Mixing three separate strands, On an Unknown Beach is a so-called “‘speculative documentary" about journeys into landscapes of ruin. Sonic artist Bruce Russell explores the ruined Christchurch CBD, scientist Di Tracey captures compelling underwater footage while examining coral damage on the seabed, and poet David Hornblow undergoes hypnotherapy to explore his consciousness and past experiences with addiction. The film was made by Adam Luxton and Summer Agnew, whose 2005 documentary Minginui (2005) focussed on an ex-forestry town in the North Island.
In this episode of the long-running nature programming slot on TV One, naturalist David Bellamy visits New Zealand’s “dinosaur forest” — Whirinaki. Bellamy brings his famed nature-boy enthusiasm to “a living cathedral that dates back 200 million years”. He explores the North Island forest’s “big five”: 60m+ rimu, mataī, kahikatea, miro and tōtara trees; and the ecosystem that they reign over, from kākā parrots to giant tree ferns. The intro is by Gael Ludlow and features the fondly-remembered Jean Michel Jarre synthpop track that was Our World’s signature.
Elam School of Fine Arts graduate Summer Agnew first made his mark with acclaimed documentary Minginui (2004), which he co-directed with fellow Elam graduate Adam Luxton. The film offered a moody portrait of a former mill town. The SPADA New Filmmaker of 2007 followed it with episodes of Let's Get Inventin' and New Artland — plus short film Patu Ihu, which played at festivals in Aotearoa and overseas. In 2016 Agnew and Luxton's 'speculative documentary' On an Unknown Beach was chosen to debut in the NZ International Film Festival. Agnew has also directed a run of music videos and commercials.