Based in Nelson Genre Film

Doug Brooks

My grandfather used to say "The one story you tell is the truth". The truth is, we are all storytellers. It's in our blood, a defining feature of what it means to be human.

For me, acting has been a storytelling outlet for over 25 years now, first on stage and later on screen. My love for film was ignited in Edinburgh after acting in a short film. I loved how the pieces fell together - how the sound, music and the moving image merged to create the story.

After working for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, I soon found myself working for BBC Scotland on feature film Reichenbach Falls. Later, I started a community cinema in Leith, the home of Trainspotting. I love to write for film and am finding my technical skillset converges with my acting experience nicely when I am directing.

Twelve years later, the love affair continues in New Zealand. Two years ago, I had the idea to found a screen collective called Top of the South Filmmakers, and Marlborough filmmaker Aaron Falvey and I got together to make it happen. Through the power of social media, filmmakers from across Tasman, Nelson and Marlbourgh now work in collaboration to produce movies.

We've started with no-budget and self-funded short films and now our work is beginning to mature. We have just completed work on Ascendance, a collaboration with an LA-based production company, in which I played one of the lead roles. This will be released next year along with Bowie, a feature film shot in Nelson, for which I was line-producer as well as playing a supporting lead. It's exciting to see the enthusiasm and skillset in the region grow as we all work together and I can't wait to see what we can do in the future.