Soldiers Without Guns to screen in parliament this week
International award winning, independent filmmaker Will Watson will screen his documentary SOLDIERS WITHOUT GUNS in parliament this Wednesday, September 25th. It tells about modern history’s most successful peacekeeping mission - led by New Zealand.
SOLDIERS WITHOUT GUNS narrated by Lucy Lawless, came from humble beginnings. It took Watson 13 years to complete the self-funded film.
“It’s an honour to screen my film in parliament. It’s not every day an independent filmmaker gets an opportunity like this. I’m very grateful to the Defence Minister, Hon. Ron Mark for his support of the film".
“Creating the documentary was a huge challenge and journey for me and even included a one armed hold up and a bankruptcy”.
Des Ratima, Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and Brigadier Roger Mortlock, who led the peace keeping campaign into Bougainville, will both join Watson in Wellington for the event.
For those who don’t know the story, 20 years ago - the New Zealand Defence Force ended a 10 year civil war in Bougainville by leading a radical new ‘unarmed’ peacekeeping mission. All 14 previous peace attempts had failed. Their point of difference? Instead of taking guns, they took guitars.
Nationally, the film is currently the highest rated New Zealand film ever made, according to IMBb the world’s largest film database. It boasts a score of 9.5/10.
It was first premiered to over 2000 people at Auckland’s Civic Theatre in April this year, to rave reviews and continues it’s humble yet powerful journey. Watson and his partner Chante’ work together to release, market and distribute the film.
Since the release in April 2019, Watson has won 5 international awards including:
Best Documentary - Hollywood Film
Best Director - Queen Palm International Film Festival, California
Best Documentary - Out of the Can International Film Festival
Runner Up - Best Documentary LA Edge Film Awards
The film has also been in the official selection for 8 other international festivals this year.
Ted X speaker Watson, is an advocate and spokesperson for conflict resolution. He believes his film and extensive archive collective could be used as an educational resource in schools and throughout the Defence Forces. “There is a better way to resolve things rather than using violence”.
“The independent release has been a real challenge, but we’re pretty proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. We want to see it in schools”.
Soldiers Without Guns has played in selected independent cinemas throughout the country. “We couldn’t afford a mainstream cinema release. Finally we have created a way to share the film with more New Zealanders. We offer an opportunity for non-profit organisations to gain a license to screen the film as a fundraiser, which is exciting and from October 1st, it will also be available for New Zealanders to watch online or on DVD from our upgraded website www.soldierswithoutguns.com
“Made me prouder to live in New Zealand than any other film. Go see it”. - Graeme Tuckett - The Herald.
“A Gem” - Dan Slevin - Radio NZ
“A truly incredible story”. - Flicks.
“An engrossing and fascinating film”. - The Herald