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Rare, Restored and Not Seen for 116 Years

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is marking UNESCO’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (27 October) with a week of newly restored and rarely seen film.

It includes the first public screening of the restored 1980 documentary Bastion Point: Day 507,  as well the discovery of a remarkable 116-year-old film of Elizabeth Yates, Mayor of Onehunga in 1893, known as the First Lady Mayor of the British Empire.

Elizabeth Yates, known as the First Lady Mayor of the British Empire, shown in a film from 1900.
Rainbow Dance (Len Lye, 1936)

7pm, Wednesday 26 October – Len Lye’s Films
Film archivists will talk about and screen newly restored films of the Len Lye Collection, which is cared for by Nga Taonga Sound & Vision. Len Lye (1901–1980) was the New Zealand-born pioneer of experimental film and kinetic sculpture and one of the twentieth century’s most original artists. Using some of the most innovative production techniques ever applied to film, he was a master of direct animation and was, as Time magazine put it, "England’s answer to Walt Disney."

Thursday 27 October onward – The First Lady Mayor
Ngā Taonga will share a rare and recent find: a film of the First Lady Mayor of the British Empire. Not only is the 116-year-old film New Zealand’s second oldest surviving film; it’s of the remarkable and groundbreaking Elizabeth Yates, elected Mayor of Onehunga in 1893. From Thursday, the film and story of how Ngā Taonga conservators unlocked its mystery can be viewed on the Ngā Taonga website and in the Ngā Taonga TV Lounge, 84 Taranaki Street.

Bastion Point: Day 507 (Merata Mita, Leon Narbey and Gerd Pohlmann, 1980)

7pm, Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October – Te Matakite o Aotearoa & Bastion Point: Day 507
Ngā Taonga will screen two powerful and significant New Zealand documentaries, newly restored and rarely seen in their original clarity and colour. Geoff Steven’s documentary of the 1975 Māori land march, Te Matakite o Aotearoa, is followed by Bastion Point: Day 507, Merata Mita's, Leon Narbey's and Gerd Pohlmann's film of the Ngāti Whātua occupation and eviction from Bastion Point in 1978. It is the first time that the restored version of Bastion Point: Day 507 has been publicly screened in New Zealand.

All films screened at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Wellington.