MA scriptwriting students

These are brief paragraphs about themselves written by each member of this year's class and emailed to the IIML at the start of the year. The intention is that they can read about each other before they meet face to face. We also hope these informal snapshots will make interesting reading in future years.

Sally Bollinger

I consider myself 50% a filmmaker, 50% a cartoonist and a full nerd. I graduated from AUT (Auckland University of Technology) with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 2014. Then promptly returned to Wellington to create Shakespeare inspired webseries as part of the female-driven collective The Candle Wasters. I've also worked on the satirical webseries White Man Behind A Desk. I recently combined my passion for comics and film in Tragicomic, a webseries / webcomic. In which I drew characters like Yorick the Cactus and Horse-Face (a horse with a human face). I'm returning to university this year to hone my informal script writing abilities.

Mitchell Botting

Kia ora, everyone. I don't know how to take myself seriously enough to write a CV, so I'm definitely going to fail here.

I film things, photo things, and do odd theatre things. My hobbies include: sneezing from, and then swearing at, pollen. Purposefully looking bad in photos because my high school classics teacher told me that "if you aim to look bad, you'll never be disappointed," but now I can't pose normally, and it makes family gatherings difficult. And, eating in bed. If not there, however, I can be found at the theatre, movies, reading, or down a YouTube hole.

I look forward to meeting you all.

Emily Callam

Despite being a 21-year-old at the infantile stages of writing I've always had a lot to say. I'm passionate about many things - Fleetwood Mac, New Zealand cinema, gender/ race politics, Sylvia Plath… I think my gender is integral to my voice, I aim to tell stories fuelled by strong female characters that are rarely seen on screen. In saying that, I do have a lot of faith in the future of the industry with the resurgence of independent cinema. I'm inspired by the likes of Jane Campion and Debra Granik who manage to tackle delicate universally affecting stories in the face of adversity. I'm enough of a maniac to view writing as a higher calling but sensible enough to be nervous about pursuing that passion. I don't want to get lost in the sea, I want to grow as a writer and human. I look forward to the opportunity to develop my voice at the IIML in 2019.

Emilie Hope

I decided I was going to be an actor at the age of eleven and was performing my first stage show at twelve. You could say I’m a pretty determined person. My love of acting grew to a love of theatre, management, and performance over the past twelve years. While these are passionate loves, my soulmate is writing, beginning from the age of five through a fascination of the keyboard. Writing is destined to be with me always in many different forms, hence my excitement for this Masters programme. My dream is for all my passions to live in a polyamorous and financially successful harmony.

Jonathan King

I’m a Wellington parent of three children and one beagle. I’ve written and / or directed four films, and I’m just finishing writing and drawing a graphic novel for kids. I love thinking, talking and learning about story and I’m really looking forward to growing and challenging my writing in this group environment. My hope is to write a screenplay that won’t let me rest until I get it made.

D F Mamea

David Fa'auliuli Mamea (Safune, Safotu) likes to describe himself as a 'rabid Wellingtonian' despite having left the capital two decades ago. Since 2003, he has worked on film, television, theatre and radio projects in genres ranging from sci-fi to soap, comedy to horror, and documentary to drama. His acceptance into the Masters course ends his run of thirty gap years, and he looks forward to learning how to write properly.

Helmut Marko

Born and raised in Papua New Guinea.

Writes to fantasy music. Chills with R&B.

Enjoys playing football, tennis and occasionally chess.

Filmmaking role model is George Lucas: 'I'm basically a lazy person. The only secret to my success is the fact that I work harder than anybody else.'

Film School graduate.

Wishes he could write with the simplicity and depth of the Coen brothers.

Motivated to create by the sacrifices of my parents, my roots and wanting to honour their legacies by pursuing my passions and leaving behind a good story for the next generation.

Would like to one day go back to PNG to teach and make films.

Monica Pausina

I had a fairly urban childhood in Auckland but come school holidays, ran wild in the Far North and the Coromandel, where we have strong family ties. I've loved the ocean and the outdoors ever since and have taken the chance to live in some beautiful and remote places like Fiordland and Great Barrier Reef. I have a BA in English Lit and when not working outdoors I've been teaching high school English. I've been interested in film, theatre and television for a long time and have dabbled with writing for all three. I heard about this course a few months ago and it felt like the right thing at the right time.

Sophie Scott

Hi everyone! I'm in my fourth year at Victoria, where I've completed a BA in Media Studies and Political Science, and half of an Honours in Media Studies. During my degree I began choosing more and more TV-centric papers, and eventually joined the undergrad Writing for Television course. I'm still shocked that I was selected given the horrible 'Teen Cult' script I submitted, but thankfully I was, as that course led me to the MA in Creative Writing. My love of the Teen Drama genre definitely remains, but don't worry, I've moved on from cults (for now). There’s a lot about writing that I’m yet to learn, but I can’t wait to meet you all and get started!

Rachael Stokes

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia but both my parents are from New Zealand so I'm excited to get back to the motherland. I've been obsessed with books and film and television for as long as I can remember, anything to placate my overactive imagination. I actually started out doing a law degree (I don’t want to talk about it), but after spending some time avoiding life decisions in London and San Francisco I have recently graduated with a degree in Media, Arts and Production. Writing/directing is ultimately where I'd like to end up, but I have a lot to learn so I'm keen to get stuck in this year.