Te Aitanga-ā-Hauiti, Ngāti Porou
Desray Armstrong is an independent producer with a diverse slate of credits. From 2007-2011, Desray and producer/director Chelsea Winstanley ran production company 'StanStrong' with a focus on creating compelling, conscious and informative content with a Māori worldview. Since then, Desray has built up a mass of physical production experience, predominantly in feature film.
Credits include Reunion, Mulan, Mortal Engines, A Wrinkle in Time, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Rehearsal, The Light Between Oceans, Z for Zachariah, Slow West and What We Do In The Shadows.
She has produced award-winning short films including Meathead by Sam Holst (Cannes Film Festival 2011, Berlin Film Festival 2012 Crystal Bear Winner), Ellen is Leaving (SXSW Film Festival 2013 Best Narrative Short Winner), and Bats (NZIFF & Melbourne 2018) by Michelle Savill, Snowmen by Jonathan Brough (Show Me Shorts 2014) and recently completed Jessica Sanderson’s Ways To See. She has produced visually rich music videos for Aaradhna, Shapeshifter, and Tama Waipara directed by Jessica Sanderson and two seasons of Mike Minogue’s comedy web series The Watercooler released on NZME’s platform Watch Me.
In 2018 she released two passion projects; Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi and Paul Yates’ hit mockumentary television series Wellington Paranormal and Dustin Feneley’s debut feature film Stray. Her first feature film as lead producer, Stray had its world premiere at Moscow International Film Festival in April 2018 where it was awarded Best Actor. It subsequently went on to have a successful domestic theatrical run, screening for 10 weeks in over 40 cinemas around the country.
Recipient of the 2016 WIFT Woman to Watch, 2018 SPADA Independent Producer of the Year and the 2019 Te Kai Ngakahi Melissa Wikaire Award, Desray has served on the boards of industry guilds Ngā Aho Whakaari (Māori in Screen Production) and Women in Film & Television and is active in creating pathways for more women and Māori to step into key creative roles with the feature film landscape.
FOUNDER & PRODUCER