Dame Gaylene Preston, of Wellington, DNZM for services to film
Dame Gaylene Preston has continued to contribute New Zealand stories to global cinema and her award-winning work has screened extensively at international festivals including Venice, Sundance, Toronto, London, Fantasporto, Chicago, San Francisco, and Munich. Most recently Dame Gaylene made the documentary film ‘My Year with Helen’ (2017) on Helen Clark’s bid to become the United Nation’s first female Secretary-General. She was the writer, producer and director of the 2010 film ‘Home By Christmas’, a narrative documentary based on her father’s recollections of his service during World War II, which received international acclaim and was in the top 15 highest grossing New Zealand films ever in its year of release. She produced and directed the 2006 documentary ‘Earthquake’ presenting eyewitness accounts of the Napier earthquake. She wrote, produced and directed the award-winning 2003 film ‘Perfect Strangers’. In 2010 she received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to documentary from Documentary Edge and a Women in Film and Television New Zealand Award for outstanding contribution to the New Zealand Screen Industry. She wrote, produced and directed the 2014 mini-series ‘Hope and Wire’ on the aftermath of the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. Dame Gaylene edited war-themed archival films which were projected onto the Auckland War Memorial Museum for Anzac Day commemorations in 2011 and 2012.
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