Jul 04

Sima Urale


NAME: Sima Urale



PLACE OF BIRTH: Savai’i, Samoa

EDUCATION: Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School graduate. Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne: Bachelor of Arts in Film & Television.


KNOWN FOR: Critically acclaimed Director



2018 – Mana Pasifika Award – Wairoa International Film Festiva

  • Awarded by PIFT (Pacific Islanders In Film & Television) and Wairoa Film Festival

2009 – Director of feature film ‘Apron Strings’.

  • Opening film for 2008 NZ Film Festival, followed by the World Premiere at Toronto International

Film Festival – CANADA. Screenings at numerous international film festivals.

  • Won Best Feature Film at WIFT International Award – LOS ANGELES

New Zealand Qantas Awards 2009:

  • Won Best Actor Award
  • Won Best Actress Award
  • Won Best Cinematography Award
  • Won Production Design Award

2008 – Director of short film ‘Coffee & Allah’.

  • Won Louis Vuitton Best Short Film Award – Hawaii Film Festival, HAWAII
  • Won Dior Style Evocation Award – Vladivostok Film Festival, RUSSIA
  • Won Best Short Film Award – Marin County Festival, USA
  • Won Best Short Film Award – Cinema of Muslim Golden Minbar Film Festival , RUSSIA.

2001 – Writer & Director for short film ‘Still Life’.

  • Won Best Short Film Award (Prix du meilleur court metrage) – Montreal FF, CANADA
  • Won Special Recognition Award – Lorcano Film Festival – SWITZERLAND

Drifting Clouds Film Festival NZ:

  • Won Best Director Award
  • Won Best Screenplay Award
  • Won Best Art Department Award

1999 – Writer & Director of documentary ‘Velvet Dreams’.

  • Won Golden Sheaf Award by Discovery Channel – Yorkton Film Festival – CANADA
  • Made and screened for national television, but also went on to screen at international festivals including Hawaii, Jerusalem, New York, and Canada.

1997 – Director of music video ‘Sub-cranium Feeling’ for King Kapisi.

  • Won Best Music Video – Flying Fish Awards
  • Won Best Music Video – BFM Awards
  • Won Best Music Video – Mai Time TV

1996 – Writer & Director of short film ‘O Tamaiti’.

  • Won Best Short Film Award (Silver Lion) – Venice Film Festival, ITALY.
  • Won Best Short Film Award – Asia-Pacific Film Festival, ASIA-PACIFIC
  • Won Best Short Film Award (Silver Plaque) 32nd Chicago Film Festival, USA.
  • Won Special Recognition Award, Aspen Film Festival, USA.
  • Won Best Short Film Award, Newport Beach Film Festival, USA.
  • Won Best Short Film Award, NZ Film & TV Awards, NZ
  • Won Best Screenplay Award – Flickerfest awarded by ASWG, AUSTRALIA.



  • 2018 – Mana Pasific Award – Wairoa Festival
  • 2015Massey COCA Residency Award
  • 2006 – selected for Mauritz Binger Script Development Program – AMSTERDAM

Working alongside international filmmakers for a stay of six months in Amsterdam.mFunded by NZFC.

  • 2006 – recipient of Innovative Artist Award – PASIFIKA AWARDS
  • 2004 – Awarded NZ On Air 1000 Music Video Celebration. – NZ ON AIR

One of only 2 awards for making a major contribution to the music industry through music videos.

  • 2004 – Inaugural Fulbright Creative NZ Pacific Writer’s Residency – HAWAII

$40,000 Award, 3 month residency at University of Hawaii.

  • 1997 – recipient of McMillan Brown Residency. – CANTERBURY.
  • 1995 – Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards
  • 1993 – Encouragement Student Award $5000 – MELBOURNE

The only award given once a year by Victorian College of the Arts Film & Television School, Melbourne.


A confident public speaker and with a wealth of experience to offer, Sima has been a guest speaker, keynote speaker, and facilitator for numerous talks, seminars, and institutions:

  • Krakow Film Festival – filmmakers panel in Poland
  • Script-to-Screen – guest speaker and workshop
  • Commonwealth Foundation Writers Lab  – guest speaker
  • Planet Indigenous in Canada – present film and guest speaker
  • Playmarket, Script to Screen, WIFT,
  • Readers and Writers Festival, Duffy Books program for schools, to presentation talks with
  • Witi Ihimaera,
  • Hawaii Film Festival – NZ filmmakers panel
  • Hawaii University – seminar talk
  • Kamehameha schools talks in Hawaii
  • Fulbright Alumni guest speaker
  • Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane, and many more…






3 pings

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