We are extremely proud of and grateful to our wonderful Patrons, who are some of the most respected leaders and practitioners in the New Zealand arts community. They were a great source of advice and inspiration for us at our inaugural festival in 2015 and we couldn’t be happier that they are with us again this year.

Penny Hulse

Deputy Mayor of Auckland City

Sam Neill

Actor and Wine Maker

Clare de Lore, Lady McKinnon

Honorary Consul, Republic of Rwanda

Wanjiku Kiarie Sanderson

Kenyan – New Zealand playwright, actor

Professor Michael Neill

Shakespearean scholar and actor

Dame Jenny Gibbs

New Zealand arts patron

Professor Annie Goldson

University of Auckland, documentary film maker

Oscar Vaito’elau Kightley

MNZM, New Zealand actor and playwright

Witi Ihimaera


Joe Moodabe

ONZM, Former Executive Chairman of SKYCITY Cinemas

Ian Mune

NZ actor and director

Gregory Fortuin

Gregory Fortuin has a passionate desire to make a difference by fighting social injustices, and this has led him to leadership roles in race relations and community issues. Gregory Fortuin grew up in South Africa at a time of apartheid. He grew up in a designated coloured area and went to a designated coloured school etc. Gregory says he was exposed to apartheid in all its ugliness and degradation. Later he worked for an international insurance company in Cape Town and transferred to an insurance company in Australia and then to New Zealand as a managing director.

Gregory is a past director on the boards of New Zealand Post, Kiwibank, ACC , Catalyst Risk Management (Chair), Enterprise NZ, Transpower, NZ Radio Training School, State Housing Appeals Authority and Meeting Chair of the Crown Forest Rental Trust.

Celia Wade-Brown

Celia is delighted to be a patron of the African Film Festival. She supports inclusive diversity with all its advantages. Celia worked in Ghana, West Africa, as a school laboratory assistant and has travelled widely on the African continent. Celia was Wellington’s Mayor from 2010 to 2016 and introduced the capital’s first Africa Day celebrations including drumming and dancing in the Council Chamber.