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The Beaconsfield Films

Short Film (Full Length) – 1967

In the late 1960s Graeme Cowley and Michael Heath were university students, making films around Wellington. Today they can look back on a long career in film (Cowley shot Utu and Smash Palace, while Heath wrote Moonrise and made A Small Life). Cowley later restored three of their early shorts, collectively naming them after the flat the pair had shared with fellow filmmaker Rex Benson. On the Mud is an irreverent study of a student anti-Vietnam War protest. Heath stars in fantasy And So Began the Day, while dapper Erskine Hewitt gets beaten up in Inky Godfellow, the only scripted film. Cowley writes about the films here.

In New Zealand, we spent the better part of a day conferring with the Prime Minister and his cabinet, while hundreds of students picketed the Parliament Building carrying signs bearing peace slogans. These officials were courteous and sympathetic, as all the others had been, but they made it clear that any appreciable increase was out of the question.
– Former US Defense Secretary Clark Clifford looks back on his 1967 visit to Wellington to discuss sending more troops to Vietnam, Foreign Affairs magazine, July 1969

Produced by

Kiwi Film Productions


Kiwi Film Productions