FORGOTTEN SILVER

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A fictional documentary made for television about New Zealand film pioneer Colin McKenzie.

Peter Jackson tells the tale of visiting family friend, Hannah McKenzie, in his home town of Pukerua Bay. In Hannah’s shed sits a trunk of old film; “My pulse quickened. That told me that, whatever these were, they were not home movies”, recalls Jackson. Jackson took these precious nitrate films to Jonathan Morris at The Film Archive for preservation. What was revealed was an extraordinary collection of shorts, features, experimental, newsreels - “you name it, McKenzie did it.”

Leonard Maltin and Harvey Weinstein agree, this discovery puts McKenzie up there among the pantheon. “He really deserves a place among the luminaries of cinema”.
The drama proceeds with more startling discoveries. Colin McKenzie built his own steam- powered camera; filmed Richard Pearse’s first flight and made New Zealand’s first feature film Salome, high above the Lewis Pass in a hand-built city.

Morris, Botes and Jackson set out to find that city and the lost footage of Salome, buried by McKenzie after the death of his beloved lead actress. They succeed and pass the incomplete feature onto Pacific Film’s John O’Shea, who finishes the film in the style he thinks McKenzie would have wanted.

The NZ Film Commision’s Lindsay Shelton introduces the premiere of Salome to a packed Embassy theatre.

“This film documents the extraordinary life of Colin McKenzie, pioneer NZ filmmaker. It also follows the equally fascinating contemporary story of how the work of this forgotten genius was brought to light.

“Festival/Awards: 1996 - Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Hofer Filmtage, London BFI Film Festival, Los Angeles International Film Festival.” - New Zealand Film Commission; www.nzfilm.co.nz/film/forgotten-silver; 13/03/2014. 

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Year 1995

Reference number F25075

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Television

Duration 0:53:00

Production company Wingnut films

Viewing locations Digital file available to view at medialibrary, Wellington

Credits Writer: Peter Jackson
Director: Costa Botes
Director: Peter Jackson
Producer: Sue Rogers
Executive Producer: Peter Jackson
Executive Producer: Jamie Selkirk
Series Executive Producer: Caterina De Nave
Script Consultant: Frances Walsh
Narrator: Jeffrey Thomas
Director of Photography: Alun Bollinger
Director of Photography: Gerry Vasbenter
Archive Stills Restoration: Chris Coad
Editor: Eric de Beus
Editor: Michael Horton
Music: Dave Donaldson
Music: Steve Roche
Music: Janet Roddick
Production Designer: Jan Haynes
1st Assistant Director: Marty Walsh
2nd Assistant Director: Bryce Campbell
Genealogical Research: Liz Mullane
Sound Operator: Ken Saville
Assistant Editor: Josie McClutchie
Sound Assistant: Brad Selkirk
Digital Enhancement: Matt Aitken
Digital Enhancement: Frank Wegerhoff
Archive Film Restoration: Brian Scadden
Archive Film Restoration: Geoff Rogers
Writer: Costa Botes
Funding: New Zealand Film Commission
Cast: Johnny Morris

Related Link New Zealand Film Commission