No Ordinary Sheila unfurls the life story of the adventurous, multi-talented Sheila Natusch: from first opening her eyes to nature while growing up on Stewart Island, as the daughter of a ranger and an artist; through befriending Janet Frame during teacher training, to the many books Natusch went on to write and/or illustrate. Filmmaker Hugh Macdonald (This is New Zealand) directs this portrait of a lover of nature and life, her joy unbowed by age. Natusch died on 10 August 2017, just days after watching the film as part of a packed house at the 2017 Wellington Film Festival.
I have been chided in my time for not using scientific or stately language. It's just not in me ... I can't be formal.– Sheila Natusch
Released in New Zealand cinemas on 19 October 2017
World premiere on 3 August 2017 at Wellington's Soundings Theatre (in Te Papa), as part of the 2017 NZ International Film Festival
Completed with the assistance of a Feature Film Finishing Grant from the NZ Film Commission