Katalyst is an ethically conscious content creator and we focus on making branded content and promoting brands and organisations that are also ethically conscious and sustainable. We use our vast experience making award-winning, impactful and viral films to help promote ethically & environmentally conscious brands and campaigns – whether they're ngos and charities campaigning for climate action or social justice, or brands who have sustainability and equality at the heart of their ethos.
We’re here to help advocate for change by communicating positive solutions designed to combat the climate emergency – especially focussing on our moana – our oceans, on our wildlife, on bio-diversity and on the whenua – the land along with the forests and the trees. And yes, we’ll also communicate how and why this change is so urgent. That doesn't mean we can't travel - we love to travel, but it's about how we do that in a sustainable and eco-conscious way, so that we have less impact on carbon emissions globally.
We communicate these urgent issues for brands and organisations to raise awareness and advocate for change, by using our well-honed documentary story-telling skills gained from our background making Emmy-award winning social justice, human rights and human interest films and documentaries.
At the heart of every story is an engaging, relatable character and most of our digital content is character led. Sharron Ward also has a background working with some of the world’s biggest advertising agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, M&C Saatchi, McCann Erikson & Colenso directing and art directing visually compelling television commercials & pop promos originally shot on 35mm and 16mm as well as producing and directing campaign films and programme trailers for international broadcasters since the early 1990s.
We can devise concepts, write, pitch, shoot, direct, edit and produce high-quality digital content from conception to delivery. Many of our short films are translated into print content for major global publications such as the BBC. We’re a one-stop shop for all your communication needs.
Feel free to contact us for details on how you can commission us to make cost-effective, inspiring and impactful films that communicate the message or kaupapa of your organisation and reach the audiences that you need.
Stop HS2: Meet the Tree Protectors is a series of campaign films profiling the committed environmental activists who are trying to stop HS2 - the high speed railway line in the UK. It's a project that in it's 120 year lifetime won't ever be carbon neutral and has to date decimated over 116 hectares of trees - including around 108 ancient woodlands. The campaign comprised of one master film and several short films profiling each Tree Protector who explain what motivates them to put their lives and liberty on the line to stop the largest deforestation project in the UK since World War I. Filmed, directed and edited by Sharron Ward in the summer of 2020 at Denham Country Park, West London. You can watch all the films in the series on the project page and you can read about director Sharron Ward's experience filming the Tree Protectors on the Katalyst Blog.
BBC Travel Show: NZ's Sacred Rainforest Deep in the heart of Tūhoe country lies the sacred rainforest of Te Urewera, now back in the hands of the Māori tribe the Tūhoe who are practising the cultural act of kaitiakitanga - "guardianship.” We learn how this Māori iwi, led here by Te Urewera Treks guide Hinewai McManus cares and protects the land, the trees and the rivers by seeing it as a living breathing entity that they do not "own" but rather are the kaitiaki of - the guardians of. A short film directed, produced & filmed by Sharron Ward/Katalyst Productions for the BBC Travel Show, September 2021. Check out more about the film on the project page.
“We needed a short promotional film to showcase the work of KIM and highlight the problem with the stigmatisation of mental illness. We have used the film on many occasions and it’s been a really great way to get our message across visually. Sharron managed to sensitively film our work and produce a film that we’re really pleased with.”
“The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots has been pleased to co-operate with Katalyst on a series of short films for our YouTube channel. Katalyst provides high-quality filming and editing services at a very reasonable cost for non-profit organizations. These films have allowed the public to see the people behind the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots and understand the many concerns association with the prospect of so-called lethal autonomous weapons systems.”
"The crew were extremely respectful of our work and the need to put the welfare of the birds first. They shot some incredibe footage which in turn helped the public understand the plight of the Hoiho and how we, at Penguin Place, aim to protect them."
"Getting this kind of exposure in an international, trusted brand was immensely valuable to my company Viva Expeditions. It was great to see the video cut down feature also on BBC Travel’s twitter & Instagram pages and feature on the BBC News feed!"
"To get exposure of this kind on the BBC Travel website with an article about our work has been enormously beneficial. Sharron was really good in working within our strict parameters and respected all our requirements regarding filming in the hospital around our very rare and precious patients."
BBC Travel Show: Saving NZ's Wildlife Aotearoa has a number of native species currently under threat - from forest birds like the Kea, the iconic Kiwi, the Kākāpō & the Takahē. Dunedin in the South Island, is hailed as the wildlife capital of NZ because it’s here that you can see so much wildlife from sea lions, humpback whales, fur seals & hector dolphins. But it’s the Yellow Eyed Penguin – in Māori – the “Hoi ho” - considered one of the world’s rarest penguins, that is especially endangered.
