Ursula Grace Williams
Born in Ponsonby, Auckland, director Ursula Grace was immersed in the art of filmmaking from childhood, growing up on set with her mother and sister working as wardrobe designers and her father working intermittently in art departments.
She began her directing career whilst completing postgraduate studies at AUT university, directing and producing her first short film: Wahine Whispers. Shortly after graduating she landed a directing assistant job with Robber's Dog a Film Company working with directors and producers across New Zealand and Australia.
Ursula has gone on to direct, write and produce The King a short documentary film made as a part of her Master's thesis (first class honours). The King won her the audience award at the NZIFF for best short as well as showcasing at the Sydney Film Festival 2016. She was also winner of the Inaugural Bright Sunday Emerging Pasifika Director Award at the 2016 Wāiroa Maori Film Festival for this film.
Living in Muriwai beach, Ursula is a mother of two currently working on a few new projects, which include themes of death, pseudo-communities and alien abductions.
She lists female directors Alma Har'el, Kim Longinotto and Barbara Kopple as some of her role models and influences. If Ursula could be transported into any film, it would be a toss up between Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and Disney’s Inside Out.
Bright Sunday Emerging Pasifika Director Award, Wāiroa Maori Film Festival 2016
Audience Award, NZIFF 2016