" We explore and discuss filmmaking, techniques, politics, art, possibilities, ideas, story-telling and so much more"

- Donna Kavanagh, Manifesto Film Festival - Amsterdam 

"Donna Kavanagh, leads one of the workshop's tutorials on post production. The Waitoki audio engineer has been writing songs since she was 6, and recorded her first album at 12. Now a film composer and producer, Kavanagh says women have much to offer
the industry and it's time for
a change."

- Matthew Cattin, Rodney Times 


I'm Donna Kavanagh, an Auckland based producer, composer and audio engineer.

Production, music, audio and people are my passions and I am particularly enthusiastic about illustrating a project's story and character through the power of sound.


I understand from experience the pressures associated with producing, and I love collaborating in the creative industry.


The creative process can be daunting... allow me to help you achieve your vision.


Donna Kavanagh


Related News

August 30, 2019

Post from the co-founder of The Norwich Radical Film Festival 

JACK BRINDELLI - Manifesto Film Festival, 31st August, 2019

"I might have co-founded the Norwich Radical Film Festival – which I’m proud has grown into the Manifesto Film Festival in Amsterdam – but I am not the right person to explain what has made this festival so special.
For that, you need to speak to one of the people who has benefitted from the experience first-hand, and to my mind, nobody embodies that more than Donna Kavanagh. Returning for what will be her third outing at a NRFF/Manifesto event, Donna has flown half-way around the world from New Zealand to attend screenings of films on which she provided the score.
When I asked her what keeps her coming back, Donna told me, “The NRFF and Manifesto is special to me because of the people; filmmakers from all over the world coming together to connect and share. It feels like we are on the same frequency, like family.”
On her way to this year’s Manifesto Film Festival, Donna also had time to stop off in London to catch up with a host of other alumni, before continuing on to Amsterdam. It would be an understatement to say that her story makes me extremely proud. The idea anyone would come all this way for something I helped kick-start on three occasions is extremely moving, but even more so is the fact those events have helped to craft a kinship between people who would otherwise never have met, and encouraged them to support and collaborate with each other beyond a three-day event.
“We explore and discuss filmmaking, techniques, politics, art, possibilities, ideas, story-telling and so much more,” Donna added. “It is truly a unique experience, a place to be inspired and I just can't get enough. The friendships I have formed at both festivals have led to collaborating internationally.”
Donna is not alone either. Since its inception, Manifesto has seen filmmakers return year on year from every corner of the earth. People from Austria, the UK, Brazil, the US, Kurdistan, and the Netherlands – among many other nations – have all been drawn to the event over the years."

July 14, 2019

Reality Bites Composer Donna's Life Swap


"I was asked to teach a master class on sonic vision while there, and I'm going back to this year's festival to run a discussion panel on the importance of sound and music in cinema"

May 29, 2017

Student Profiles - SAE Auckland

NZ Herald, Tuesday May 30th, 2017

A look behind the studio glass - Donna Kavanagh

Film Industry on the hunt for Audio Engineers"

D-PHOTO MAGAZINE, 16th December, 2016

SAE Bachelor of Audio Engineering student Donna Kavanagh, who has landed her dream job of working as a sound assistant on Shortland Street — all while only in her second year of the degree!"

Kiwi short film bound for UK film festival


Newspaper Interview - Film Festival Opportunity for Waitoki Woman

"An emotional composition has scored a Waitoki woman a film festival opportunity.

Donna Kavanagh will fly to London next week to see her hard work enjoyed at the Norwich Radical Film Festival.

The SAE audio engineering student composed, performed, recorded, engineered and mastered the score for Kiwi short film Jianjie, which was accepted into the international festival."

Sound Barrier Broken


Newspaper Interview

"Audio engineer Donna Kavanagh of Waitoki will host a tutorial at a female-only audio engineering workshop on March 12."

SAE Student's film takes part in UK film festival

It’s always exciting when a Kiwi has their work shown on a global scale, but it’s even more impressive when a Kiwi student is given the opportunity to have their work seen outside of New Zealand borders. And that’s exactly what’s happened for SAE Creative Media Institute Bachelor of Film Arts student Nicole Chen, who has been invited to show her short film Jianjie at the inaugural Norwich Radical Film Festival in the UK.

Special prize for composer

North Shore Times Advertiser, 19 March 1996; p.8

Newspaper Interview

"Young Shore composer Donna Kavanagh achieved second place in the Yamaha Starters and Strategies Composer competition against 1000 contestants nationwide"

Album Success

Prodigy's music booms

North Shore Times Advertiser, 19 January 1996; p.14

Newspaper Interview

"Browns Bay composer-musician, Donna Kavanagh, 13, enjoys success with her first album, Fade Away, having sold 5000 copies."

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