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Gerard Smyth

Director, Cinematographer

Gerard Smyth began his screen career in 1969 as a cameraman for state television. Since adding directing to his busy slate, he has made documentaries on everything from the disabled (TV series Inside Out) to the arts. Smyth hit the big screen in 2011 with When a City Falls, his acclaimed, keenly watched account of the quakes in hometown Christchurch. Over the following decade, he worked on sequel When a City Rises. Smyth has also made dozens of short videos covering Canterbury stories and topics. Winner of a Best Director Award for When a City Falls, Smyth was also nominated for his earlier documentaries about cinematographer Alun Bollinger (Barefoot Cinema) and author turned philanthropist Jean Watson (Aunty and the Star People).

...this is the story of the people of Christchurch, living through their hardest year. And it's the film they deserve. At once a celebration of endurance and a lament of loss, it will still be being watched 50 years from now. David Larsen, reviewing When a City Falls, The Listener, 28 November 2011