Grand Finals

For information on regional judges see your City Info page. You can find out about the judging process on the Judging page.

Our team of national judges will be selecting the Grand Finalists and Winner. 

Judges will be announced as they are confirmed.



Sir Peter Jackson

Judge for the Sir Peter Jackson Wildcards.

Jackson was a mere eight years old when his parents were given a Super 8 cine camera for Christmas, fanning the flames of his love for cinema. He went on to make home movies in Pukerua Bay experimenting with stop-motion, practical effects, and special effects. He famously sourced some WWII uniforms, rallied his mates, and made his first film titled The Dwarf Patrol – which would later resurface as a bonus feature on the Bad Taste DVD release. 

While working at a daily paper, Jackson enlisted help from his friends and colleagues to make a feature film. He upgraded to a second-hand Bolex camera in 1983 which was mounted onto homemade dolly tracks, cranes, and Steadicams to film his first feature, horror comedy cult classic Bad Taste. He went on to film the black comedies Meet the Feebles and Braindead before 1994's feature film Heavenly Creatures took Jackson from cult status to a mainstream, global audience. 

Fast forward to 2022, Jackson has two epic Tolkien trilogies under his belt, Academy Awards to his name for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, numerous Hollywood hits, and has made waves in the documentary world with 2021’s The Beatles: Get Back and 2018’s They Shall Not Grow Old. Jackson is officially Hollywood royalty, but he’s never forgotten where he came from and continues to support grassroots NZ filmmaking.  


Dame Gaylene Preston

Judge for the Dame Gaylene Preston and Wift Best Female / Gender Diverse Filmmaker.

Dame Gaylene Preston is celebrated as a leading filmmaker, having produced and directed some of the most enduring popular classics of NZ cinema. Preston is a storyteller whose work has a distinctive flavour that entertains while presenting serious subjects with humour and warmth. Her compassion and understanding of real life, and real people, combined with her talent for portraying on film metaphoric stories, over four decades has contributed to Gaylene’s peerless reputation as a distinct local voice. Preston’s generosity of spirit and powerful mentorship and advocacy skills have been central to the development of NZ's filmmaking community.


In 2001 she was the first filmmaker to receive an Arts Foundation Laureate Award and in 2002 she was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for her services to the film industry. In 2016 she was awarded a NZ Woman Of Influence Award for Arts and Culture and in 2017 was given the Premium Moa Award for services to cinema.