WOMEN IN FILM Courage of Cousins
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|May 17, 2021
IT’S TAKEN AN EPIC EFFORT TO BRING THE TALE TO CINEMAS
Nicola Russell

It’s no secret there’s been a long, hard battle in Hollywood for women to get the recognition and roles they deserve – and here in Aotearoa women in film have been fighting a similar battle.

Two New Zealanders at the forefront of that movement are co-producers Ainsley Gardiner, 47, and Georgina Conder, 42 – and this year they, too, have scored a major win for women with the release of their film Cousins.

As they chat to the Weekly, there’s a refreshing familiarity and humour between the pair. They’re like family – a fact confirmed when Ainsley mentions her eldest daughter is currently staying with Georgina. “She behaves better with George,” she says with a laugh.

“Eyes are looking good,” Georgina quips back at Ainsley, who recently had her lashes done.

The pair met more than two decades ago and went on to work with Taika Waititi before deciding in 2015 to form their own production company, Miss Conception Films.

“We’re both mums. I’ve got three kids and George has three,” says Ainsley. “The film industry is not conducive to having children, but that’s something we actively work against. We create different ways of working that suit us.

That means fostering an environment where parents on the team are looked after. Sometimes, they can job share. Other times, crew members’ kids are included in the movies, so the children can be on set.

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