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Jonathan Dennis

Archivist, Producer, Radio Presenter

Described by author Emma Jean Kelly as a flamboyant "champion of New Zealand culture", Jonathan Dennis was the founding director of The Film Archive in 1981 and led the organisation into a bicultural era. Dennis, who headed the Film Archive for nine years, was praised for making films more accessible. He also made documentaries (Mouth Wide Open, Mana Waka) and presented Radio New Zealand's Film Show.

Starting a film archive thirty or forty years after most other developed countries had some advantages. I could start with a pretty clean knowledge of what I didn't want it to be like, and then gradually shaped it into what I hoped would be a real kaitiaki or guardian of the taonga placed in its trust. Jonathan Dennis, in a July 2001 interview with Film Archive magazine Newsreel, July 2001