Appropriately, the evening event took place at Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, the home of New Zealand’s film archive and a key partner in this account of the dawn of film in Aotearoa.
Author Dr Christopher Pugsley spoke of his long journey to uncover the story of our early filmmakers and cinema impresarios, and his gratitude to the many collaborators and experts who supported him along the way.
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision Group Manager Information Services Sarah Davy spoke of the pride the organisation feels at seeking the film history brilliantly captured in print form, and of the work that is going in to accompanying the book with online film footage and information.
Christopher Pugsley is a respected and much published military historian – but what is not as well known is that he has a passion and a deep knowledge of film history. Pugsley's new book, The Camera in the Crowd, is the result of nearly three decades of research – the story of film in New Zealand for its first 25 years, 1895-1920, told largely through the footage that has survived in the archive of Nga Taonga Sound & Vision. It covers the last years of the Victorian era and the first two decades of the 20th century – a period that encompassed great political, technological and cultural changes, including the First World War. It tells of the cameramen, of the film they took - not only at home but also of the Kiwi 'Diggers' in the First World War - and how the public reacted to it.
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