Zia Mandviwalla creates beautifully observed, insightful films that delve deep into the worlds of her characters.
Stylistically versatile, her commercial work ranges from lyrical visual storytelling to gentle understated comedy. Her approach shows an appetite for colourful life experiences: from spending a week on the open seas on New Zealand’s largest war frigate shooting a campaign for the NZ Navy, to the sensitive lensing of a real birth for Genoa IVF in Sydney, to working alongside a breast cancer survivor to develop an animation for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Society. She has directed commercials for Sky TV, Vodafone, Tower Insurance, KFC and ASB Bank.
Night Shift, Zia’s most recent short film, premiered at the Festival de Cannes in 2012, before screening in competition at Sundance, Melbourne, Sydney and The New York Film Festival. The film has screened extensively around the USA, at Palm Springs, Cinequest, Santa Barbara and the Hawaii International Film Festivals. Night Shift took home several awards at the Show Me Shorts Film Festival in Auckland, the Youth Jury Prize at the Aspen Shortsfest and the Firebird Award for Best Short Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The film also featured as part of Tirohia Mai, a landmark exhibition about the social history of women in New Zealand at the National Library in Wellington in 2013.
Zia’s previous short films also received international acclaim screening at festivals all over the world. She has represented New Zealand at the Berlinale Talent Campus and at Melbourne’s prestigious Accelerator program. She has received a host of awards for her writing and directing, and in 2009 Zia was named The New Zealand Screen Production & Development Association’s New Filmmaker of the Year.