Louise Leitch – Director
In the competitive short film environment, the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) have supported Louise to direct three films including WHAKATIKI, which premiered in competition at Tribeca in 2012 and screened at over 25 international festivals. WHAKATIKI won Best Short Film at First Peoples’ Festival Montreal, Best Actress in a Short Film at NZ Film Awards (where it was also nominated for Best Short Film and Best Actor in a Short Film) and Best Actress in a Short Film at Wairoa Film Festival. It has screened on Maori Television, Rialto, Lightbox and Shorts International. Critics called it “beautiful, beguiling and evocative.” “A charming short with a warm heart”.
On working with Louise on Premiere Short DANCERS (Jury Prize Woods Hole Film Festival) actor Sophie Henderson (FANTAIL) states: “Louise is a thoughtful and collaborative director with a deep appreciation for the actor/director relationship. She has sharp instincts for character. I trust her taste and ideas implicitly.”
The NZFC have provided development funding for two feature films to be directed by Louise including MOUNTAIN (producer Alex Clark, writer Gregory King).
Supporting her film credentials, Louise has directed close to 200 episodes of Australian television drama including top-rating HOME & AWAY (who also engaged Louise to mentor and train directors) and two series of Screentime production, BREAKERS (lead director Series 2).
Louise has studied with Drama Coach Miranda Harcourt (LION), undertook a five week attachment with Dramaturg Nico Lathouris (MAD MAX FURY RD, WILDSIDE, HEARTBREAK HIGH) and attended five workshops with Robert Bella, Atlantic Theatre Company, NY.
In 2015 Louise was awarded a five-week paid directing attachment (by competitive selection process) on international series, ASH VERSUS EVIL DEAD (lead director, Sam Raimi, SPIDERMAN) to expand her skills and knowledge of large-scale stunts, SFX and VFX.
In 2016 Louise wrote, produced and directed Loading Docs film, SAME BUT DIFFERENT (RNZ Top Pick). In 2018 Louise directed prime-time docu-drama series FORENSICS.
Louise grew up in Australia and graduated from Canberra University with a BA Communication and Media. She began her career directing award-winning films for blue-chip clients including Qantas, Westpac Bank, the Australian Government, Salvation Army, Cancer Council and Coca-Cola Amatil.
Louise is Vice President of Directors and Editors Guild NZ and is currently participating in ongoing intimacy coordination training with UK based Intimacy Coordinator, Ita O’Brien.