A movie screen inside a woolshed is playing a film.

NZ Museum Award for “Reel Life in Rural New Zealand”

11 Apr 2014
Last week' Reel Life in Rural New Zealand' won the Most Innovative Public Programme category in Museums Aotearoa’s 2014 New Zealand Museum Awards.

By Ellen Pullar

Reel Life in Rural New Zealand was part of a screening tour organised in partnership with Film Archive and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Jane Paul (NZFA Outreach Screenings Manager) and Zoe Roland (NZHPT Canterbury/West Coast Area Coordinator) were thrilled to accept the shiny trophy at the awards ceremony.

Hero image: A “cinema” in a Maraekakaho Woolshed.

Video from the 'Reel Life in Rural New Zealand' tour.

In March 2013 Film Archive and NZHPT staff toured the Reel Life in Rural New Zealand programme of films made in the Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay regions around five NZHPT registered heritage woolsheds from Maraekakaho to Tinui. The films featured farming history, shearing gangs, kiwi inventions dating back to 1913, and some of the unique rituals of country life .

At the awards ceremony Museums Aotearoa announced that the Reel Life programme won the Public Programmes category by “capturing a strong feeling of nostalgia and authenticity”, and “playing an active part in those rural communities.”

The Film Archive regularly takes films on the road as part of the Travelling Film Show initiative, which takes films from the collections to towns and cities across New Zealand – frequently to the places where the films were made. The Reel Life in Rural New Zealand tour was unique though – this was the first time we had screened films in woolsheds!

Check out some photos from the 'Reel Life in Rural New Zealand' tour:

A woolshed with blue sky above. A person is walking in front of the woolshed.

Jane (NZFA Manager Outreach Screenings) checks out the lay of the land at Maraekakaho Woolshed.

Two people are standing inside the woolshed. Their backs are to us.

Jane and Alex (NZFA Production Manager) consider how to black out the space.

A group of school children arriving inside the woolshed for the screening.

Maraekakaho School arrive for their very own screening.

Graffiti on the wall of the woolshed.

Old shearer graffiti at Maraekakaho.

A large crowd in front of the screen set up in the woolshed.

A full house at Maraekakaho woolshed – the region was experiencing a drought, and we were all very hot.

A crowd of people are gathered inside the woolshed.

Maraekakaho woolshed.

A few children are in front of a screen with the words 'The Film Archives' on it.

One of the daytime screenings in the smaller downstairs space at Maraekakaho.

A sign post with signs pointing to Gibraltar Road, Te Angi Angi Marine Reserve, and Aramoana Beach Shoal Bay

Signs to help filmgoers find their way along the gravel road to Aramoana.

A man and a woman are carrying a screen out of a van in a box.

Alex and myself carrying projection equipment at Aramoana Woolshed.

Grafitti on the wall of the woolshed.

Shearer graffiti at Aramoana.

People are serving food on tables with red and white gingham tablecloths.

Elegantly dressed locals served snacks at the Aramoana Woolshed screening.

Several bagpipers are gathered inside the woolshed.

At Aramoana filmgoers were entertained by the Drones & Sticks pipe band.

A crowd of people are watching a film inside the woolshed.

Aramoana Woolshed.

A man is standing in front of a movie screen surrounded by schoolchildren.

Alex with local schools, at Aramoana Woolshed.

A crowd of people waiting inside the woolshed.

Aramoana Woolshed.

A red woolshed is standing on a lawn.

The beautifully painted Elm Grove Woolshed.

A crowd inside the woolshed are watching a film on a screen.

Akitio Station Woolshed.

A white woolshed from the outside

Sunny day at the Annedale Station Woolshed - the area was experiencing drought conditions.