Jessica_Sanderson_2021-5_web_edited.jpg

Photo Credit: Todd Karehana

INSTAGRAM /  IMDB / LINKEDIN

she/her 

He uri nō Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga, Te Ātiawa & Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi 

 

Jessica Sanderson is a film and television director from Aotearoa (New Zealand) who is passionate about creating beautiful imagery and telling compelling stories.  

 

Born in Hastings to a Pākehā mother and Māori father, she sees herself as the sum of many parts – and her greatest influences are her eclectic family members. Jessica’s grandparents include a filmmaker, a visual artist, an orator, and a nurse. Their vocations, view of the world, jokes, and kindness have all left their trace on her and continue to inspire her work. 

 

Most recently she finished directing and writing her first NZFC funded short film WAYS TO SEE – a story about a young girl trying to make sense of a family tragedy, by befriending an atua Māori (Māori God). The drama/thriller was produced by Desray Armstrong and won Gold at the NZCS Awards for cinematographer Tammy Williams. Described by many as a “dark but beautiful short”, 'Ways To See' was inspired by Jessica’s own processing of her father’s passing as a young person. 

 

Jessica is currently finishing directing MOKO – an 8-part documentary series produced by Lara Northcroft (Velvetstone Media) about the revival of tā moko (Māori tattooing). Jessica’s commitment to the project, which started in 2018, is inspired by photographs and paintings of her ancestors – and the desire that moko be just as commonplace for her daughter’s generation. Currently in post-production, the project is due for release in 2022. 

 

This year she was selected for the Script to Screen’s 2021 ‘Film Up’ program, to work on her first feature film script – a drama-comedy called NO GUTTER BALLS. In the commercial space, Jessica continues to work with teams and companies who want help to tell their stories and promote their products and services – favoring companies with ethical approaches to business. Her most recent piece of branded content was a partnership with Te Hiringa Hauora and The Spinoff, produced by Hexwork Productions.  

 

Jessica studied a Bachelor of Performance Design at Massey University and Toi Whakaari NZ Drama School. Following that she worked as an editor and creative producer at TVNZ Blacksand and on factual television programs that took her around the Pacific and Aotearoa.  She has also created music videos for some of Aotearoa’s most prolific artists, including Aaradhna, Tama Waipara, Kora, and more.  

 

In regards to potential collaborations please contact Jessica’s agent, Bruce Everett at Dusty Road.





 

2020: Branded Content
'Ngā Wānanga o Hine Kōpū' for Te Hiringa Hauora
ROLE: DIRECTOR

Spinoff & Hexwork Productions

 

2020: Branded Content
'Ako' for Kupu
ROLE: DIRECTOR

Spinoff & Hexwork Productions

2018-Current: Documentary TV Series
'MOKO'
ROLE: DIRECTOR

Eight part series due for release 2019.
*Currently in post-production.

2019: Short Film
Ways To See
ROLE: DIRECTOR / WRITER

NZ Film Commission Fresh Short

Produced by Sandy Lane Productions

2015 - On-going: FRESH

Hawaii, Rarotonga, Guam,

Samoa, Tahiti & Aotearoa based shoots

ROLE: Field Director & Editor

TV Show created by Tiki Lounge Productions for TVNZ

2017: Brand Story
LilyBee Wrap

ROLE: DIRECTOR

Mixed View

2017: Music Video - Aaradhna

Forever Love

ROLE: DIRECTOR/EDITOR

 

2015: Music Video - Shapeshifter + The Upbeats
Solitaire

ROLE: DIRECTOR / EDITOR

 

2015: TVC
New Zealander of the Year Awards

ROLE: DIRECTOR / EDITOR

 

2015: Television Series

Comedy: Find Me A Māori Bride

Māori Television

Brown Sugar Apple Grunt Productions

ROLE:  CONTINUITY + DIRECTOR (EP 5-6)

 

2015: TVC

Matatini Festival Promotion

ROLE: DIRECTOR / EDITOR

 

2014: Group Illustration Show

Hot X Buns

ROLE: CONTRIBUTING ARTIST / EVENTPRODUCER

 

2014: Music Video - Ginny Blackmore + Stan Walker

Holding You 

ROLE: DIRECTOR / EDITOR / CO-PRODUCER
 

2013: Television Series - Totes Māori
Segment director: Documentary Profiles
ROLE: FIELD DIRECTOR / EDITOR
 

2013: Music Video - Tama Waipara
Medicine Man
ROLE: DIRECTOR / EDITOR

 

2012: Music Video - Kora
Drop Dead Killer
ROLE: DIRECTOR /  EDITOR

 

2012: Theatre Design - A Hearts Path  
ROLE: GRAPHIC DESIGNER

 

2012: Music Video - Ria Hall
Best of Me
ROLE: DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / EDITOR
**Winner of NZ On Air, ‘BEST VIDEO OF THE YEAR BY A MĀORI ARTIST’,  2012 Māori Music Awards

 

2012: Music Video - A Hori Buzz
-Turnaround
ROLE: PRODUCER / DIRECTOR / EDITOR

 

2011: Event Design
– Ria Hall EP Release Party
ROLE: SET / VISUAL DESIGN / LIVE VJ

 

2011: Event Design
– Antarctica
ROLE: SET / VISUAL DESIGN / LIVE VJ

 

2011: Erina Daniel’s Masters of Theatrical Arts, Major Piece
– Party With the Aunties
ROLE: IMAGE / SET / COSTUME DESIGNER

 

2010: Music Video - Benny Tones ft. Sacha Vee
Released Jan 2011
- Chrysalis
ROLE: DIRECTOR / EDITOR / PRODUCER

 

2010: New Zealand International Film Festival
– Short film project; Quarters (Our House)
ROLE: DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / EDITOR

 

2010: Taki Rua Productions 2010 Te Reo Māori Tour
– Matapihi ki te Ao
ROLE: IMAGE / SET / COSTUME DESIGNER

 

2010: New Zealand International Arts Festival
– Mark Twain and Me in Māoriland
ROLE: DESIGN ASSISTANT