18 Feb 2018

Our first Oscar contender - 1955's Snows of Aorangi

From Standing Room Only, 12:48 pm on 18 February 2018

The 1955 film Snows of Aorangi was the first New Zealand film to be nominated for an Academy Award - up against the likes of Walt Disney, no less.

The short feature was directed by photographer by Brian Brake was part tourism film, part travelogue, part lyrical ode to New Zealand by poet James K Baxter.

Given its historical status, you'd think the film would be filed away in perfect condition. But when Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision experts took a look, they were in for a shock - and hundreds of hours of restoration to piece it back together from various sources. Lynn Freeman spoke to two of the key people involved in the project - Film Team Leader Dr Leslie Lewis, and Senior Archivist Gareth Evans. 

Watch some of the renovated documentary below:

The newly-restored Snows of Aorangi will be shown at Wellington's Nga Toanga Sound & Vision on Thursday 22nd February.