Claire van Beek





CVB grew up with her four siblings in Banks Peninsula, Christchurch. One of her first jobs was sniffing dog rolls for her father’s petfood company. She describes her childhood as “Raised by wolves mixed with a great education and every pet you can think of.”

After high school, she attended Hagley Theatre Company in Christchurch, then moved to Wellington to train at Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School, and since graduating has worked as an actor, writer, and director in film and theatre. Claire’s focus is now exclusively film. “I feel as if I have found my community with film - surrounded by driven, risky, curious, tenacious fellow collaborators”.

Claire has won the NZ Playwright of the Year award, Interned with Joan Scheckel in Los Angeles (script developer for Whale Rider, In My Father’s Den. No 2.), and has volunteered at the NZIFF for the past 10 years. She is very good at winning “100 words or less” writing competitions - so far she has won five international trips; to Cuba, Turkey, Australia, Central America, and most recently NYC. She has traveled to many other wild and wonderful places, with Madagascar and Latin America being the highlights.

In 2017 Claire travelled to Portland to work with Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) on her latest film ‘Leave No Trace’. This was a career highlight for Claire and she revelled in the opportunity to learn from a strong female filmmaker working in the independent film industry.

Immediately after her return to NZ, she directed her first short film -DANIEL- funded by Fresh Shorts and Produced by Alix Whittaker.

Claire has a strong focus on performance direction and female-centric stories, and has cultivated a distinct visual style to compliment the unsettling nature of her writing.

Claire’s favourite films are Wake in Fright, Bridesmaids, Under the Skin, Cache, Melancholia, The Godfather, Gadjo Dilo, Talk to Her, Birth, and The Wizard of Oz. Favourite NZ films include Rain, The Piano, The Frighteners, and The Lounge Bar.