MA Scriptwiting profiles 2021

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.

Hera Cook

Love live performance, happy to substitute zoom/film/podcast/radio of live performance. Loved lockdown, really want to sit in a room and write about things that matter. Have been set/costume designer, award winning historian, public health researcher. Always wanted to write theatre like jumping into a river/diving into the sea.

Jemma Gill

I've notched up life experience in many areas that have nothing to do with creative writing of any kind. I'm glad I've finally realised how good it feels to write, although putting my work out there is somewhat terrifying.

If possible, I spend my time relishing a good old Netflix binge but my one true love is sleeping. I have a partner who is a fantastic cook and kids who adore card games and Star Wars, so I'm clearly living the good life. 

I am so excited to sit in a room with a bunch of other writer nerds and soak up everything this year has to offer!

Jack McGee

My name is Jack McGee, and I'm a walking 'Wellington' stereotype. Born here, did my B/A here (Film, Theatre, Creative Writing), shaved my head and grew my beard here. You'd struggle to find me on Cuba Street, not because I don't hang out there, but because my shiny noggin blends into the pavement.

I'm writing this bio in Methven, where I've stopped for a couple of days on my walk to Wanaka. I've previously walked Wellington to Auckland, and I'm hoping these experiences can inform my project this year, a road movie about climate activists zooming through rural NZ on bicycles.

Really looking forward to meeting you all!

Annabel Maasdam

I'm a daydreamer at heart, a trait inherited from my parents, who emigrated from the Netherlands almost 27 years ago. Nurtured, as well, as a country bumpkin from within the quaint valleys and small towns New Zealand has to offer; cultural clashes have given me an interest in human behaviour that only came to light creatively when I moved to Wellington at sixteen. Extensive film studies in horror, and an anthropological interest in ancient societies has led me to want to write stories centred around the oddities of the human psyche. Among other things, my favourite colour is yellow, pancakes are my kryptonite, and I look forward to learning from, and meeting you all!

Isaac Martyn

Ka kite!

Ko Tūwharetoa te iwi. Nō tāmaki makau rau ahau. Ko Isaac tōku ingoa. I've spent the last five years in Ōtepoti at Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou studying about Music, Theatre, Linguistics and Māori studies. I am keen to find my voice and take some risks in my work, and give people a good, hearty laugh while I'm at it. My name means Laughter, so maybe this is just fate and I don't have any choice in the matter. Tūwhitia te hopo! Feel the fear, do it anyway.

Lynette Mentink

Hi everyone. I consider it a huge gift to be accepted into this class at the IIML.

Many years ago I put my writing on the back burner in order to put food on the table. Much later, a friend recruited me as scriptwriter onto her 48hr film competition team and I was hooked again. The economic paring down of story to action and dialogue … Wow. Time to reunite with my first love. So I've chucked my job and moved to the Big Smoke from little Geraldine. Reckless!

I have no idea what will come from this year, but I know that I will be pushed to grow from this wonderfully terrifying free-fall back into writing.

And I look forward to meeting you all in midair!

Cole Sharland

Heya! My name is Cole Sharland. I'm a 23 year old gay, Māori writer and actor with ties to six iwi (that’s right SIX, long pepeha I know). I was born in New Plymouth and moved all around the North Island. Counting right now, I am living under my 16th roof. I moved to Pōneke in 2017 to study acting at Whitireia (now Te Auaha) and graduated in 2019. Then 2020 came around. OOF. ROUGH AMIRITE?!?! After some reevaluating of my life and skillset (and I'm sure you guys did too) I decided to take up this Masters course. I’ve performed mainly here in Pōneke, Hamilton and Tauranga (and randomly Hastings) and have worked with some local theatre legends here. I'm unpublished, but I wrote my first play last year, hoping to put it on in 2022, and the first thing I've written for the screen ever I wrote for the sample submission for this course and ended up getting in. With that in mind, I feel like I'm going down the right path. I'm glad not to be walking this alone, see y'all soon!

Evangelina Telfar

Evangelina Telfar is mainly a playwright that has started to dabble in screenwriting in recent years and had her first short film, Auditory Fatigue, made in 2020. She has had several plays performed in New Zealand Fringe Festivals including upcoming play, Celestial Nobodies, which will be performed at BATS Theatre this year. Evangelina's last Fringe show, What's the Purpose of this Project?, toured to Nelson Fringe Festival 2020 and received the award for Most Original Concept. She recently had a short play, Windows and Doors, commended by the Playwrights Association of New Zealand. Evangelina has studied scriptwriting through the Emerging Artists' Trust and International Institute of Modern Letters. She can't wait to get started!

Nakisa Wilson

Hi! My name is Nakisa but everyone calls me Kiza. I originally moved to Welly purely to indulge in the creative writing courses on offer, so I'm hyped to be doing this course. I've just finished my BA majoring in Film. For a while, I flirted with the idea of working in a sound studio or possibly even training to become either a vet nurse or a zookeeper, however a lifelong love of storytelling keeps me committed to writing. I look forward to diving into a world plucked from my imagination for a year and seeing where it goes.

Georgie Wright

Hi, I'm Georgie. I grew up in Wellington, studied film and media in Auckland, then lived in London for six years. I moved home in 2020 for obvious reasons.

I've spent the best part of my working life writing for various publications about music and pop culture, writing and hosting news for MTV, and having bi-weekly existential crises about what I am going to 'do' with my 'life.'

While I've learnt I'll probably never have that sorted, it's nice to know this year is a move in the right direction. I'm excited and only semi-terrified to share work with you all. I will attempt to distract you with baking.