(Left to right): Mike Jonathan, Richard Curtis, Hohepa Tuahine, Kristin Ross, Lara Northcroft, Tim Worrall, Cian White, Piripi Curtis, Tihini Grant. Absent: Cliff Curtis, Nicola Smith, Chey Milne.

Steambox Films is an informal collective of Maori screen professionals based in Rotorua who are passionate about making narrative films.


The core members of Steambox are: Lara Northcroft (Producer, Tūhourangi, Tuwharetoa, Tainui); Piripi Curtis (Producer, Ngati Rongomai, Ngati Pikiao); Tihini Grant (Writer/Director, Ngati Pikiao); Richard Curtis (Writer/Director/DOP, Ngati Rongomai, Ngati Pikiao); Mike Jonathan (Writer/Director/DOP, Te Arawa, Ngati Awa, Tainui); Tim Worrall (Writer/Director, Ngai Tuhoe, Te Arawa); Nicola Smith (Producer, Ngati Kahungunu) and Cliff Curtis (Producer, Ngati Rongomai, Ngati Pikiao).

The group has been getting together for around six years to workshop different aspects of film-making and to support the development of each other’s projects. The preparation work done over this time bore fruit in 2014/15 with Piripi Curtis and Lara Northcroft producing a collection of short films: Elevation (written and directed by Tihini Grant); Ow What (written and directed by Mike Jonathan); and Tits on a Bull (written and directed by Tim Worrall). Steambox Films member Richard Curtis also wrote and directed his short film Ahi Kā, which was produced by Jillian White and executive produced by Cliff Curtis.

Crucial to the success of the group has been the wider Steambox whanau of talented Māori crew (mainly based in Rotorua) who have given selflessly of their time and energy to make these films happen. Steambox Films is also very grateful to have received support from a number of local organisations and businesses. 

There are a number of future film projects in development from the core Steambox members as well as from the wider pool of talent, including more short films, television dramas and feature length projects.