Home by Christmas sees Gaylene Preston returning to the hidden stories of ordinary New Zealanders. Inspired by attempts to get her father Ed to reveal his WWII experiences, this finely-balanced docu-drama moves between three strands: Preston’s father (Goodbye Pork Pie's Tony Barry, in a Qantas award-winning performance) retelling his story; recreations of Ed’s wartime OE; and life for the woman he left behind in Greymouth. The dream cast sees Preston’s own daughter Chelsie Preston Crayford playing Preston's mother Tui, alongside Martin Henderson.
I was often trying to get my father to tell me about his war. It was Christmas time. Then he agreed to let me record his story. It was his present to me.– Gaylene Preston
Presented with thanks to the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata
Music composed, recorded and produced by Jan Preston. Song 'I'll Walk Behind You' (heard in trailer) performed by Cherish the Ladies, composed by Alan Murray and Edward Lockton