While making his mark as a professional skier, Canadian-born Mathurin Molgat began displaying his skills in front of the camera. After meeting Kiwi director Michael Firth, he ended up co-starring in Firth's 1987 movie The Leading Edge, as an adventurer in Aotearoa. Since then Molgat has lent his outdoor skills to films and 30+ commercials. In 2012 he directed his own film: the much travelled environmental documentary Song of the Kauri. Long based in Queenstown, Mathurin has also promoted Queenstown overseas as a skiing and filming location. He is co-owner of essential oils company Wilding & Co.
A documentary should enchant and entertain, but it should also question and incite revolution. Mathurin Molgat on his film Song of the Kauri
This 2012 documentary explores the economic and creative potential of one of the icons of New Zealand’s forest: the kauri. Logging and fire have destroyed 95% of Aotearoa’s great kauri forests (this film was made before kauri dieback disease became a major threat). Director Mathurin Molgat poses a solution to the tree’s survival: commercial harvest. He frames the film around Laurie Williams, who makes guitars from the wood. In this excerpt, musician Tiki Taane talks about Tāne Mahuta, and a tree is prepared for felling. The film screened at a number of festivals in the United States.
Michael Firth's follow-up to his 1977 Oscar-nominated ski documentary Off the Edge, but this time with a plot and scripted dialogue. Canadian Matt hitches from Auckland to meet a bunch of Kiwi extreme thrill-seekers at a southern ski field. They throw themselves off volcanoes, glaciers, mountains and into an Iron Man with "get more go" abandon. Cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh's first feature shoot — "I was relatively cheap and I could ski" — is notable for its action sequences (set to an 80s pop soundtrack) and Billy T James as a mad pilot.