Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern is the 40th and current Prime Minister of New Zealand and the world's youngest female head of government.

The power of inclusion: Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Ana Scotney

Rising star Ana Scotney (Ngāti Tāwhaki) made her feature film acting debut in The Breaker Upperers and is a film and award-winning theatre maker.

The power of inclusion: Ana Scotney

Charles D. King

Charles D. King is the Founder & CEO of MACRO, the producer of Sorry to Bother You and Mudbound, and the executive producer of Fences.

The power of inclusion: Charles D. King

Dr. Stacy L. Smith

Dr. Stacy L. Smith is the Founder and Director of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California.

The power of inclusion: Dr. Stacy L. Smith

Franklin Leonard

Franklin Leonard is an American film executive and producer of The Black List, a yearly publication featuring Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays.

The power of inclusion: Franklin Leonard

Haifaa al Mansour

Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and director of the first full-length film ever shot inside the Kingdom, Wadjda, as well as the films Mary Shelley and Nappily Ever After.

The power of inclusion: Haifaa al  Mansour

Niki Caro

Niki Caro is a multi award-winning New Zealand film director and screenwriter whose credits include The Zookeeper's Wife, North Country, Whale Rider and upcoming Mulan.

The power of inclusion: Niki Caro

Philippa Boyens

Philippa Boyens is the Academy Award-winning New Zealand writer of The Lord of the Rings and co-producer and writer of King Kong, The Hobbit trilogy and The Lovely Bones.

The power of inclusion: Philippa Boyens

Further speakers and full programme to be announced.

The power of inclusion: Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

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Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern was born in the city of Hamilton, New Zealand, and grew up rurally. She attended high school before graduating from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Politics and Public Relations.

Post-university, she worked as an advisor in the office of then-Prime Minister Helen Clark, in London for the Government Cabinet Office and as an Assistant Director in the Department for Business and Enterprise, and on a review of Policing in England and Wales.

The Prime Minister joined the New Zealand Labour Party at age 18 and entered New Zealand’s Parliament in 2008. Over her nine years as a representative she has been a strong advocate for children, women, and the right of every New Zealander to have meaningful work.

She became the MP for the Auckland electorate Mt Albert in early 2017, and the Leader of the Labour Party in August 2017. As well as Prime Minister, she holds the roles of Minister for National Security and Intelligence, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, and Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, an issue particularly close to her heart.

The power of inclusion: Ana Scotney

Ana Scotney

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Ana works commercially as an actor across the platforms of live performance, cinema and television. She works independently as an interdisciplinary storyteller, creating original works of art across the platforms of cinema, live theatre, zines, music, animation and visual art. 

Ana captured the world’s hearts in 2018 for her role as Sepa, in the hit feature film The Breakeby Jackie Van Beek & Madeleine Sami. The same year she starred in the series Wellington Paranormal, the spin-off of What We Do in the Shadows from directors Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement.  Her first short film that she directed and wrote, Dance of Lonely Birds was shown at WINDA Indigenous Film Festival in Sydney, The Bali Indigenous Film Festival, and at Māoriland film festival

A multi award winning performer and theatre maker, Ana’s zine Gulfs was awarded "Best of the Fest" at Wellington Zinefest in 2018.

She is passionate about telling stories from Aotearoa, New Zealand. Ana loves being a part of processes that dismantle existing power hierarchies by cultivating working environments that value kindness, tenacity and personal transformation for both collaborators, and audiences alike. Born and raised in Wellington, Ana describes herself as a, "Dank loner, thespian, cinema appreciating, art inhaling nerd." She is passionate about flexing both her intellectual and emotional muscles in the work that she makes and contributes to. Her favourite cocktail is a dry Negroni, slightly heavy on the Campari, and her favourite cartoon is Ed, Edd N Eddie. Aquarius Sun, Taurus Moon, Capricorn rising. Hailing from Wellington and Tūhoe. 

Adjacent to her work, Ana practises Nichiren Buddhism and cherishes long durational walks and swims as a means of reconnecting to source, and an internal state of gentleness.

