After leaving school at 16, Tessa applied for a job advertised in a job centre for a set runner in a production company. Two years later she attended the New York Film Academy making her first short film Barbara Ann and Travis. On her return to New Zealand she set up her own production company at aged 22, where she wrote and directed another two short films, The Collector and Group Therapy. Both films screened in competition internationally including Clermont Ferrand and the British Short Film Festival.

Tessa was the youngest director to helm the iconic New Zealand serial drama Shortland Street, Directing over 30 episodes of the multi camera serial drama.

A move to the UK brought opportunities to direct serial drama and children's drama. BAFTA nominated for Series two of Rockets Island and Nominated for Scene of the Year 2018 British Soap Awards .

Self funded short documentary Siete Dias, filmed in Cuba had numerous international screenings and self-funded short film Spinosaurus had an exceptional festival run. Spinosaurus was been bought by HBO and screened on British Airways in flight programme.

Spinosaurus awards include BEST DRAMA at The Smalls International Film Festival, BEST DRAMA at Canada Shorts, BEST DRAMA and BEST PERFORMANCE at The Brooklyn Women's Film Festival in New York, BEST BRITISH DRAMA at Discover Film Awards in London and overall winner of BEST FILM at Blue Cat Short Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Tessa Hoffe also won BEST WOMEN IN FILM at the Bolton International Film Festival 2018. 

Her latest short film 'Majority',  had its World Premiere at Krakow SFF 2020.  One of only 13 films selected for the Oscar, Bafta and European Film Award affiliated festival. And will screen in competition at Palm Springs SFF 2020. Majority will have its UK premiere at The London Film Festival in 2020.

Tessa's feature film 'SALVAGE' is in development with Sixteen Films and BFI with producer Jack Thomas-OBrien.

Tessa's television work includes the Emmy nominated Youth and Consequences and the critically acclaimed Wayne, produced by the writers of Deadpool.  She directed 5 episodes of the teen sport drama Zero Chill for Netflix and recently completed 5 episodes on the crime drama KIN for AMC+. Tessa is currently prepping to direct a new one off three part series for BBC1, shooting at the end of 2021.