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“One of the best New Zealand films in years”

Thursday 10th June 2004

“One of the best New Zealand films in years” makes its New Zealand premiere at the Auckland and Wellington Film Festivals.

In My Father’s Den an adaptation for film of Maurice Gee’s novel by the same name is making its New Zealand premiere at the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festival in Auckland and Wellington.

Bill Gosden, Film Festival Director, believes it to be the strongest New Zealand dramatic feature since Once Were Warriors and Heavenly Creatures.

“Expect volumes to be written and spoken about the thematic richness and raw power of this film which has been adapted and updated, with considerable freedom and rare intelligence, from Maurice Gee’s 1972 novel. It’s our privilege and our pleasure to roll out the red carpet” says Bill Gosden.

This New Zealand film has also been selected to open the 51st Sydney Film Festival on Friday 11 June, where it will make its world premiere. Sydney festival director, Gayle Lake called In My Father’s Den “one of the best New Zealand films in years.”

The film, features some of New Zealand’s top film talent. New Zealand director Brad McGann wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Maurice Gee. McGann is known for his award winning short film Possum, which gained critical acclaim on the international film festival circuit. Oscar nominee Stuart Dryburgh (The Piano, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Once Were Warriors) is the cinematographer and it is edited by Chris Plummer (Crooked Earth).

Charismatic British actor Matthew Macfadyen heads the ensemble cast and brings cosmopolitan edge to a New Zealand archetype, the man alone. Macfadyen was named in Variety magazine’s annual “ones to watch” list and currently plays the lead role in the BBC’s BAFTA winning drama series “Spooks” currently screening on TV One.

Stars working alongside Macfadyen include Miranda Otto (The Lord Of The Rings), Vicky Haughton (Whale Rider) and newcomer Emily Barclay.


Brad McGann’s gripping psychological mystery is a tragedy, reverberant with New Zealand life. It’s a story about human frailties and strengths. “It’s not so much a whodunit but a whydunit” says the film’s director, Brad McGann.

Paul (Matthew Macfadyen), a prize-winning war journalist, returns to his remote New Zealand hometown on the death of his father, battle-scarred and world-weary. For the discontented sixteen-year-old Celia (Emily Barclay) he opens up a world she has only dreamed of. She actively pursues a friendship with him, fascinated by his cynicism and experience of the world beyond her small-town existence.

But many, including the members of both their families, frown upon the friendship and when Celia goes missing, Paul becomes the increasingly persecuted prime suspect in her disappearance. As the violent and urgent truth gradually emerges, Paul is forced to confront the family tragedy and betrayal that he ran from as a youth, and to face the grievous consequences of silence and secrecy that has surrounded his entire adult life.

Icon Film Distribution has acquired Australian and New Zealand distribution rights for In My Father’s Den and will be distributed in New Zealand by Hoyts Distribution.

In My Father’s Den was funded by the NZFC, NZ On Air as a NZ/UK co-production with finance also coming from the UK Film Council and UK’s Visionview.

In My Father’s Den will screen:

Telecom 36th Auckland International Film Festival Civic Theatre: 18 July, 6.15pm Civic Theatre: 20 July, 11am

Telecom 33rd Wellington Film Festival Embassy Theatre: 24 July, 7pm Embassy Theatre: 27 July, 11am


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