The power of inclusion: Charles D. King

Charles D. King

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Charles D. King is Founder & CEO of MACRO, a leading media company representing the voice and perspectives of people of color. Founded in January 2015, King oversees the company’s focus on creating, developing, producing and financing film, television, digital content, tech companies and brands driven by people of color that encompass universal themes to which all people can connect and relate.

Formerly a partner and senior agent in the motion picture department at William Morris Endeavor, King was the first African American partner in the company’s 100+ year history and the first ever African American partner at any major talent agency. King’s list of notable clients spanned every sector of the entertainment industry, including acclaimed filmmakers Ryan Coogler and M. Night Shyamalan, music icons, media moguls and innovators including Prince, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Janelle Monae and talent like David Oyelowo.

MACRO’s film projects have received nine Oscar nominations. The company’s first major studio film, Fences, received four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for director/star Denzel Washington, and one win for Best Supporting Actress for Viola Davis. King was an executive producer on the film. Dee Rees’ Mudbound, was the highest sale at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress and Best Cinematography. King was a producer on the film. Roman J. Israel, Esq. also received an Oscar nomination for Washington and was executive produced by King. MACRO’s most recent film, Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You, won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. King’s MACRO has a first look co-finance deal with Warner Bros. Pictures and just signed on as a co financier, and King as an executive producer, for Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan with Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson as well as a film based on revolutionary Black Panther and historic figure Fred Hampton starring Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield.

On the TV side, King will executive produce “Raising Dion,” a 10-episode hour-long, sci-fi, family drama along with Dennis Liu and Michael B. Jordan. 

King is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Howard University School of Law. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife Stacey Walker King and their sons, Noah and Julian.

The power of inclusion: Dr. Stacy L. Smith

Dr. Stacy L. Smith

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Stacy L. Smith, Ph.D. is the foremost disrupter of inequality in the entertainment industry. Dr. Smith is the Founder and Director of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative (AII), the leading global think tank studying issues of inequality in entertainment. Dr. Smith’s groundbreaking research examines inclusion of gender, race/ethnicity, the LGBT community, people with disabilities and mental health in storytelling across film, TV and digital platforms. The Initiative releases analyses of top-grossing films (on screen, behind the camera, executive ranks), popular music (artists, songwriters, producers), and impediments facing women and individuals from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in the director's chair. She has authored over 100 articles, book chapters, and reports, and is covered regularly in popular press outlets including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CBS This Morning, NPR, And many others.

Dr. Smith also crafts compelling and innovative solutions to entertainment inequality. She introduced the Inclusion Rider to the entertainment industry via her 2016 TED talk and a 2014 opinion piece in The Hollywood ReporterFrances McDormand popularized the phrase on stage at the 2018 Academy Awards. In 2019, Dr. Smith launched the #4percentchallenge to increase the number of female directors working in film. She has also worked with a team of individuals including Brie Larson to foster greater inclusivity among film critics and journalists. Dr. Smith serves on the Recording Academy Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion following the release of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s inaugural study on the music industry.  LA Weekly named Dr. Smith the most influential person in Los Angeles in 2015.

The power of inclusion: Franklin Leonard

Franklin Leonard

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MACRO’s film projects have received nine Oscar nominations. The company’s first major studio film, Fences, received four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for director/star Denzel Washington, and one win for Best Supporting Actress for Viola Davis. King was an executive producer on the film. Dee Rees’ Mudbound, was the highest sale at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress and Best Cinematography. King was a producer on the film. Roman J. Israel, Esq. also received an Oscar nomination for Washington and was executive produced by King. MACRO’s most recent film, Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You, won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. King’s MACRO has a first look co-finance deal with Warner Bros. Pictures and just signed on as a co financier, and King as an executive producer, for Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan with Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson as well as a film based on revolutionary Black Panther and historic figure Fred Hampton starring Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield.

On the TV side, King will executive produce “Raising Dion,” a 10-episode hour-long, sci-fi, family drama along with Dennis Liu and Michael B. Jordan. 

King is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Howard University School of Law. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife Stacey Walker King and their sons, Noah and Julian.

