Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Mark Burton Speech: Women in Film

Mark Burton Speech: Women in Film

Good evening and greetings. It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to this New Zealand Trade and Enterprise reception honouring the three New Zealand filmmakers being featured in the BFI London Film Festival.

Film is one of the world’s most powerful storytelling tools, transcending cultural, language and political boundaries.

Obviously, successful films can also have valuable economic spin-offs. As New Zealand's Minister of Tourism, I have seen the very real impact that film has had on our country over the past few years. In fact, it would be difficult to overstate the value that film has added to our tourism sector.

Just as it has in tourism, this government continues to take an active role in supporting and promoting New Zealand's creative industries. We are seeing the value of working together, in industry clusters bringing companies together, and in government-industry strategic partnerships for economic development. Film is one of the most promising areas in which we can move to build new partnerships, as well as strengthen those partnerships which already exist.

Our government has set out a vision for New Zealand as a great place to live, learn, work, and do business; a birthplace of world-changing people and ideas; a place where people invest in the future; and a land where diversity is valued and reflected in our national identity. Our New Zealand filmmakers are the embodiment of this vision, and their successes, both at home and internationally, prove that “creative capital” is not just a smart marketing slogan.

But, beyond the obvious economic benefits such as the effects of raising our tourism profile internationally, New Zealand is also seeing the effect that quality film making can have in communicating our stories to the world.

Tonight, we are pleased to be joined here by a diverse range of representatives of the UK film industry – from filmmakers to distributors – including some of your most distinguished members.

There are many members of WIFT (Women in Film & Television) here this evening. I am especially pleased to have the chance to speak to and meet with you, as it has been women filmmakers who have been the creative force behind many of New Zealand’s recent successes.

While it is Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy which has highlighted creative and innovative New Zealand filmmaking to the world in a most spectacular way,
one of the earliest films to capture international attention for New Zealand was The Piano, directed by Jane Campion.

The Piano portrayed a uniquely New Zealand story and made use of our naturally beautiful and rugged coastline. Gaining both financial and critical success, The Piano was acclaimed at film festivals around the world (most notably, Cannes where it won the top prize, the Palme D’or), and went on to Oscar success, a New Zealand first.

Our most recent landmark film has been Whale Rider from director Niki Caro. The international success—again, both financial and critical—of this film has been truly amazing. I was delighted to see that recently, it was named number 7 in the New York Post readers’ list of their favourite films of all time. This is an incredible achievement for a film with a modest budget, which tells a story of a small Maori community in a country that, ten years ago, many in America had not even heard of.

I am also delighted that Icon has had such success with the film here in Britain. Whale Rider is a good example of the New Zealand government’s commitment to its partnership with the creative sector, in this case, through the New Zealand Film Production Fund and New Zealand Film Commission.

While Whale Rider is our latest success story, a new wave of New Zealand films is on the horizon, and women filmmakers are again providing the driving force.

This year's London Film Festival has celebrated NZ filmmakers in their selection – honouring NZ women film makers specifically. For the first time ever, New Zealand films will be the opening and closing attractions at this event.

The opening film was of course Jane Campion's acclaimed new work, In the Cut. The closing gala features Sylvia, based on the life of Sylvia Plath and directed by Christine Jeffs, who gained international recognition for her film, Rain.

The programme also features a stunning new film shot entirely on the remote west coast of the South Island - Gaylene Preston's Perfect Strangers. It’s a particular pleasure for me to welcome Gaylene here tonight, along with the star of her film, Rachael Blake.

I look forward to seeing these movies, and to the next New Zealand films to make their mark internationally.

So, congratulations to the London Film Festival—I’m certainly pleased and proud to join you in this celebration of the craft and creativity of New Zealand filmmakers.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news