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- The Gaylene Preston Collection
The Gaylene Preston Collection
Jump to the Gaylene Preston Finding Aid
Boasting hundreds of unique titles and over 2,000 material items deposited across four decades, Dame Gaylene Preston’s collection is one of the largest of an individual’s work in the entire Ngā Taonga archive. It is also remarkably diverse, covering feature films, documentaries, shorts, commercials, and television series.
2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the first short film that Gaylene ever made: an approach to art therapy with several of the patients from Fulbourn Mental Hospital in Cambridge, England. Since then, Gaylene has directed 23 other short films, 11 features, and three television series. She is credited on a further 25 national productions. Celebrated as a key supporter of local media, independent film productions, and the first-ever filmmaker to be named a Laureate by the New Zealand Arts Foundation, Gaylene’s significance as a representative of New Zealand film cannot be overstated. In 2019, Gaylene was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to film.
She is also a long-standing friend of the Archive, being a member of the initial New Zealand Film Archive board in 1981 and a serious advocate for the importance of archival film and its accessibility. Many of her own projects incorporate archival film sourced from Ngā Taonga and other repositories, further proving the importance of their continued preservation.
This Finding Aid is the most comprehensive catalogue of Gaylene’s filmography currently available and has been designed with researchers and interested members of the public in mind. It remains a living document, with the potential to be updated as new material is accessioned or deselected.