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The Faces Behind 

The Scenes



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Jake is a highly experienced and talented Director with over 16 years of experience in the television industry. As an accomplished Director of Photography, Jake has worked on numerous film projects throughout New Zealand and around the world, building a solid foundation for expanding his craft and leadership capabilities. With his adeptness in prominent roles in film and media, Jake has seamlessly transitioned to the role of a confident Director. His strength lies in his shot preferences, which he uses to enhance a scene and his keen eye for composition, making him a master at capturing beautiful moments and powerful imagery. Jake has an incredible work ethic, and he is meticulous about his craft, independent, creative, and has the strength and agility to tackle shooting in harsh environments. In 2014, he formed his production company, Ten Canaries, to back himself as a freelance cameraman, and ever since then, he has produced and directed high-quality content. In 2018, Jake directed his first short film, Hangi Pants, which was chosen as an official entry in the Oscar Academy accredited Show me Shorts Festival, and it won the People's Choice Award. Ten Canaries' most recent project, "Stolen Lands | Betrayal of a Chief," is a documentary series that follows the story of Jake's ancestor, Chief Mokomoko of Te Whakatōhea. As a direct descendant of Chief Mokomoko, Jake takes on the roles of Director and Narrator for the series, bringing not only his lineage to the project but also a personal creative flare to the screen through his directing. His distinct and cinematic style is on full display through the Kaupapa "Stolen Lands," and he has a depth of knowledge garnered from over 18 years in the film and television industry in both local and international markets. As a Director of Photography, Jake has accumulated many credits with some of the biggest broadcasters on a global platform, taking him around the world many times over. His latest outing as a Director for the project "Stolen Lands" will become a benchmark for New Zealand documentary cinema. Jake is a visionary with a passion for his craft, taking leaps towards mastering the art of directing, and his dedication and skill make him a force to be reckoned with in the industry.


Claire Varley is a proficient writer, researcher, and visionary filmmaker driven by her passion for storytelling and commitment to giving a voice to underrepresented communities. Her unique perspective and creative vision reflect her upbringing by strong women, which has instilled in her a desire to push boundaries and innovate. Claire's debut in scriptwriting was a success with her film "Hangi Pants," which won the People's Choice awards at two prestigious festivals in New Zealand and Australia. As a producer, assistant director, and production manager at Ten Canaries Ltd, a company formed in 2014 by her partner, Claire brings a wealth of knowledge and practicality. She is tasked with delivering content that requires dedication and continuous background research. Claire's ability to develop and grow new and existing relationships with clients and partner organizations has helped Ten Canaries Ltd to thrive. She is adept at bringing a story to life with imagination and creative insight, and she understands the complexity required to ensure a project's smooth delivery and completion. Claire was chosen for the Tāhuna writers residency in Queenstown for one of Australasia's most successful production companies, Great Southern Television, further cementing her position as a rising star in the industry. Claire's work is not just entertainment but education, focusing on exploring the spiritual and supernatural elements of Māori and Polynesian stories. Her upcoming historical documentaries carry themes of justice and empowerment for Māori, promising to be just as groundbreaking as her earlier work.

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