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

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election