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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to cinema in New Zealand

Hinemoa (1914), widely regarded as New Zealand’s earliest feature film, has as its main characters indigenous Maori people, introducing a theme that has since re-emerged in films that map changes in relations between Maori and Pakeha (New Zealanders of European descent), including Once Were Warriors (Lee Tamahori, 1994) and Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2003). New Zealand has a long history of documentary filmmaking, with the formation in 1941 of the state-backed National Film Unit, inspired by the National Film Board of Canada. This tradition has continued in activist and campaigning documentaries such as Punitive Damage (Annie Goldson, 1999), about a New Zealander killed in East Timor. Feature production has been less prominent, though since the 1970s there has been some expansion in this area, with annual production now standing at over twenty films, including co-productions. The New Zealand Film Commission, created in 1978, is tasked with promoting production, distribution, and exhibition of ‘distinctively New Zealand’ films, offering tax incentives for local productions.  ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). New Zealand, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 21 May. 2021

In the Library's Collection

There are several subject headings you can use to find resources in the online catalog. The call number ranges are also included. These can be found on Baker Stack Level 4.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book title(s)

Finding scholarly articles & journal title(s)

Articles and other writings about Australasia film can be found in many publications. Our collections include journals which look exclusively at New Zealand film. You can also use Film & Television Literature Index to find more articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie title(s)

Find more New Zealand films titles in the library's online catalog.

Keeping up with the journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for a national or regional cinema? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.