Toi Ngākau Productions

The Girls

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Toi Ngākau Productions and LightShade Creative present "The Girls", a short film written by Courtney Rose Brown, directed by Tabitha Arthur and produced by Bethany Grace Miller.

The Girls provides a snapshot of the complexity of relationships within a matriarchy. The exploration of intergenerational tension, expectations, and stereotypes paints a richly-layered and poignant black Kiwi comedy.

Last year was the 125th year celebrating women's suffrage; we are empowering women in an industry that is known for its alarmingly low statistics for women in any role beyond moviegoer. To challenge these stats we need the funds to help us achieve this. We have a full female team of 28 creatives who are collaborating to make this ambitious new short film.

We believe this has not yet been done in NZ outside of 48Hours!

Not only are we putting an all wāhine cast on the screen, all of our cast, crew and creatives are women! And it is moving and empowering to witness all of these talented industry and emerging women, collaborate, rock their craft, step up to discover their potential, and Get Stuff Done - with grit, determination, and compassion!

We are also excited to bring storytelling that breaks away from traditional white-male-centred film industry narratives towards refreshingly real and complex women and LGBTQIA+ perspectives.


The Girls is shattering gender stereotyping - both on and off screen - in the hope to stitch the outline of a better-balanced film industry and society in Aotearoa.

We have an incredible female P.M, but she can't do this alone. The art we create and the environments in which we create it have an important role in shifting culture. Not just for those making it, but for those watching also. Humans learn by imitation; we are significantly affected by the media we consume, so let's make deliciously powerful narratives for our fellow women to feel empowered in their own lives!!

The script has been workshopped with Kathy McRae through EAT (Emerging Artists Trust). The film has also received a small amount of funding support from EAT, but in order to breathe life into this script and cover the rest of the costs, we do need support. We're aiming to submit the film for NZ International Film Festival and Show Me Shorts 2019, followed by international festivals as the film is showcasing a perspective that national and international audiences are demanding to see more of.

Screenwriter Courtney Rose Brown says that the idea for The Girls came from the film trope of a woman becoming pregnant being the worst thing that could ever happen to her. This short film plays with stereotypes in a classic 'kiwi dark comedy' way where everything isn't quite what it seems.


Making a film is expensive! We are an all-female creative team and we want to produce high-quality work within the film industry. The money raised from this campaign will mainly go towards hiring equipment for filming which is crucial to making a high-quality film. We need funds to support the shooting costs: hiring a camera kit, lighting, props and set dressing, wardrobe, sound recording equipment, travel, and catering. We also need funds for post-production including graphics, editing, colour grading, sound, publicity, and festival submissions.

Starring: Marshayla Christie, Raquel Roderick, Shania Bailey-Edmonds, and Lydia Peckham.

"Let's Do This"



  • What do you love about this script?


    Kia ora koutou! Here's a super lovely video about why our team behind The Girls loved the script.

    The video has been filmed and edited by the incredible Angharad Gladding - MEAN Productions with a few shots from the wonderful Celeste Fontein!

  • We're at 86% fam!


    Here's our first behind the scenes vid for The Girls! Created by Angharad Gladding - MEAN Productions 

    So stoked to have such wonderful wāhine working on the first collaboration between Toi Ngākau Productions and LightShade 🎬🎥✨

    I'd also like to say a huge thank you for the tuatoko and manaakitanga around this project - aroha nui e hoa mā <3

  • UPDATE - we're at 39%!


    Kia ora koutou!

    WE'RE AT 38%!

    Thank you so much for the unbelievable generosity of those who have donated and shared our campaign. We are feeling so incredibly grateful and blessed! We are excited to let you know that last Tuesday we wrapped our shoot for "The Girls" in the sunny hills of Tawa. And we are looking forward to heading into post-production.

    We have had a wonderful team of wāhine weave their talents into the creation of the film so far, which has been a truly beautiful experience to be a part of and witness. We have less than three weeks left of our campaign so please spread the word!

    Ngā mihi maioha,
    Toi Ngākau Productions and LightShade Creative

    (Photography by Celeste Fontein)

    UPDATE - we're at 39%!