Gaylene Preston began making films as part of drama and art therapy at Fulbourne Psychiatric Hospital near Cambridge UK in 1972. Upon her return to New Zealand, she worked at Pacific Films with pioneer film Producer John O'Shea, and has since then become one of New Zealand's leading filmmakers. Her dramatic features and her many documentaries combine entertainment with a strong social message.
Preston's most recent work, the ground-breaking documentary/drama Home By Christmas, had a strong release in New Zealand cinemas. This modestly budgeted film has so far grossed in excess of $1.1 million (in its home market of 4 million people) and is currently no. 14 of the Top Grossing NZ Films ever.
Preston's award winning work has screened extensively at international festivals including Venice, Sundance, Toronto, London, Chicago, Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand.
In 2001 Preston was the first filmmaker to receive a Laureate Award from the NZ Arts Foundation. In 2010 she received a WFT NZ (Woman in Film and Television) award for her outstanding contribution to the New Zealand Film Industry and received the Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to documentary from Documentary Edge.
She has served on most industry boards including the New Zealand Film Commission (1978-85) and New Zealand on Air (1999 - 2006). She Chaired the Creative NZ Film Innovation Fund (1984 - 86) and the NZ Film and Television Awards Society (1996 - 1999). She is a Governor of the New Zealand Arts Foundation.
She is an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit for services to the film industry.
Gaylene gives seminars and leads workshops which advocate strongly intuitive ways of working creatively. She has taught at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Richmond Virginia and Layola University New Orleans, and twice been lead mentor at the Canadian Creative Women's Workshop programme, Women In The Directors Chair.
For more information on Gaylene Preston visit the Writing page for selected interviews and writings or contact NZ On Screen. Further photographs of Gaylene are also available.
Gaylene Preston Productions
PO Box 9175
Te Aro, Wellington