2016 SPADA Conference Speakers

A Conference is as good as the people who come together: the sponsors, supporters, delegates, speakers, caterers and let's not forget the Havana coffee!   A lot of people contribute their time, expertise and energy to making this two-day event a success and 2016 certainly delivered.  We had an exceptional line-up of speakers who excited, inspired, questioned and challenged everyone in the room: thank you again to all the speakers, moderators, delegates and sponsors and supporters.

2017 is set to deliver another thought-provoking and inspiring Conference that also showcases New Zealand's world class screen industry.

Stay tuned for speaker announcements.

2017 Dates: Thursday the 23rd and Friday the 24th of November, Mac's Function Centre, Wellington, NZ



Campbell Downie

Business Development Manager / e-cast/eTV

Campbell spent the first half his career in the music industry in New Zealand and the United Kingdom as a film and TV composer, Musical Director and Studio owner. Alongside this career he also had a foot planted in education. Campbell was also director of Rollingsound in London, an award winning Multi-media education company.  Returning to New Zealand in 2006 Campbell solidified his educational experience and became a secondary teacher with specialisation in Music, IT and Bu...

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Vicky Pope


Vicky Pope is an award-winning producer from Wellington.  Her films have sold and screened at festivals around the world including Cannes, Venice and Berlin.  Her credits include the critically acclaimed theatrical documentary Trouble is My Business as well as NZ comedy Two Little Boys starring Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords). She also produced and distributed Gardening with Soul which was a sell-out hit at the NZ International Film Festival and won Best Documentary...

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Matt Noonan

Producer / Curious Film

Matt Noonan is a New Zealand born producer. As a producer, Matt’s credits include. Blue,  which won the Grand Prix at Cannes Critics Week 2011 and was nominated for the Cannes Discovery Award.  Zia Mandviwalla’s short film, Night Shift (2012), premiered at Cannes Film Festival 2012 and Sundance Film Festival 2013 and the feature film Fantail (2013) premiered at Rotterdam Film Festival 2014 and received positive reviews from critics internationally and most recently Hun...

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Simon Lake

CEO / Screenrights

Simon Lake is Chief Executive of Screenrights. Simon has extensive experience in legal and policy roles and is on the Board of the Australian Copyright Council.  Simon has previously been a board member of EnhanceTV Pty Ltd and the international collecting society AGICOA.   Simon is also a member of the New Zealand Copyright Council and the CEO Institute. 

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Sandra Clark

Independent Producer

Sandra has worked in film and television for over 25 years. An experienced Producer and Line Producer working on over 200 hours of television programmes for the major networks.  Recently Sandra was Producer of the second season of the very successful Songs From the Inside for Maori Television and the co-series Producer of the 5th season of Beyond the Darklands for TV One, she currently has several projects in development.  Other top credits include Siege the Real Story, Mar...

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Arran Birchenough

Country Director / Getty Images New Zealand

Arran learned his trade as a picture editor for a UK publisher, before launching a photo agency representing the world's best ski and snowboard photographers.  He then joined Getty Images in September 2001, launching Getty Images’ News and Entertainment service in the United Kingdom.  During his time there Arran assumed responsibility for all Getty Images products: Editorial photography and the company’s Creative images portfolio for the UK Newspaper and Magazines secto...

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Grayson Gilmour


Grayson Gilmour has a threefold musical life - solo artist, band member and film composer, all rolled into one.It's been a steady evolution, starting at 16 with his first solo CD-Rs, to forming So So Modern at 20, to scoring his first feature film at 26.  His solo releases caught the welcoming ears of critics over the years, and eventually the attention of the iconic Flying Nun Records, who made him the first signing of their 2010 re-launch.
Since entering the film world, Gr...

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Andrew Hagen

Producer / Composer

Award winning audio visual producer, composer and sound designer with an extensive local and international work history.   He has long term Asian, Pacific and American experience as CEO and founder of a multi-national audio production company.Andrew is the General Secretary of the Screen Composers Guild NZ, a member of BAFTA, ASCAP and SAG, and is delighted to be a panellist.

