Set in rural New Zealand during the 1960s, West of Eden tells the story of two men in love, at odds with the inherent conservatism of their surroundings. Written and produced by Vanessa Riddell, and directed and edited by her husband Alastair Riddell, the film is the couple’s second feature after 2014 romance Broken Hallelujah. Director Riddell had previous artistic success before moving into directing; he had a number one hit as lead singer of band Space Waltz. The film had its premiere on 22 February 2017, as part of the Auckland Pride Festival.
I really felt it was important that this story was told, for New Zealand, because I don’t think we’ve really got a lot of films here in New Zealand that have been made about a homosexual relationship. Certainly not in the 1960s.– Vanessa Riddell on West of Eden, on website Gay NZ, 29 September 2015
World premiere on 22 February 2017 at The Vic in Devonport Auckland
Released in New Zealand cinemas on 9 March 2017