Grand Finals


The Vista Foundation 48Hours culminates in the Grand Final event. The very best films from across the country are judged by a panel of national and international judges and screened at the Grand Final Event.

Grand Final 2024

Venue - The Embassy Theatre, Wellington

Date / time - July 27, 8pm

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This event will also be live-streamed for those who can't make it along.

National Judges

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

Judges will be announced as they are confirmed. You can find out about the judging process on the Judging page.


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 2024, 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.  

Jess Hong


Jess Hong is an actor with thespian roots based in Tāmaki Makaurau. After graduating from Toi Whakaari Drama School in 2018, she performed predominantly on stage before transitioning into television with on-screen appearances on 'Inked', 'The Brokenwood Mysteries' and ‘My Life is Murder.’

Jess makes her cinematic debut in the NZ feature film 'Grafted’, and she currently stars in Netflix's genre-bending sci-fi series, '3 Body Problem.' 

Jon Kroll


Jon Kroll has produced TV shows for more than 30 years, including “The Amazing Race,” for which he was honored with a Primetime Emmy Award. He is currently Executive Producer for “Million Dollar Marlin” on FOX, as well as NatGeo’s enduring hit, “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted,” which he has run since its inception. He also recently Executive Produced NatGeo’s “Never Say Never with Jeff Jenkins” and “Extraordinary Birder" with Christian Cooper”, for NatGeoWild.

Kroll’s other projects include the award-winning feature documentary, “From Hell to Hollywood,” which won the Audience Award at Kansas City Film Fest International; “Pink Collar Crimes” for CBS; two seasons of “American Grit” for Fox starring WWE superstar John Cena; three seasons of “Big Brother” for CBS; and the controversial UPN series, "Amish in the City,” which critics hailed as “one of the best new reality series of the year.” He has also directed three movies, written multiple graphic novels and built a Hello Kitty theme park.

Originally from Northern California, Kroll was raised on a Mendocino County commune without television or electricity. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

Viva La Dirt League

Viva La Dirt League Best Comedy judges


Viva La Dirt League is a comedy troupe hailing from Auckland who have a popular YouTube Channel currently at an impressive 6.3 million subscribers. Their pathway into digital content-making involves the Vista Foundation 48Hours competition and now they want to give back to the filmmakers by sponsoring the Viva La Dirt League $2000 national comedy prize!

Dame Gaylene Preston

Dame Gaylene Preston & WIFT Best female/gender diverse director judge


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.

Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa

(Puipa'a, Toamua, Alafua - Samoa)


Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa is a film maker who has written and directed four feature films in five years - all of them self funded and self distributed - Three Wise Cousins (2016), Hibiscus & Ruthless (2018), Take Home Pay (2019) and Mamas Music Box (2020). His combination of comedy and community are at the core of the Pacific Island films he makes and the reason why they have punched above their weight at the NZ and Pacific Islands box office.

He credits his five years of competing in previous 48 Hour competitions as a great way to find like minded people and as a training ground for the creative and technical demands of feature film making. He hopes more film makers make the jump from 48 to feature films

Abba-Rose Vaiaoga-Ioasa

(Puipa'a, Toamua, Alafua - Samoa)


Abba-Rose brings a wealth of expertise to the screen industry, with her versatile skill set in development, producing and distributing. From producing four feature films in five years - all of them self-funded and self-distributed to recently marking a milestone with the release of the second season of her successful vertical comedy series 'I Got You.' Abba-Rose has been working towards amplifying under-served narratives.

Recently she was recognized as the 'Woman to Watch' at the 2024 WIFT Awards and as one of the co-founders of Pacific Islands Screen Artists (PISA), she plays a pivotal role in fostering an inclusive space for individuals of Pacific Islands heritage, solidifying her as a dedicated force in shaping the landscape of the New Zealand screen sector. As mentioned in her interview with RNZ Abba-Rose hopes not to just inspire young Pasifika people, but to create an industry formed from a bedrock of opportunity and equality.