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Vincent Burke

Company Director / CEO Top Shelf Productions

Vincent Burke has led filmmaking company Top Shelf Productions since 1988. His resume as a producer includes more than 600 hours of non-fiction programming: from long-running consumer programmes Target and What's Really in Our Food?, to media analysis show Media 3, (formerly Media 7), and one-off documentaries Cinema of Unease, Velvet Dreams and I Want to Die at Home.  In 2012 it was announced that Top Shelf productions was the major shareholder in new free-to-air channel C...

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Elsie Bollinger & Claris Jacobs

The Candle Wasters

Claris, Elsie, Minnie, Sally, and now Robbie - created their first web series in 2014, and it became a small cult hit. Thousands of young women around the globe watched Nothing Much To Do, a modern interpretation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, inspired by the format of American vlogseries The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. After a successful Kickstarter gaining over $20,000, The Candle Wasters created their second series, Lovely Little Losers, based on Love’s Labour’s L...

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Angus Finney

International Creative Consultant

Angus Finney is a leading international film and creative industry specialist. His work includes MBA-level teaching at The Judge Business School, Cambridge University and Cass Business School, City University, London, and he is the manager of Europe’s only Production Finance Market, hosted by Film London annually. Meanwhile, he also advises film funds and executive produces films, staying close to the film market and new trends and digital developments.
He has recently spen...

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James Nokise

SPADA Conference MC / Comedian

Back by popular demand...   Our fantastic MC, James Nokise, will once again infuse the Conference with his comedic wit and charm, as well as wrangle this year's South Pacific Pictures' BIG PITCH finalists - not to mention bring some pizazz to the 19th Annual SPADA Screen Industry Awards.James is a 2013 Fred Dagg Comedy Award Nominee and 2 time Billy T Comedy Award Nominee, Welsh / Samoan comedian, James Nokise, has carved out a reputation in New Zealand going after everyth...

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Dr Eva Novrup Redvall

Assoc. Professor in Film and Media Studies / University of Copenhagen

Dr. Eva Novrup Redvall is Associate Professor in Film and Media Studies at the University of Copenhagen where she is also Head of the Research Priority Area on Creative Media Industries. Her research focuses on issues related to screenwriting and production in the current film and television industries, among other things on how to understand practitioners’ work, talent training and creative collaborations in small nation production contexts as well as on wider cultural pol...

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Christina Asher

Owner and Director of CNA Casting

Christina has been in casting for over two decades. She began her career as a choreographer for the Lotto commercials and soon began casting various non-dance roles for television commercials. Christina was the Casting Director for Sione's Wedding (2006), Go Girls (2009-2011) and Kaitangata Twitch (2010) and she now predominantly does casting for TV Dramas and Feature Films.
In her own words:
“I worked with people who were passionate about film making, telling stori...

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Dr Ruth Harley

Ruth E Harley & Associates

Ruth Harley has 25 years experience in CEO and senior leadership roles in media, entertainment and digital storytelling. She has held numerous governance positions in government, not-for-profit and commercial organizations. She is an experienced business coach and mentor and has undertaken various successful consulting assignments in strategy and organisational development in the public sector.

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Paul McLaney


In a recording and performance career now spanning 20 years, Paul‘s music offerings have spanned the acoustic music of his solo career, the rock and pop of Gramsci and the ambient electronica of The Impending Adorations.  His foray into the theatrical world began in 2014 when Paul was invited to compose the score for Silo Theatre’s production of ‘Speaking In Tongues’ which earned him and Auckland Theatre Award for Best Music.  Subsequently he has composed for ATC, P...

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Victoria Blood

WeCreate / NZ Music Commission

Victoria (Vicky) Blood has spent nearly 40 years working in the international music and TV industries – most of them in London, where during the 1990s she was Head of Marketing and Creative at BMG Entertainment. During this time Vicky also launched and ran BMG’s film and video division, for which she executive-produced many best-selling music TV programmes, plus feature length video specials for Yorkshire Television’s ‘Emmerdale’ and ‘Heartbeat’.  In 1997 she...

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Ken Duncum

Writer / Teacher

Ken Duncum is a writer and teacher who is currently director of the MA Scriptwriting course situated in the International Institute of Modern Letters.Ken has been writing for theatre and television for over 25 years, and is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading playwrights. Similarly, his work for television has won awards in New Zealand and been screened internationally.Ken was awarded the NZ Post Katherine Mansfield Prize in October 2009 and consequently spent a happ...

