‘This Is New Zealand’ Re-released To Local Cinema
The ground breaking, iconic and classic film ‘This is New Zealand’ is being released to community cinemas throughout New Zealand for the first time in fifty years.
The film, originally screening at the World Fair Expo ’70 at Osaka in Japan from the beginning of 1970 to over 1,500,000 people, was produced as a result of Britain preparing to join the European Common Market in the 1970’s.
New Zealand suddenly had to start promoting itself to the world, and the star attraction at that event was the revolutionary 20-minute film 'This is New Zealand’, and no-one could have predicted how this would become a watershed moment in New Zealand's film-making history.
The film was made by the National Film Unit, and introduced visitors at the New Zealand pavilion to a glorious three-screen presentation with highly inventive camera work and editing, showing everyone where we are, who we are, and what a spectacularly beautiful land we live in.
'This is New Zealand’ weaved together a tapestry of cinematic mastery daring to stretch the boundaries of technical restraints, providing visual effects with an incredible sound track, not thought possible in the era in which it was produced and described by Sir Peter Jackson as ”A genuinely creative piece of filmmaking”.
It was such a huge hit and landmark for New Zealand cinema, that following the Expo it was brought back and screened in the four main centres of New Zealand, being viewed by a further 350,000 people.
After being held in storage by Archives New Zealand, in 2006 ‘This is New Zealand’ was given a stunning digital restoration by Park Road Post, making it look and sound better than it ever did before, winning a Bronze World Medal at the 2007 New York Festivals.
The film along with a documentary detailing its production is gradually being rolled out, following a premiere at the beginning of July this year in the Roxy Cinema at Miramar, just a few hundred metres from where it was made.
The film is still drawing an enormous amount of praise with Carole Sweney commenting after its first public screening in the Shoreline Cinema at Waikanae;
“It’s been such a pleasure to catch up with this documentary of New Zealand life in the 1960s that was beautifully shot, edited and scored.
The Director Hugh Macdonald is right to take it around the country again as he and his crew put a lot of energy into this documentary, being such a huge success at the 1970 Expo in Osaka and shown in just a few cities in New Zealand in 1971.
I could still feel the pride not only in our country, as quaint as some aspects look now, but also in this amazing film made by a young team dedicated to solving many challenges to produce an excellent centrepiece for the New Zealand Pavilion.”
The Empire Cinema at 214 The Parade, Island Bay will be screening the two movies from the 23rd September and tickets can be booked at https://www.empirecinema.nz/movie/this-is-new-zealand-.