The NZ Games Festival board of directors select and lead the committee each year. As the beloved parents of NZGF, they are responsible for critical festival decisions and overseeing production.

claire barilla

conference director

By day Claire is the Producer at Studio Mayday in Wellington. By night she watches vine compilations, dreams of owning a house just so she can get a dog, and sometimes somewhere in between that she manages the Play by Play Conference and NZ Games Festival. A zealous planner and organizer Claire is returning to the NZ Games Festival board and Play by Play for her second year! She has been listed as one of InGames 30 under 30’s in 2019 and Women in Games in 2018. A regular advocate for diversity and inclusivity, Claire and the developer events organizers strive towards creating fun and welcoming spaces for all developers. <3

alex woodward

festival events director

Returning to the NZGF Committee for a second year, Alex has stepped out of his previous social media role to take on direction of partner and satellite events for the 2020 Festival. Alex works by day as a freelance games writer (you may know him from Starcolt’s Best Friend Forever) and marketing content creator, then by night feeds his ever-growing dice collection and occasionally actually rolls one of them.

navi brouwer

committee director

This is Navi’s 5th year as a part of the NZ Games Festival/Play by Play crew and she’s delighted to be a part of the fun once again. She has also had the pleasure of organising Global Game Jam Wellington, KiwiJam, and Kiwi Game Starter and is helping with Game Developers of Wellington. Navi began this wild ride after leaving Vancouver, Canada and starting as a QA Tester at PikPok. She jumped next to Dinosaur Polo Club as a Producer and is now a Project Manager with Weta Digital. She’d like to give a thankful shout-out to her supportive family, James and Mochi.

jess woodward

creative director

Having been involved with the festival since 2017, this year Jess has taken the wheel as Creative Director. With 7 years of advertising experience as a creative, designer, mac op and team leader, Jess is no stranger to this line of work. A strong believer in marrying creativity with context, past attendees may remember her for her 2017 Play by Play presentation “Type Talks: What your game’s branding is saying for you”.

Some of her proudest gaming achievements include showing up two hours late to a date with her now-husband because she was too engrossed in Virtue’s Last Reward, and winning a PS4 on launch by professing her undying love for Final Fantasy IX.

In her spare time, Jess plays mum to two cats, mains a cleric and a tinkerer in two seperate DnD campaigns with her brother Alex, and sings like everyone’s listening.

chantelle cole

treasury director

Chantelle is the Studio and Business Manager at Dinosaur Polo Club, the Wellington-based indie studio behind the successful, award-winning subway game, Mini Metro.

Previously working in the music industry, Chantelle is no stranger to events. She genuinely loves connecting with people to build strong, rewarding relationships, and was responsible for managing sponsor relationships and coordinating nationwide events as the Partnerships Executive of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. 

With a background in graphic design, Chantelle has also had one of her designs collected by the museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, as a piece of national significance. She is known by most for her pet Flemish Giant rabbit, Lilou, and her extensive tea collection.