Kōkako Productions


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Kōkako is an environmental film that explores themes of Te Taiao me ngā manu (the natural world and the birds). The story follows a young woman searching for the South Island kōkako bird in the rugged New Zealand wilderness. When she learns of her Nan's passing, the birds of the forest magically become an echo for her whānau as she tries to cope with her loss.

Our film is the first in the Top of the South to be selected by the New Zealand Film Commission for Fresh Shorts funding, a huge honour we are very grateful for. We're excited to create this film and even more so to have your help support us in reaching our next funding goal.

Kōkako is an exciting and unique opportunity for us to showcase the beauty of the top of the South Island. Shooting outdoors near Lake Rotoiti presents a number of challenges, weather cover, travel and accommodation that your support will help us overcome. We aim to produce a world-class short film for an international film festival audience.

Shooting begins in late November at Lake Rotoiti. The funding we are seeking allows us to bring leading professionals from around New Zealand to join locals working on the project. These include:

* Nancy Brunning, a famous face from the early days of Shortland Street, Mahana, White Lies, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted and Crooked Earth

* Lawrence Wharerau, whom you may have seen in the Piano, Xena, Savage and Mataku

* Phoenix Cross, a very talented rising star playing Ashley, our lead character

* Cinematographer John Chrisstoffels (Human Traces, Holy Roller, Sisterhood) and

* Julie Brawley, award-winning World of WearableArt designer and our costume creator.

As well as paying for travel and accommodation for our talent, there are sets to construct and costumes to create that will bring this story to life. We are very excited to be working with artists from the World of Wearable Art, which is another successful creative export from our region. We will also need to invest in post-production to give this film its award-winning cinematic look and sound.

Thank you for your kind support with this project. Kōkako is a unique story and we are grateful to have you with us for the journey!


  • Introducing Andreas Mahn, our 1st AC / Focus Puller


    "Andreas is a Wellington based AC/focus puller and has been in the film
    industry for over 20 years. He has worked on anything from big
    international blockbusters to small independent short films. Some of his
    recent credits include Daffodils, Savage, Colonial Combat, Mortal
    Engines. At present he pulls focus on NZ feature 'Coming Home in the
    Dark'. Find out more or get in contact via his website

    Introducing Andreas Mahn, our 1st AC / Focus Puller
  • Introducing John Chrisstoffels DocFA


    Introducing John Chrisstoffels DocFA, who will be our Director of Photography.

    John has over 25 years’ experience as a respected Film Director, Cinematographer and Editor in the New Zealand Film industry. He has been involved with a number of critically acclaimed Short Films, Documentaries, Music Videos and Art Works.

    He is especially known for his cinematography, most recently in the critically acclaimed New Zealand thriller ‘Human Traces’(2017). His work has been recognized in the 2001 ‘Nokia New Zealand Film Awards’ for the short film ‘Junk’(Director, Gregory King, 2001). In 2013 he was awarded a cinematography prize for his work on the short film “Here be Monsters” which also won the “Best short film award” at the New Zealand Film and Television Awards. He received a nomination in the 2005 Screen Awards for his work in the digital feature “Offensive Behaviour”. His record as a director of short film dramas has included “Black Spot” (1998) screening in the “New Zealand 1998 International Film Festival” and appearing in competition at the “Melbourne International Film Festival” in 1999.


    Introducing John Chrisstoffels DocFA