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“In a remote valley a farmer dies. In his wake comes a hunter. The farmer's daughter watches him. He starts a relationship with her mother and helps her grandfather to build a strange new invention.

To the child he is a predator. She must expel him from her valley

“VIGIL is the first ever film from New Zealand to compete in Cannes (1984). Winner of the Best Film award at the Madrid Film Festival it is the first feature film of 30 year-old Vincent Ward. Vigil is a powerful atmospheric drama set in a primeval valley where four characters live and farm in an uneasy coexistence. The story unfolds through the eyes of the central character Toss, an 11 year-old girl caught up in the tragedy of her father’s death and the arrival of a stranger, Ethan. Ward spent five years making this mystical testimony to the beauty and immutability of nature's laws and the circle of life and death. 

“Festival/Awards: In Competition, Cannes; Madrid, Best Film.” - New Zealand Film Commission;; 30/01/2014.

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Year 1984

Reference number F1056

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Feature

Duration 1:30:00

Production company John Maynard Productions

Credits Cast: Bill Kerr
Cast: Fiona Kay
Cast: Frank Whitten
Cast: Gordon Shields
Cast: Penelope Stewart
Director: Vincent Ward
Producer: John Maynard
Executive Producer: Gary Hannam
Writer: Vincent Ward
Writer: Graeme Tetley
Assistant Screenwriter: Fiona Lindsay
Production Manager: Bridget Ikin
Director of Photography: Alun Bollinger
Music: Jack Body
Editor: Simon Reece
Sound: Graham Morris
Production Design: Kai Hawkins
Funded By: New Zealand Film Commission

Related Link Watch the trailer for Vigil

Related Link New Zealand Film Commission