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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Feature Films

Only a few feature films have been produced in New Zealand, largely because of the difficulty of obtaining sufficient finance. The leading producer has been Rudall Hayward, a son of Rudall George Hayward of West's Pictures and Hayward's Picture Enterprises. His films include My Lady of the Cave (1922), Rewi's Last Stand (silent, 1925), The Te Kooti Trail (1927), Bush Cinderella (1928), On The Friendly Road (1936), and Rewi's Last Stand (sound, 1939). Prominent New Zealand actors in the Hayward films were Gordon Campbell, Patiti Warbrick, Stanley Knight, the first “Miss New Zealand”, Dale Austin, of Dunedin, who played the principal part in Bush Cinderella, and Ramai Te Miha, who played the Maori heroine in the sound version of Rewi's Last Stand and who later became Mrs Hayward.

Other New Zealand feature films included Hinemoa, produced by George Tarr about 1914, Just as the Sun Went Down, produced about 1915 by Frank Davenport, The Birth of New Zealand, produced by Harrington Reynolds about 1920, The Kid From Timaru, produced by Barry Marshall, about 1919, and Under the Southern Cross, made in 1925 by the Swedish producer, Gustav Pauli. About the same time Pauli produced what was said to be the best film of Hinemoa. The first New Zealand film with a sound track, Under Southern Skies, was released in its sound version in 1929. Most of the feature films of this period were photographed by Charles Newham, Frank Stewart, or Bert Bridgman. Two feature films have been produced by New Zealanders since 1952, when John O'Shea and Roger Mirams of Pacific Film Productions made Broken Barriers, a film on the race relations of Maori and European. New Zealanders. In 1964 John O'Shea was again the producer for the film Runaway.

In the past 20 years short sponsored films, mainly on industrial topics, or for tourism, have been made by such firms as Pacific Film Productions, Robert Steele Motion Picture Productions, Hayward Film Productions, Morrow Picture Productions (animated cartoons), Reynolds Film Productions, Apex Films (A. Riddock) and Roy Evans Films. Such films have been made both for the commercial cinema and for users of 16-mm sound projectors, which were introduced about 1937. The introduction of television in 1961 has stimulated several small organisations to produce 16-mm films, mostly for commercial advertising.