Ursula Grace Williams

Born in Ponsonby, Auckland, producer/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.

Ursula went 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 and works for VICE New Zealand. Her most recent documentary Deportees of Tonga: Gangster’s in Paradise, has so far been viewed by over four million people worldwide in the first two weeks of release. The series Zealandia, of which Ursula produced and directed, has been picked up by networks all over the globe and viewed collectively by over ten of people worldwide. This series has been nominated for an array of awards such as: Best News Video, Best Feature Video, Best Editorial Feature and Best Team Video at the New Zealand Voyager Awards 2019.

She lists female directors Alma Har'el, Sofia Coppola and Jane Campion 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, Somewhere, and Leaning Towards Solace.  

Awards

  • Best Team Video Voyager Awards Finalist (2019) - Lost Boys of Taranaki

  • Best Team Video Voyager Awards Finalist (2019) - Syn City

  • Winner of Best Cinematography Voyager Awards 2019) - Lethal Ladies, Alien Weaponry and Lost Boys of Taranaki

  • Bright Sunday Emerging Pasifika Director Award, Wāiroa Maori Film Festival (2016) - The King

  • NZCS Bronze for Cinematography (2017) - Aupito the High Chief

  • Audience Award, NZIFF (2016) - The King