The Otago Peninsula is one of the only places in the world where they are found. This short film directed & produced by Sharron Ward for the BBC Travel Show focusses on the efforts of the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital & the conservation work of Penguin Place to help save these amazing creatures.
BBC Travel Show: The Aurora Chasers We went on a unique journey for the BBC Travel Show in an Air New Zealand Dreamliner across the Southern Ocean heading towards Antarctica to "chase the Aurora Australis" - the Southern Lights, one of the world's most unique and spectacular light shows.
The chartered flights pioneered by Astrophysicist Dr. Ian Griffin & Viva Expeditions' Rachel Williams offer a once in a lifetime "bucket list" trip as the plane literally banks and "chases" the Aurora across the night sky in a 10 hour journey from Christchurch, New Zealand and back again. A New Zealand must do. Filmed, Directed & produced by Sharron Ward for Katalyst Productions.
Untold Stories - Kindness in Mind We made a film in the UK for The Media Trust’s Untold Stories Strand - "Kindness in Mind." KIM is a women’s mental health charity - Kim Inspire. Many thanks to the folk at KIM & the wonderful women who shared their personal stories in the film.
Produced, Directed & Edited by Sharron Ward, Filmed by Ewan Mulligan and Online Edited by Nigel Taylor. Broadcaster: Community Channel, June 2012. Filmed on Canon 7D, Dur. 5 mins.
Joy in the Jungle: The Good Chance Theatre A short promotional film profiling the work of The Good Chance Theatre which provided respite to refugees and migrants in “The Jungle” in Calais in 2015. Featuring interviews profiling the two British playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson who founded the Theatre. We also meet the migrants and refugees in “The Jungle” and hear why they fled their home countries and why they’re even prepared to die in their attempts to get to the UK.
Filmed, directed, produced & edited by Sharron Ward, Katalyst Productions, 2015.
Stop Killer Robots at the United Nations Katalyst was back at the UN in Geneva to document the tireless work of the Stop Killer Robots team headed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams, as they lobbied UN diplomats during the Convention on Conventional Weapons and Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (CCWLAWS) in April 2015. You can read more about the film on the project page.
Prior to this, Katalyst was commissioned to produce and film a series of films for the global launch of the Stop Killer Robots campaign – spearheaded by Human Rights Watch & Article 36 in London. Please check out the films and see why a ban to stop autonomous weapons from killing people is a humanitarian necessity. Directed, filmed & edited by Sharron Ward.
Katalyst has experience filming with UN diplomats, ambassadors and high-level negotiators, including interviewing the Director-General of the UN in Geneva.
If you would like to have a film to launch your campaign – don't hesitate to get in touch.
Vday - One Billion Rising Katalyst was commissioned by Eve Ensler’s organisation Vday, which was set up to combat violence against women, to celebrate the launch of the One Billion Rising Campaign in London in February 2013. Supporters during the evening included Anoushka Shankar, Thandie Newton, Eve Ensler, and many performance acts including Students from East 15 Acting School performing “Break the Chain.” You can read more about the campaign on the project page.
We were also commissioned by the UNFPA (the United Nations Fund for Population Activities) to make two films in Lebanon and Jordan to highlight the reproductive health and pregnancy of Syrian refugee women, as well as documenting the strength and resilience of lone Syrian refugee women forced to flee Syria.
The first film called “Far from Fear” documents the stories of Mona, Sara and Samar – 3 incredible Syrian women who each overcame their own personal suffering – from fleeing domestic abuse; grieving for their husband who was killed in Assad’s prisons; and struggling to feed and house their children in a foreign country. You can read more about this film on it's project page.
The second film called “Broken Dreams; Healing Hopes” documents the pressures Syrian refugee women face in marrying too early, and the difficulties in accessing reproductive health care as a refugee. The film also showed a rare interview of a Syrian male perpertrator of domestic violence, owning up to the difficulties and pressures Syrian refugee men face. The film also documents the incredible work of the UNFPA maternity unit in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The films were officially selected for the Women Deliver Global Conference in 2016, which champions girls and women on a global stage. To see more about the film you can check the project page.
Sharron Ward was also commissioned to photograph Syrian refugee women and men for the UNFPA State of Population Report 2015.
Some of our earlier films and commercials include:
Morrison Hotel clothing television commercial, 30 secs, 16 mm, 1997. Katalyst was commissioned to produce a series of TV commercials designed exclusively for cinemas showcasing the New Zealand clothing label Morrison Hotel. Directed, produced and conceived by Sharron Ward.
One of our first ever PSA’s (public service announcements) was made in New Zealand for World AIDS Day in 1997. It was directed by Sharron Ward & produced by Leanne Saunders (who is now Head of Development & Production at the NZ Film Commision). It was awarded the New Zealand AIDS Foundation Media Award.
Sharron Ward has also produced branding campaigns for the MTV Social arm of MTV Networks Europe.