Gaylene Preston is a film making pioneer in New Zealand. She is a national treasure with a diverse body of work spanning four decades of cinema across historical, fantastic and genre films, achieving success with local and international audiences alike.
Committed to telling New Zealand stories, Preston made War Stories Our Mothers Never Told Us (1995) which candidly presented audiences with portraits of seven New Zealand women in a post World War II New Zealand. These were themes she explored again with the film memoir Home By Christmas (2010). Originally a four part series, Bread and Roses became a cinema film that translated the autobiography of social activist and feminist Sonja Davies, and became a statement of suffrage relevant to modern audiences.
Preston also directed Mr Wrong (1985), a thriller about Meg, a country girl with a spooky new car, and Perfect Strangers (2003), a thriller exploring the fine line between love and pursuit, romance and danger, fear and obsession.
With Hope & Wire (2014), Preston wanted to present a “relevant, truthful and entertaining drama series with an emotional impact that is a fitting reflection of that time in that place”. The series is dedicated to her long time writing partner Graeme Tetley (Ruby and Rata) who died shortly after the February 22 earthquake.