Skip to main content

Celebrating women-loving women: 2

Here's Gaylene Preston on Screen Talk, talking about her life as a filmmaker. I think she's probably made more films—nearly forty—than any other New Zealander, an amazing mixture of features and docos.

Gaylene has often made, as she says in the interview, "some of the invisible things visible", and those invisible things have often been about women's lives. And she's been very supportive of many women—as well as men—so it's not surprising that she says in this interview "There are still less women working in all sorts of areas in filmmaking than I would have hoped then (in the 70s)".

I've had experience of Gaylene's generous support myself. She took me to Films de Femmes in Creteil (Paris) one year. And more recently when we met by chance she explained in great detail how I could use the Screen Production Incentive Fund, sketching out the details on one of the cafe's paper serviettes. I smile every time I see it floating in a file, among pieces of A4 paper.

So she's this week's women-loving woman to celebrate. Her next feature, Home by Christmas, is based on her father's memories of serving in World War II, a companion piece to her classic War Stories: Our Mothers Never Told Us. There's a link to her website on the bar to the right, a list of her films to 2005 here, and her entry in NZ on Screen here.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

After the Waterfall—

above: Antony Starr as John

After The Waterfallis the only New Zealand feature in the New Zealand International Film Festival that a woman—Simone Horrocks—has written and directed. It premiered in Beijing earlier this month, as part of the 5th New Zealand Film Festival in the People’s Republic of China. Here's Simone speaking at the premiere.


Simone first attracted international attention when she was a semi-finalist for the prestigious Sundance Institute/NHK Filmmaker's Award in 2001. She has written and directed several short films, notably Spindrift, winner of the Best Panorama Short Film award at the Berlin Film Festival, and New Dawn, commissioned by the Edinburgh Film Festival to mark the launch of UK Film Four's Lab. I knew almost nothing about her. So I peppered her with emailed questions. And was truly delighted with her generous responses.

Dana Rotberg and White Lies|Tuakiri Huna

Cushla Parekowhai and I went to previews for Dana Rotberg's new feature White Lies/Tuakiri Huna – Cush in Auckland and me down here in Wellington. And the film excited us. White Lies/Tuakiri Huna, described as 'a story about the nature of identity: those who deny it and those who strive to protect it', comes from Medicine Woman, a novella by Witi Ihimaera, who also wrote Whale Rider. (Witi is Cushla's cousin. Witi's father, Tom Smiler, and Cush's grandmother, Pani Turangi, were raised in the same household in Manutuke.)

Dana wrote, in the book that accompanies the film, that after she read Medicine Woman –
...Paraiti, the medicine woman, was a stubborn presence who refused to leave. I felt that was a clear sign that the story...was speaking to me from places other than where the original work had come from. Places that belonged to my intimate family history and my most unresolved conflicts as a person in the world. It was a call from the core of my origins to l…

NZ Update #17.1 Safety Revisited

(This is easier to read over on Medium)

Back in October, just before the #directedbywomen screenings in Auckland, I tumbled down a steep flight of wooden steps in Auckland's Ayr Street Reserve. Cracked one ankle and broke the fibula in my other leg. Missed spring gardening. Missed all of Wanuri Kahiu's visit (but not some beautiful responses from the many people she inspired and revitalised).

Couldn't transcribe or edit my #directedbywomen Skype interview with Isabel Coixet. Couldn't edit and publish other almost-ready interviews I cherished. Couldn't organise more screenings that filmmakers had requested, with the films' directors beamed in to Te Auaha's small treasure of a cinema for Q & As, also via Skype.

After two months almost entirely at home, half-way down a pedestrian-access steep zigzag, I'm fully mobile again. With thanks to the Accident Compensation Corporation's (ACC, our universal no-fault accidental injury scheme) fine services; to…