden Globes, twenty-five Baftas and the Palme D'Or at Cannes. From 1986 to 1988, Lord Puttnam was Chairman and CEO of Columbia Pictures, before returning to the UK to produce Memphis Belle, War of the Buttons and My Life So Far. From 19...

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Simon Crawford Collins

Managing Director - Slim Film & TV, UK

Simon Crawford Collins is one of the most experienced producers of successful television drama working in the UK.
Former Joint Managing Director of Kudos, Simon was instrumental in the company’s meteoric rise, having developed and produced its first hit show, the Bafta and multi-award winning international series Spooks, before going on to produce the company’s next hit series Hustle and then exec produce Ashes to Ashes. During his time at Kudos as producer, Head of D...

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Jonathan Olsberg

Chairman - Olsberg SPI

Jonathan Olsberg has worked in the screen industries for 35 years, starting out in New York as an international sales agent, handling titles such as My Beautiful Launderette, before distributing specialised films in the US from directors like Resnais, Godard, Verhoeven, Greenaway and Paul Cox.  Jonathan is the founder and chairman of a successful international business - Olsberg SPI - which specialises in strategic advice for the creative industries with particular experi...

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Dominic Smith

Series Producer - 'The Scret Life of Girls' and 'Eat Well for Less'

Dominic Smith is a BBC-trained Television Series Producer specializing in developing original, visually-arresting, popular factual and entertainment programming.  He emigrated to New Zealand in 2011.
Recent work includes Series Producing ‘The Secret Life Of Girls’ (Screentime for TVNZ1), ‘Face The Classroom’ (Screentime for TVNZ1), ‘Spellbound’ (Greenstone for TVNZ1), ‘Wife Swap’ (Screentime for TVNZ2) and the upcoming ‘Eat Well For Less’ (Screentime for...

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Richard Easther

Professor and Head of Department of Physics - University of Auckland

Professor Richard Easther is a Professor and Head of Department of Physics at the University of Auckland. Born in New Zealand, Richard worked in Japan and the United States for 16 years after finishing his PhD at the University of Canterbury. He was a professor of Physics and Astronomy at Yale University, returning to New Zealand at the end of 2011. Richard’s research is at the interface of particle physics and astronomy, focussing on the nature of dark matter, and the orig...

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Mark McNeil

Founder and Principal - Razor Films

Mark McNeilis a multi-award-winning Producer & Director and one of New Zealand’s leading factual filmmakers. Over the last 25 years he has Directed, Produced & Executively Produced more than 100 hours of Broadcast, OTT & Feature documentaries. His work has screened in NZ, Australia the United States, the UK and Europe. His recent project 'Dark Tourist' is the only Netflix Original series commissioned out of NZ. 
Mark combines intelligence with strong story tell...

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John Barnett

Producer - Endeavour Ventures Ltd

John Barnett has over forty years experience in the screen sector and a career which has incorporated film and TV production, film + video distribution, artist management, establishing multiplexes, and building entertainment businesses. 
With films such as Whale Rider, Footrot Flats and Sione’s Wedding among his credits John has produced several of New Zealand’s top grossing films. As the former owner and Chief Executive of South Pacific Pictures, which counts Shortlan...

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Dacia Herbulock

Director - Science Media Centre, NZ

Dacia joined the Science Media Centre (SMC) at its launch in 2008, bringing experience in radio, film, documentary, television news and science writing in the US, China and New Zealand. The aim of the SMC is to promote accurate, evidence-based reporting on science and technology by helping the media work more closely with the scientific community. 
Since its inception Dacia has played a pivotal role in shaping the SMC’s direction, leading initiatives​ ​to​ ​build...

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Nick Boshier

Writer, Actor, Producer - 'Beached Az' 'Trent from Punchy' 'Bondi Hipsters'

Nick Boshier is an actor, writer and the co-creator of a number of internet hits including Beached Az which has over 10 million views since releasing in 2009. Since then Nick has continued to co-develop one-offs and series that consistently find a large audience online, often blurring the line between fact and fiction, such as Trent from Punchy and Bondi Hipsters’.
Nick can be seen in Jeremy the Dud, Soul Mates’ and ‘Rostered On’. As one of the creators of #7dayslate...

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Annie Murray

Manager of Local Entertainment Content - Prime and Sky TV

As the Manager of Local Entertainment Content for Prime and Sky TV Annie Murray commissions across the spectrum from blue chip factual to series drama and the occasional children's programme. Responsible for commissioning mostly free-to-air content for Prime, Annie is also involved with some local projects for Sky's entertainment channels. 
Annie’s previous experience includes her work as a consultant to NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho, Head of Children's and Special Intere...

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Malinda Wink

Executive Director - Shark Island Institute and Good Pitch

Since 2014 Good Pitch Australia has 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, p...

