Skip to Content
New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels. massey.ac.nz/coronavirus
Costa has been an independent film-maker in New Zealand since the early 1980s. His
short film Stalin’s Sickle won the jury prize at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival in
1988. Forgotten Silver, a mock-documentary co-written & co-directed with Peter
Jackson in 1995 created a national sensation in 1995. It won a special critics prize at the
Venice Film Festival, and has become a cult favourite worldwide.
Costa’s first feature film, Saving Grace (1997), was selected for competition at Valladolid,
Asia-Pacific, and Fantasporto Film Festivals. He documented the making of Peter Jackson’s
epic trilogy Lord of the Rings trilogy from 1999 to 2003 with a matching trio of feature
length documentaries. These were released in a limited edition DVD box set in 2006,
and later included in the definitive blu-ray collection released in 2011.
Costa established his own production company, Lone Pine Film & TV Productions in 2005 to
make independent documentaries. These have included Struggle No More (2006),
a biography of NZ’s greatest unknown band, and Yes That’s Me (2008) about a blues
musician with manic depression.
He photographed, produced and edited the documentary, Lost In Wonderland in
2009, mentoring its young director, Zoe McIntosh. The film premiered at the NZ Film
Festival and won awards for photography and best documentary the following year at
the Qantas NZ Film & TV Awards. Costa wrote and produced another film for Zoe, a
dramatic short called Day Trip in 2010. It was selected to screen at
numerous international festivals including Tribeca, Clermont Ferrand, and Hawaii. It
won the Signis Award at Espression En Corto in Mexico, and best short film at the
Montreal First Peoples Film Festival.
Costa's next documentary feature, Candyman: The David Klein Story, was about the eccentric
American candy genius who invented Jelly Belly jellybeans. It premiered at Slamdance
and Hot Docs in 2010, and won the Director’s Choice best documentary award at the
Rincon Puerto Rico Film Festival.
He followed this with two documentary features: Daytime Tiger, a film about mania; and The
Last Dogs of Winter, about a man fighting to preserve rare Inuit sled dogs from
extinction. The Last Dogs of Winter had its world premiere as an official selection at
the Toronto International Film Festival.
Costa’s most recent project was Act of Kindness, a feature documentary about a young New
Zealander’s experiences in post-Genocide Rwanda. It premiered at the NZ Film Festival in
August, 2015. He also co-wrote and executive produced The World In Your Window, a short
drama directed by Zoe McIntosh. This had its world premiere at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film
Festival in February 2017, where it won the International Student Jury Award.
A longtime independent film maker with experience in short films, TV, and features, latterly specialising in long form documentaries. Interested in the challenges of narrative and connecting emotionally with audiences.
Field of research codes
Film and Television (190204): Film, Television and Digital Media (190200): Film, Television and Digital Media not elsewhere classified (190299): Studies In Creative Arts And Writing (190000)
Scriptwriting, Directing, Producing, Editing, Cinematography, Drama, Documentary filmmaking
139323 Script Writing
154224 Documentary film