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Clips (2)

  1. Part one of two from this full length National Film Unit documentary.

  2. Part two of two from this full length National Film Unit documentary.


Shot by photographer Brian Brake as a NFU tourism promo, Snows of Aorangi surveys New Zealand's mountain landscapes. Brake captures stunning imagery: ethereal ice forests, lightning storms, volcanic craters, glaciers, avalanches, kea. Three skiers are mesmerising as they scythe downhill from Almer Hut: "for a little while they've given themselves to the rhythm of sky and earth" runs the James K Baxter-scripted narration. It was the first NZ film to compete for an Oscar, nominated in the Best Short Subject (Live Action) category in 1959.


A Perspective by Paul Stanley Ward 20.03.2009

Brian Brake is internationally known for his work as a stills photographer, but in the early 1950s, after training with Spencer Digby (a well known Wellington photographic studio), Brake, just into ...

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Credits (8)

 Brian Brake
 Geoffrey Scott
 Cyril Morton

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Comments (1)

 D Liechti

D Liechti

My father (Rolf Liechti) also worked on this movie he was carrying camera gear and supplies.


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Related Titles (17)

 A Master of Light - The Life and Work of Brian Brake Photographer

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Brake discusses filming Snows of Aorangi in this doco

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Another Brian Brake film from the NFU

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An NFU film about high country sheep farming shot by Brian Brake

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Another snow-themed NZ Oscar-nominated film

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An NFU title about the wildlife in the mountains

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 A Friendly Career

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Another NFU film from the 1950s

 Wakatipu - The Long Lake

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More Brake Southern Alps footage

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Also features Mt Cook

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 The Glacier Climbers

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Another classic NFU doco featuring Almer hut

 Farming in New Zealand

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Shot by Brian Brake

 New Zealand Mirror No. 14

Short Film, 1952 (Full Length)

Also made by Brian Brake

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1969 kiwi skiing action

Collections.   See all collections ›  

Included in:

 National Film Unit Collection
 Brian Brake at the NFU


1959 Academy Awards
Nominated for Best Short Subject (Live Action)

1954 Brussels International Tourist Film Festival
First equal