The second film directed by Tony Sutorius won sellout screenings at the 1999 NZ Film Festival. Feature-length documentary Campaign chronicled an early MMP election campaign. He went on to make a film about trade unionist Helen Kelly. These days Sutorius runs Porirua company Unreal Films, whose diet of educational films encompasses at least nine elections across Australasia.
If Tony calls with a project I try to be available because of his clear integrity to his kaupapa, and commitment to community and social justice. He's trained in philosophy and always thinks beyond the surface, which means his work resonates strongly with people. For me that's the best head to work with. Editor Annie Collins
In 1996 Tony Sutorius got his hands on a new digital video camera, days before the start of an election campaign in Wellington Central. Made on the proverbial shoestring, this feature-length documentary chronicles five of those battling for the crown as a new political age — MMP — dawns. Richard Prebble joins a new party called Act, the National candidate joins United New Zealand… and one of the five will be sacrificed by their own party. Sutorius sat through 55 hours of footage to forge the result, which won enthused, sellout audiences at the 1999 NZ Film Festival.
Someone Else’s Country looks critically at the radical economic changes implemented by the 1984 Labour Government - where privatisation of state assets was part of a wider agenda that sought to remake New Zealand as a model free market state. The trickle-down ‘Rogernomics’ rhetoric warned of no gain without pain, and here the theory is counterpointed by the social effects (redundant workers, Post Office closures). Made by Alister Barry in 1996 when the effects were raw, the film draws extensively on archive footage and interviews with key “witnesses to history”.