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Alejandro Davila

Conical VR / Auckland

Young NZ Innovator of the Year finalist, Alejandro Davila had years of experience in film-making and animation before making the leap to Virtual Reality. Seeing the potential in Virtual Reality as a storytelling medium, Alejandro quit his job, sold his belongings and car to fully immerse himself in VR production. Alejandro leads a team of five creative technologists at Conical VR Studio in Auckland, working on advertising and story-driven VR/AR projects. They have created Ne...

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Frances Valintine

Founder - Tech Futures Lab / The Mind Lab (Unitec)

Frances is the founder of Tech Futures Lab and the Founder and The Mind Lab by Unitec. The Mind Lab is a private-public partnership with Unitec delivering education programmes in digital and collaborative technologies. Tech Futures Lab is a specialist lab for business people to develop skills and knowledge in emerging technologies including Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cybersecurity, Robotics and Business Disruption. Frances works in New Zealand a...

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Ben Forman

Co-Founder / Wrestler

Ben is a co-founder of Wrestler, a content creation company. Since its inception over six years ago, Ben has grown Wrestler into one of NZ's most successful online video businesses, creating content for clients both nationally and internationally. Ben also started one of NZ's first commercial drone companies, and helped pave the way for working legislation for the industry. With a strong focus on business growth through creativity, Ben is stupidly excited about the potential...

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Kat Lintott

Co-Founder / Wrestler

Kat is a co-founder of Wrestler and she is leading the VR/AR/MR content projects. Previously Kat worked at 8i as their Chief Communications Officer, establishing their local and international profile while also producing their research and development content. Kat is now on The VR/AR Association executive committee. Kat's goal is to work with the New Zealand VR/AR/MR community to make sure that we are producing content on a global scale for a global audience. 

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Kate Stevenson & Chris White


DOTDOT brings together filmmaking, gaming, hardware and software expertise to create the most immersive experiences possible. Currently working with Te Papa on how virtual reality will reshape museums, DOTDOT are experienced filmmakers building the tools needed so that audiences can naturally engage with stories.

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James Everett

Chairperson / New Zealand Game Developers Association

The New Zealand Game Developers Association supports the efforts hundreds of professionals and dozens of Kiwi studios creating interactive entertainment for global audiences. James has worked for 15 years in the Canadian game development hubs of Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto, and he is currently a Lead Game Designer at Magic Leap and Weta Workshop in Wellington.

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Dave Gibson

CEO / New Zealand Film Commission

Dave Gibson is the CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission and has produced feature films and television programmes that have sold in more than eighty countries worldwide.  In 2012 he was appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in recognition of his services to the film and television industries.

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Brenda Leeuwenberg

Head of Digital / NZ On Air

Brenda runs NZ On Air's Digital Media Fund and has been responsible for driving funding of digital content, including webseries, apps and interactive documentaries, over the past four years. Prior to this Brenda set up and managed the New Zealand screen showcase website NZ On Screen.  She has worked extensively in the digital media and internet sectors, both in NZ and Europe, and played a key role in developing support for women in the NZ internet industry in the late 1990s....

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Roxane Gajadhar

Director, Special Projects / NZFC

Roxane Gajadhar is heading up the NZFC’s GPS2026 future-focussed programme. She has worked in the screen industry for two decades in senior roles across both factual and drama production and has directed interactive content for international exhibition. She recently completed an MA in scriptwriting from the IIML (Victoria University). Prior to her role at the NZFC Roxane spent five years overseeing international marketing and communications for Film New Zealand (now part...

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Paul Stanley Ward

Writer / Producer

Paul Ward’s OE took in an Oxford masters in English Literature and producing Discovery Channel reality TV in the US. He has written primetime NZ TV documentaries and award-winning short films. He was founding editor of NZ On Screen, and co-produced its successful 2011 Rugby World Cup interactive exhibition. He is currently producing 'Wild Eyes' (with Vicky Pope) a major digital media project aiming to get Kiwi kids off screens and engaged with the environment and science ....

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