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'Gloriavale': Compelling Feature Doc Goes Beyond The Headlines To Lift The Lid On NZ’s Secretive Christian Community

GLORIAVALE, a compelling new feature documentary which lifts the lid on the infamous Gloriavale Christian Community cult, will have its World Premiere on Saturday 6 August, 2022 at Christchurch’s Isaac Royal Theatre, screening as part of Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival 2022.

With unprecedented access to the notoriously secretive community, GLORIAVALE filmmakers Noel Smyth and Fergus Grady (Camino Skies) follow a lone family as they mount a ground-breaking legal case against the cult’s powerful leaders.

The film, which was selected for Cannes Film Festival Docs-in-progress, will close the Auckland NZIFF programme.

The directors of GLORIAVALE, Noel Smyth and Fergus Grady, said: “We are deeply grateful to the leavers who trusted us to tell their stories and we hope that, through this film, New Zealanders will be moved to support the people who’ve managed to leave Gloriavale, those who may escape in the future and those who are fighting for justice.”

GLORIAVALE - a brand new feature documentary premiering on 6 August 2022
as part of Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival

Following the World Premiere screening of GLORIAVALE, there will be a Q&A with the key subjects from the film: leavers and siblings John Ready and Virginia Courage as well as their mother, Sharon Ready, who - despite speaking out against its leaders - is still living inside the community. They’ll be joined on stage by the filmmakers, along with two of the advocates who’ve led the legal fight against the Gloriavale community and Liz Gregory, Manager of the Gloriavale Leavers’ Trust.

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Subsequent New Zealand International Film Festival sessions of GLORIAVALE in Auckland and Wellington will also include Q&As and Dunedin is also set to host two NZIFF screenings of the feature documentary. Visit the NZIFF website for screening details.

After its New Zealand International Film Festival season, GLORIAVALE will open in cinemas throughout Aotearoa and the film will release in Australian cinemas from mid-October.

To learn more about the film, visit


An official Australia/New Zealand co-production, GLORIAVALE is produced and directed by Noel Smyth and Fergus Grady, in conjunction with Forward Media and Grade A Films. The film was made with funding from Screen Australia & Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga the New Zealand Film Commission and VicScreen.

The film is executive produced by Richard Fletcher (Belief: the Possession of Janet Moses) with cinematography by Gareth Moon (Gardening with Soul) and Noel Smyth, editing by Ramon Watkins (Camino Skies) and Noel Smyth and music by Jack Vanzet.

Follow the GLORIAVALE feature documentary online:

Hashtag: #gloriavalefilm

Gloriavale received principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with the New Zealand Film Commission. Financed with support from VicScreen.

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