Published on August 10th, 2019 | by Damien Straker


Featuring over 35 speaker from around the world, in a two day programme that includes case studies, panels, conversations and keynotes.

The Power of Inclusion summit has added more multi-hyphenate, courageous and inspiring speakers to its line-up, who will come together in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand on 3rd and 4th October 2019, to focus on pertinent issues in the inclusion and representation space in the screen, entertainment and technology landscape.

The Power of Inclusion summit will bring people together, presenting a myriad of world views and positing future action to create a more inclusive industry and world; all enveloped in the special environment that Aotearoa New Zealand and its peoples have to offer.

Speakers include writers, directors and producers making ground breaking work; activists, founders, executives and researchers from companies and initiatives leading the way in inclusion; top tier US studio and SVOD executives; and leading practitioners from Aotearoa New Zealand.

Joining previously announced speakers that included New Zealand Prime Minister Rt Hon. Jacinda Ardern and writer and director Niki Caro is Tilane Jones Vice President of visionary grass-roots film distribution collective ARRAY (13th, Selma, When They See Us) and actor and advocate Magda Szubanski (Kath&Kim, Babe), who was a driving force in Australia achieving marriage equality.

Jones said, “I am honoured to represent our distribution collaborative, ARRAY at The Power of Inclusion summit. ARRAY has a ten year history of amplifying filmmakers of colour and women on and off the screen, including our recent 23rd film acquisition MERATA by Māori filmmaker Hepi Mita. Joining together with artists and advocates for change in New Zealand is pivotal as we work towards a more inclusive entertainment landscape around the world.”


Szubanski said, “During the Nazi Occupation my Catholic Polish family risked their lives to hide Jewish people. This history has taught me how imperative it is to hold together the social fabric that binds us. New Zealand has become a leading light in the struggle against the forces of hate and fear that threaten to pull our world apart. I totally support the kaupapa of this summit and am thrilled to join my Kiwi cousins in helping to build a world of compassion and connection.”

Osnat Shurer, producer of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award®-nominated feature film MOANA and former head of Pixar Animation Studios’ short film group, joins The Power of Inclusion, as does Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women in Film LA, who was pivotal in the creation of inclusivity and gender equity industry initiative ReFrame.

Shurer said, “On MOANA, I had the honour of collaborating with so many talented Pasifika and Māori actors, composers and educators, many of whom call Aotearoa home, and I am so thrilled to be returning for The Power of Inclusion.”

Newly announced antipodean speakers include cultural commentator and creator Benjamin Law (The Family Law, Waltzing the Dragon with Benjamin Law); filmmakers Kerry Warkia andKiel McNaughton (Waru,Vai); comedian extraordinaire Alice Snedden, and Madeleine Sami who joins her previously announced co-writer, director and actor from The Breaker Upperers, Jackie van Beek.

Other previously announced speakers include MACRO founder & CEO Charles D. King, The Black List founder Franklin Leonard and leading expert on social change in media, Dr. Stacy L. Smith. Along with support from Geena Davis and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

The summit will be hosted by the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI), with support from The Walt Disney Studios. It will take place at Aotea Centre on 3rd and 4th October 2019 in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Full programme and final speakers to be announced. For more information including registration, please go to

About the Author'

is a freelance writer and film critic. He studied at the University of Sydney and graduated with an Arts Honours degree in Film Studies. He is a pop culture aficionado and enjoys talking about all films, 90s TV shows, ninjas and watching Rugby League. His favourite film directors are Alfonso Cuarón, Clint Eastwood and Alexander Payne.

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