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Ronin Films


Lala Rolls

Lala Rolls is the founding director of the film production company, Island Productions Aotearoa and she has joined with fellow filmmakers, artists and philanthropists to create a media trust, Major Arc, to tell 'real good stories'. She is committed to using the power of the moving image to contribute towards positive social change.

She says, "As a film director I have a strong leaning towards Pacific and Māori stories. Although of Dutch/English origin, I was born and raised in Fiji. The Pacific is very much in my heart. It is my identity. It is where I am from."

She left Fiji for Aotearoa/New Zealand at the age of 17 to complete her last year of secondary school in 1982. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Victoria University of Wellington. She discovered film studies during her last two years at university and went on to take script writing and practical courses in film in New Zealand and the UK.

She made her first short film, Olives, in 1994, during which time she met Jamie Selkirk (editor/co-producer Lord Of The Rings trilogy) and became a trainee assistant editor on Selkirk's next film, Jack Brown Genius and began her professional career.

Her work as an editor, director and producer encompasses TV drama, feature documentary, social/educational resources, short films and music videos. She has been a finalist many times at the New Zealand Screen Awards for editing documentaries and drama, including the ensemble television drama The Insider's Guide To Happiness, and the feature documentary Lovely Rita for Gaylene Preston and TV movie Flight Of The Conchords: A Texan Odyssey for Jess Feast. She also edited the acclaimed feature documentaries The Man In The Hat (2009) and Te Hono Ki Aotearoa (2012) for Jan and Luit Bieringa.

Her editing work includes the feature documentary Celia for director Amanda Millar in 2018. The film sold out at every screening at the NZ International Film Festival and was very well reviewed in its successful nationwide cinema release.

As a director she has had special-mention awards and international success with the feature documentaries Children Of The Migration and Land Of My Ancestors - Darcy Nicholas, Artist. Her short films have screened at multiple festivals worldwide (see filmography below).

In 2018 and 2019 she extended her film work to teaching, taking a position as a teaching fellow at Victoria University, running the documentary production course, Film311. This is while also creating Tupaia's Endeavour.

Links to Lala Rolls' work can be seen here



A first contact story, told from a Pacific point of view. When James Cook, captain of the British ship Endeavour, took his first steps on the un-colonised shores of Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1769, he set in train a violent collision with the Māori occupants...