Mr Brendan Christopher Donovan

BA/Bcom 15 years industry experience


Brendan came up through graphic design and advertising. He spent 8 years in New York where he started directing commercials, then short films. The festival success of his first short, Here, starring Lee Majors, helped fund two further shorts. Returning to New Zealand in 2002 Brendan became the establishing director on the successful Insiders Guide to Happiness and Insiders Guide to Love series. Winner of two New Zealand directing awards for the Insiders Guide and for tele-feature Aftershock (about the destruction of Wellington by an earthquake). His first feature, as writer/director The Hopes & Dreams of Gazza Snell, set in the Auckland suburb he grew up in, was produced by Robin Scholes (Once Were Warriors, Mr. Pip) and premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2010. It was released in early 2011 and was nominated for four 2011 AFTAs: Outstanding Debut, Best Supporting Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Sound and was Winner of Outstanding Debut for Josh McKenzie. Also in 2011, Brendan wrote and directed a large budget exhibition film that played very successfully to 500,000 people during the Rugby World Cup. Brendan teaches Advanced Drama Direction part-time to Honours and Masters film students, as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland. He currently has 3 feature films and a television drama series in funded development.

Research | Current

  • Film and televison direction and writing

Teaching | Current

COMMS 309 Communication, Writing and Design

SCREEN 712 Advanced Drama Directing


Post Graduate Advisor: Screen

Areas of expertise

Film and televison direction and writing

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Donovan, B. (26/12/2017). Dreamers [Trailer].
  • Donovan, B., & Clark, A. No shame [Short film], Picture Start films.
  • Donovan, B. C. (2017). Working with writers. 13 May - 13 May 2017.
  • Donovan, B., & Samay, J. (17/7/2015). Come Find Me [ campaign] [Television advertising campaign], Sydney, Australia.
  • Donovan, B. C. (2015). In the worst of men, there is a little touch of goodness that will destroy them. Auckland, New Zealand. 20 February - 20 February 2015.
  • Donovan, B. (2013). New Zealand Film. Icelandic Film School, Reykjavik, Iceland. 8 November - 8 November 2012.
  • Donovan, B. C. (1/1/2011). We Do things Differently Here [Exhibition Film], The Cloud: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
  • Donovan, B. C. (1/7/2010). The Hopes & Dreams of Gazza Snell [35mm Film], New Zealand International Film Festival.

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 520
New Zealand