The power of inclusion: Haifaa al  Mansour

Haifaa al Mansour

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Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia.  She earned a Bachelor’s degree in literature from the American University in Cairo and completed a Master’s in Directing and Film Studies from the University of Sydney. The success of her three short films, as well as the international acclaim of her award winning 2005 documentary WOMEN WITHOUT SHADOWS, influenced a new wave of Saudi filmmakers.

Al Mansour’s acclaimed 2012 film WADJDA received numerous awards and accolades at festivals around the world and was nominated for ‘Best First Feature’ at the Independent Spirit Awards in addition to a BAFTA nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. She was awarded the 2016 Kant World Citizen Prize in Freiburg Germany, as well as the German Prize for Children's Literature for her young adult novel “Das Madchen Wadjda.”

In 2017 Al Mansour released MARY SHELLEY, starring Elle Fanning and Douglas Booth, about the love affair between Percy and Mary Shelley as she wrote Frankenstein. In 2018 she released the Netflix film NAPPILY EVER AFTER, starring Sanaa Lathan.  The romantic comedy focuses on an African American woman’s journey of self-discovery that begins with a dramatic hair makeover. Al Mansour also premiered a short film at Venice Film Festivalthrough Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales series entitled THE WEDDING SINGER’S DAUGHTER.  She recently directed an episode of an untitled Chris Keyser series scheduled to debut on Netflix in 2019. 

Al Mansour is currently working on her fourth feature film, as well as developing an adaptation of the novel BE SAFE I LOVE YOU, about a young woman returning from a traumatic experience during war in Iraq intensely focused on keeping her younger brother safe, and an animated feature entitled MISS CAMEL, about a sassy young street camel who dreams of winning the 'Miss Camel' beauty pageant.

The power of inclusion: Niki Caro

Niki Caro

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Writer and director, Niki Caro, is one of the most successful filmmakers to emerge from New Zealand in recent years.

After completing a BFA at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland and a Postgraduate Diploma in Film from Swinburne in Melbourne, Caro directed a number of highly acclaimed short films. SURE TO RISE screened in Competition in Cannes in 1994; and FOOTAGE at the Venice Film Festival in 1996. Her first feature film MEMORY AND DESIRE was selected for Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998.

Her second feature film, WHALE RIDER won twenty seven international awards, including audience awards at prestigious international film festivals including Toronto, Sundance, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Seattle and Maui. It won an Academy Award nomination for Keisha Castle-Hughes, then the youngest person ever to be nominated in the best actress category.

Following the international success of WHALE RIDER, Caro directed NORTH COUNTRY, starring Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek and Woody Harrelson. Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively at the 2005 Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, BAFTAs, Satellite Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Caro’s more recent feature length films include THE VINTNER’S LUCK, McFARLAND, USA, starring Kevin Costner, and THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE, starring Jessica Chastain

In her first foray into American television, Caro helmed the movie pilot for Netflix’ ANNE WITH AN ‘E’, a bold and inspired new vision of the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ story, now into its third season.

Most recently Niki Caro has directed the live action version of Disney’s MULAN. MULAN will be released worldwide in March 2020.

The power of inclusion: Philippa Boyens

Philippa Boyens

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On leaving school Philippa trained at Theatre Corporate, spending the next ten years working as a playwright, producer and editor.  She was the Director of the NZ Writers Guild from 1993 to 1996.

During this time Philippa studied part-time at University and graduated from the University of Auckland in 1994 with a B.A. in English and History.  She received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland in 2006.

Her work in film includes writing, producing, and composing lyrics for film scores.

Philippa is best known as a principal scriptwriter, along with Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson, for the screen adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  This is the largest film project ever undertaken in New Zealand.  Philippa’s work was honoured with OSCAR and BAFTA Awards in 2004 for best adapted screenplay for “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

In her career, Philippa has won 13 other awards and received a further 19 nominations, including being named in 2000 by Variety Magazine as one of their ten best writers to watch in the industry.

Her other works include the screen adaptation of “The Hobbit”, “King Kong”, “District 9” and writer/producer on the film adaptation of Alice Sebold’s best selling novel -“The Lovely Bones”.

Her work has helped bring international recognition to the NZ Film Industry and this was acknowledged by her receiving the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004.