The iconic and classic film ‘This is New Zealand’ is about to be re-released to cinemas for the first time since 1972.
The film, originally screened in Osaka, Japan at the world fair Expo ’70, was such a huge hit and such a landmark for New Zealand cinema, that it was brought back and screened across New Zealand. When Britain prepared to join the European Common Market in the late 1960s, New Zealand suddenly had to start promoting itself to the world, and one of the ways it did so was to take part in Expo 70. The star attraction at that event was a revolutionary 20-minute film 'This is New Zealand’ and was seen by more than two million people.
Now 50 years on it has been remastered and it looks better than ever, and if you've ever been interested about seeing New Zealand in a time capsule, then you'll want to check this out at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar.
This film was made by the National Film Unit, who introduced viewers to New Zealand in a glorious three-screen presentation. With highly inventive camera work and editing, it showed everyone where we are, who we are, and – taking advantage of the super-widescreen format – what a spectacularly beautiful land we live in. 'This is New Zealand’ weaves together a tapestry of cinematic mastery daring to stretch the boundaries of technical restraints and produce visual effects not thought possible in the era in which it was produced.
Writing in The Dominion on 17 March 1971, after seeing a preview, Wellington journalist Dai Hayward said that after this screening to the specially-invited V.I.P. audience, “...there was not, as might be expected, polite applause. There was instead spontaneous, prolonged, enthusiastic and genuine applause – a tribute to the film and the team that made it.” He went on to say “...it is not only a film of breathtaking beauty. It is also an educational film in the pleasantest and easiest of ways. Every school child would learn more about their own country in the 20 minutes of ‘This is New Zealand' than they would from a week of lessons... Every aspect of the film is first class, but a special tribute is due to scriptwriter and director Hugh Macdonald…”
“A genuinely creative piece of Filmmaking.” - Sir Peter Jackson
VIP ticket holders can attend the pre-screening function of 'This is New Zealand' along with 'That was New Zealand', commencing at 7.15pm with ‘This is New Zealand’ Director Hugh Macdonald and invited guests, and drinks and nibbles will be available.