‘A’? Runaw_y letter searches for identity

One of the great thrills (and benefits) of processing and describing documentation collections, is the discovery and ‘making visible’ of fascinating contextual material. Over the last 10 months, while working on the records of Pacific Films Productions Ltd., we have been fortunate to gain intimate insights into the development of this key New Zealand film production company – which was based in Wellington from 1948 to 1992. Among the records surrounding the more than 400 titles that Pacific Films produced over the years, we can only imagine the legacy that remains to be discovered, and we thought we would share just one of the many interesting items found recently.

Photographs by Mishelle Muagututi'a: Letters against the wall of the Research Room, level 2.
Photographs by Mishelle Muagututi’a: Letters against the wall of the Research Room, level 2.

These letters spell out the title of Pacific Films’ European art cinema style feature Runaway (1964) [H 51cm x W 23 cm]. Evidence suggests that they may have been created for use in a promotional poster during the exhibition of the film. Although the ‘A’ is missing from the line up, the letters provide a great example of the artwork created for publicity purposes during this time, and the story behind the errant ‘A’ – it could be a ‘Where’s Wally?’ type scenario.  Will we discover the cause (perhaps even the letter itself) or imagine the options (was it ‘collected’ as a memento by some enthusiastic individual?) – is just another example of the wonderful contextual narratives these items help us to weave.

If you do know the whereabouts of the ‘A’, please inform the Documentation Archivists on the 2nd floor.


Stencil Pacific Film
Pacific Films stencil.

Happy Hunting.

Mishelle Muagututi’a and Tracy White.


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