Producer / Writer / Director
Hern recently co-created and co-directed the critically acclaimed series, The Panthers; which premiered at TIFF 2021 and was a nominee for Best Limited Series at the 2022 Banff Rockie Awards.
Hern has produced six feature films and has another, Joika (starring Talia Ryder and Diane Kruger) in post. After starting out as an actor in numerous series as a teenager; Hern broke onto the international scene as a creative producer with The Dark Horse; a gritty-based-on-a-true-story-drama, directed by his friend, James Napier Robertson. The film launched at TIFF in 2014 to glowing reviews and sales to all major territories around the world, eventually garnering Oscar-buzz around Cliff Curtis's transformative performance. The film won a number of awards at top-tier film festivals (including Audience Award-wins at the Rotterdam, San Francisco, Seattle, and Palm Springs International Film Festivals) and was a Box Office smash in its home territory.
Later Hern produced the high-octane action-comedy, Guns Akimbo (starring Samara Weaving and Daniel Radcliffe) which launched at the TIFF in 2019, and the madly-gripping action-horror, Shadow in the Cloud (starring Chloë Grace Moretz and directed by Roseanne Liang), which won the TIFF Midnight Madness Award in 2020.
Hern sat on the International Jury for the Berlin International Film Festival (Generation Section) in 2015 and won the pitching prize at the MIFF 37 Degrees South market in Melbourne in 2016. Hern also won the Moa-award for "Best Film" at the 2014 New Zealand Film Awards for The Dark Horse (that same nominee, he was a dual nominee, also getting a nod for Everything We Loved). In 2022, Tom won a Pacific Music Award for Best Music Video director. Hern is represented by Kaplan Perrone Entertainment.
Producer / Writer / Showrunner
A proud Tongan, born and raised in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Halaifonua Finau, or Nua as he's more commonly known, is at the forefront of bringing Polynesian stories to our screens.
He studied at Whitireia Performing Arts as a dancer but made his name in the industry as an actor and presenter. In recent years he's taken his love of performance and shifted his focus behind the camera.
Nua brings storytelling with Tongan swag to the kava bowl of creativity. He is a writer and producer, with a mission to take his little corner of the Pacific to the world. He cut his teeth in children's television as a producer on 'Small Blacks TV', and honed his skills and vibe in series two of the much-loved Polynesian series 'Baby Mama's Club'. In 2019, Nua was co-writer and associate producer on 'Jonah', the tele-feature drama series on Tongan and All Blacks rugby legend, Jonah Lomu.
In 2021, Nua teamed up with Four Knights maestro, Tom Hern (The Dark Horse, Guns Akimbo, Shadow in the cloud) and created their production company Tavake, their first drama series 'The Panthers' in which he wrote, created and executive produced alongside Hern was the first New Zealand TV series to premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. His first feature film, a semi-autobiographical family comedy 'Red, White & Brass' in which he is a writer and producer alongside Morgan Waru (Baby Done) and Georgina Conder (Cousins, The Breaker Upperers) and executive produced by Taika Waititi and Carthew Neal's Piki Films is due for release in 2023. Finau is represented by Kaplan Perrone Entertainment.
Production Co-ordinator / Actress
Born and raised in Hawkes Bay, Lani moved to Auckland for university where she received the Vice Chancellor’s Significant Student Scholarship to attend Auckland University of Technology, graduating in 2019 with a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Television and Screen Production and minoring in Journalism.
With a strong passion for storytelling and serving her Pacific people, Lani directed, wrote, edited and shot her first documentary, 46 Years Later, during her final year of university. Her documentary based on a Grandmother and Grandson’s experience as a Pacific person living in New Zealand, won Best Documentary in Direct Monthly’s Online Film Festival and is currently a finalist in the Changing Face International Film Festival and the Pasifika Film Festival 2020.
Shortly after graduating, Lani crossed paths with Crystal Vaega and joined the TUKU team as a production assistant, growing the social media platform, editing content and recruiting as well as managing talent.
Lani now works full time across Four Knights Film’s entire slate with TV series, Panthers, being her first project with the crew.