Close Ups on NZ Film History
A New Zealand Romance
“To get something fresh, ... set sail on the Pacific for the land of the sunny south,” declared film maker Gaston Melies in 1912.
Attracted by unique locations and a vision of “exotic natives”, Melies's telling of the legend of Hinemoa was the first of many onto the big screen. In 1925 Danish director Gustav Pauli made the British film of The Romance of Hine-moa here.
New Zealand's dramatic locations and distinctive Maori culture continued to attract some early international filmmakers such as the American productions Under the Southern Cross (1929) and Hei Tiki (1930).