Witi Ihimaera Described by Metro magazine as 'Part oracle, part memoralist, Ihimaera is an inspired voice, weaving many stories together', Witi Ihimaera was the first Maori novelist and has published many notable novels and collections of short stories, he has written for stage and screen, edited books on the arts and culture, as well as published various works for children. His best-known novel is The Whale Rider, which was made into a hugely, internationally successful film in 2002. Apart from his work as a writer, Ihimaera has also had careers in teaching, theatre, opera, film and television. He has received numerous awards, including the Wattie Book of the Year Award and the Montana Book Award, his most recent being the inaugural Star of Oceania Award, University of Hawaii 2009, a laureate award from the New Zealand Arts Foundation 2009, the Toi Maori Maui Tiketike Award 2011, and the Premio Ostana International Award, presented to him in Italy 2010. John Barnett is New Zealand's leading film and television producer. He began his career in the screen industry as an independent producer in 1973. Over the past 40 years, he has produced television drama, documentaries and feature films, including the internationally acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film Whale Rider, the feel-good Polynesian comedy Sione's Wedding and its sequel; Middle Age Spread; Beyond Reasonable Doubt; Race for the Yankee Zephyr; What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted? (the sequel to Once Were Warriors); and the animated hit, Footrot Flats. John has produced or executive produced five of the top 10 highest grossing New Zealand films at the New Zealand box office and has been active in the film and television industry throughout his career.He founded New Zealand's film industry magazine, OnFilm, and set up Sundance Channel (NZ) u the first Sundance affiliated channel outside the United States.He has also been actively involved in film, television and video distribution and in the development of multiplex cinemas in New Zealand. In 2002, he was made the SPADA/OnFilm Industry Champion of the Year, for his ongoing contribution to the New Zealand industry, and in 2003, was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, for services to the film industry. Dana Rotberg Mexican filmmaker Dana Rotberg has lived and worked as a director, writer and producer in Mexico, France and Bosnia and Herzegovina.She is now based in New Zealand. Dana's first film was the feature-length documentary Elvira Luz Cruz: Pema Maxima (1985), which was awarded Best Documentary by the Mexican Film Academy and the Bochica de Oro Award for Best Latin-American Documentary, Colombia.In 1989, she wrote and directed the feature film Intimacy. Dana has thrice been given the prestigious honour of opening the Director's Fortnight at the Cannes International Film Festival. The first time was as Director of Angel de Fuego (1992) and the twice more as Producer of Man, God and the Monster (1994) and The Perfect Circle (1997). The latter film also won the Fran ois Chalais Award and the Cannes Junior Prix at Cannes that year as well as many other prestigious awards. In 2000 Dana directed and co-wrote the Mexican feature film Otilia Rauda which won the NHK Filmmaker's Award at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. In 2004, after watching the movie Whale Rider, Dana moved to New Zealand where she now resides.