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NZFTS Casts One of New Zealand's Most Celebrated Filmmakers


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New Zealand Film and Television School casts one of New Zealand’s most celebrated filmmakers

Sima Urale has been appointed to the role of Head Tutor at The New Zealand Film and Television School, in Wellington City.

Urale returns to her hometown to take up this new role. With more than twenty years’ experience in the film and theatre industry she will bring a wealth of practical and academic knowledge with her to the Film School. She is a well-known and respected New Zealand filmmaker who has won national and international awards for her films that explore social and political issues.

We are delighted with Urale’s appointment said Sashi Meanger, Executive Director, The Film School. “She brings a wealth of expertise to the school, we are excited to have secured someone of this calibre, as Head Tutor” he said.

Holding a Bachelor of Film and Television from the Victorian College of Art Film and Television and a graduate of Toi Whakaari, Urale has performed in various theatre productions throughout New Zealand and directed a number of television productions in documentary and drama, corporate videos, music videos, short films and commercials.

Her feature film ‘Apron Strings’ opened the 2008 New Zealand Film Festival and had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. In 2009 it won the Diversity Award at WIFIT international in Los Angeles and at the Qantas Awards, won the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography and Production Design Awards.

Short films, ‘O Tamaiti’, ‘Still Life’, ‘Coffee and Allah’, produced by Urale , have won several awards as has her documentary ‘Velvet Dreams’, produced for TVNZ’s Work of Art series. Her performance in the award winning play ‘Think of a Garden’ won her Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.

A Fulbright alumni, Urale has filmed projects internationally and travelled extensively as a guest filmmaker, from Russia, Poland to Canada as well as filming commercials from Malaysia to New York. In the last two years as well as working in commercial production, she has been a Senior Lecturer in Film and Television at Unitec in Auckland sharing her passion to young up and coming filmmakers.

“I’m very excited to be starting with the Film School” said Urale. “This school is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded and specialised education institutions. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers and to work alongside talented practioners and tutors that have contributed enormously to the success of the Film School” she said.

Urale is being welcomed to the Film School at a ceremony being held today and will start in her new role as Head Tutor on 10 September 2012.

Additional information

Sima Urale, appointed Head Tutor, The New Zealand Film and Television School, Wellington City.

The New Zealand Film and Television School is a subsidiary of Whitireia New Zealand Limited, who purchased the school in July 2012.


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