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Kathleen O'Brien


For 20 years Kathleen O'Brien was the only woman director at the government's National Film Unit. Her films were invited to festivals overseas. Known for her work involving children and education, O'Brien's directed comical road safety short Monkey Tale (1952), and the moving Story of Seven Hundred Polish Children (1966).

Starved of equal social contact with male colleagues, and lacking any female peers, it is a tribute to her tenacity that she achieved such an impressive list of films. Deborah Shepard, in her profile of Kathleen O'Brien in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography