Documentary showcasing Christchurch’s creative recovery to premiere at NZIFF

Posted 04 Aug 2015 by PRNews Featured Popular
Posted in Events

A new feature-length documentary from award-winning Christchurch director Peter Young will be shown for the first time at NZIFF - Christchurch, 7-23 August 2015.

‘The Art of Recovery’ captures the creative revival in central Christchurch, the global attention it is attracting and questions the ‘top-down’ government-led approach to the recovery.

It will be shown for the first time at the Isaac Theatre Royal on 13 and 18 August.

The film focuses on a small but passionate group of artists and entrepreneurs from the February 22 earthquake over a 4-year period. Among them, Coralie Winn and Ryan Reynolds of Gapfiller, street artist Wongi Wilson and his wife Emma, entrepreneurs Sam Crofsky (C1 café) and JohnnyMoore (Smash Palace) and artist Peter Majendie who created the 185 Empty chairs memorial.

“Their stories reveal the power of the human spirit. What they have achieved in post-quakeChristchurch is really quite remarkable. They responded quickly and creatively to the earthquakes bringing life back to the ruins of the central city by creating welcoming places for people to be,”says Peter.

“It’s work that is attracting the attention of urban designers around the world – some of whomfeature in the documentary. They describe the creative recovery as ‘pioneering’ and ‘powerful’.”

The documentary also explores the cultural shift in the post-quake community.“What we saw were people, some of whom were previously on the fringes of the cultural norm, being given an opportunity to shine and lead the recovery. The street artists, in particular, have a fascinating perspective on this.”

The Art of Recovery also features the recovery being led by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) and the creation of the blueprint put together by the CCDU in 100 days. “In contrast, the Government-led recovery hinges around a large precinct-based blueprint for the city that they hope will attract big business and private investment,” says Peter.

There has been some interesting reaction to this approach from the international experts, with one saying the creation of large-scale precincts ‘can be deadly’. 

Peter Young has no doubt that the documentary will raise a few eyebrows. “Initially I set out to capture the creativity in the city but in the process discovered a fascinating discussion about what cities are and what they can be. That discussion has relevance not only for Christchurch but for any city in any part of the world.”

“Christchurch is now at a crucial crossroad, as the city rises it will be interesting to see how much of this dynamic transitional movement will remain in the fabric of the city’s future.” Art of Recovery was made with funding from the Joint Documentary Fund of NZ On Air and the New Zealand Film Commission. 

New Zealand International Film Festival director Bill Gosden says the festival is delighted to beable to include The Art of Recovery in its programme.“We couldn’t be more pleased that our first NZIFF World Premiere at the Isaac Theatre Royal celebrates the creative activity that’s burgeoned all around it,” says Bill Gosden.

Screening August 13th and 18th - Here is a link to the New Zealand International Film Festival’s website:

Background: Peter Young Biography

Peter Young is an award winning documentary cameraman and director. He came to filmmaking the long way, spending the first ten years of his working life mustering, shearing and fencing.

Over this time Peter developed a strong connection to the land and the people that work on it and this bond remained even with his shift to the film and television.

Peter established Fisheye Films in Christchurch in1997 and has worked as a freelance director and cameraman ever since. He has credits in well over a hundred documentaries, among them; BBC’s Blue Planet Series, a Giant Squid documentary for prime time Discovery, he filmed many of the South Island Country Calendar episodes, the acclaimed TVNZ series Explorers and the final tribute documentary for Sir Edmund Hilary.

He produced and shot the award winning series Hunger for the Wild for TVNZ as well as Coasters. His last feature documentary The Last Ocean, was an environmental advocacy film calling for the protection of the Ross Sea, Antarctica. It screened in many parts of the world and won over a dozen international awards. 

Peter has won many awards for his skills and creativity behind the camera, both shooting and producing, but it's the opportunity of telling great stories that keeps him in the business. Art of Recovery has been a 3-year project.


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