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Debra Richards

Director, Production Policy for Asia/Pacific Region - Netflix

Debra Richards is the Immediate past CEO of Ausfilm. She has over 30 years communications, media & screen industry experience, previously 12 years as CEO of the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA), over 13 years with Australia’s broadcasting regulator, then the Australian Broadcasting Authority (& Tribunal) and most recently almost nine years as CEO of Ausfilm, attracting major production and post production work to Australia. Debra has...

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Irene Gardiner


Irene Gardiner began her career as a journalist at Wellington's Dominion newspaper. In 1984, she became a publicist at the TVNZ publicity department at Avalon. An interest in television production developed from there, and in 1986 she became a trainee producer/director, working in Avalon's music unit on such shows as Ready to Roll, RTR New Releases, Heartbeat City, True Colours and Radio with Pictures.
In 1989, Gardiner set up an Auckland branch office for the music u...

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Bridget Callow-Wright

Head of Feature Film – Jungle Entertainment / CEO, Midwinter Films

Bridget Callow-Wright is an award-winning screen producer with a focus on scripted narrative film and television.
Bridget is the head of Jungle Entertainment’s new feature film division, expanding on their award winning suite of premium comedy and drama TV productions. In this role she is working with several creative teams to develop Jungle’s new slate of feature films for the international marketplace.
Bridget has a wide network of international and local financing and...

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Kay Ellmers

Senior Commissioner, RNZ

Kay Ellmers [Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Raukawa] 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.
Since starting out in the industry as a researcher, reporter and director on TVNZ series Marae Kay has created an extensive range of screen projects, including Her Daughter’s Voice - about singer and mother Hinewehi Mohi, Whānau - a once-every-seven-years ...

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Nevak Rogers

General Manager of Local Content - TVNZ

Nevak Rogers (Māori & Tongan descent) has almost 25 years experience in the media since starting out as a print and radio journalist for Mana magazine and RNZ's Mana News before transitioning into television in 2000 – freelance reporting for TVNZ, TV3 and MTS.  
Over the past 19 years Nevak has worked for numerous production companies including Greenstone, Screentime, Eyeworks, Ponsonby, Tūmanako and Hula Haka Productions (as managing director). She has worked in a...

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Sue Woodfield

Head of Commissioning and External Production at MediaWorks

Over a 25 year career in media, Sue Woodfield has executive produced thousands of hours of content across a range of genre including drama, documentary, factual and reality. Wellington-born, Sue has worked for global media organisations including Reuters, NBC, Sky TV, ITN and the BBC before joining MediaWorks.  
In 2019, Sue is Head of Commissioning and External Production at MediaWorks, responsible for local content on Three and ThreeNow including The Block NZ, Grand Des...

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Jenji Kohan

Showrunner, Writer and Producer - 'Weeds' and 'Orange is the New Black'

Jenji Kohan is an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer with a screen career spanning twenty five years. Starting out as a writer on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Jenji went on to write episodes for Mad About You, Will and Grace, Sex and the City, and Gilmore Girls.  As the creator of original Showtime hit series Weeds Jenji was nominated for an Emmy and three PGA Awards. She is the creator and showrunner of Netflix series Orange is the New Black, and executive producer of G...

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Shane Thompson

Vice President of Integrated Marketing - Warner Bros.

Shane Thompson has established himself as one of the motion picture industry’s leaders in the field of integrated marketing, a specialized role that straddles the worlds of production and marketing, touching all areas of the studio from Theatrical to Consumer Products, Games and Soundtrack Albums to Home Entertainment and Television.
Over the last 15 years Shane has overseen Integrated campaigns for six of the ten highest-grossing films in the studio’s history, including...

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Miranda Harcourt - Delivering the NZ On Air John O'Shea Address

Acting Coach, Actor, Writer, Director and Producer

Miranda Harcourt is an acclaimed acting coach, actor, writer, director and producer.  With over a decade working as an acting coach on series and films all over the world Miranda has worked with renowned actors and directors including Jane Campion, Peter Jackson, Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Saoirse Ronan, on projects such as Lion, Big Little Lies, and Top of the Lake. As an actor Miranda is a five-time finalist for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress at the NZ Film...

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Dr Annette Henderson

Senior Lecturer and Rutherford Discovery Fellow - School of Psychology, University of Auckland

Dr. Annette Henderson is a Senior Lecturer and Rutherford Discovery Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland. She is a developmental scientist whose research expertise lies in socio-cognitive development in early childhood (0 – 7 years old). Her work on the development of cooperation and social competence has received several national grants (e.g., Marsden fund) and prestigious fellowships (e.g., Rutherford Discovery Fellowship).
The ultimate goal of...

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