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Michael Firth


Director Michael Firth was an unheralded figure in the Kiwi film renaissance. His debut movie, ski film Off the Edge, was the first New Zealand feature to be Oscar-nominated. Noted US critic Andrew Sarris praised drama Sylvia, based on teacher Sylvia Ashton-Warner, as one of 1985's best films. Firth's subjects ranged from incest to fishing; his TV series Adrenalize sold to 50 countries. He passed away on 9 October 2016.

This is a movie of eloquent dialogue and even more eloquent silences; of wonderful faces that tell whole worlds in a glance, a pause, a kiss in the rain. Of such are the glories of cinema made. American critic Molly Haskell, reviewing Michael Firth's movie Sylvia in Vogue, July 1985