City Associates Films (established 1980) by Producer/Director Tony Hiles

2009 - 2019

Artist Michael Smither: The Next Ten Years

In 2009 Michael turned 70. I asked him what he was going to do. He said he had ten years worth of unfinished paintings. I said 'how about I video-diarise you completing all these unseen works?' He agreed. This series is following progress with ten documentaries from 2009 to 2019.

The timing also coincided with what Michael claimed was his last dealer-gallery exhibition. Appropriately, in August 2009, Episode One of the series, Shared Harmonics, was used as a video catalogue for the 'final' dealer-gallery exhibition at the Artis Gallery in Auckland. Don't be surprised that there have been more than a handful of exhibitions since then.

Fast forward to 2017 and the first six in the series are available FREE to VIEW.


This unique series has been self-funded so far: if you'd like to make a donation via PayPal, large or small, you will be helping us to complete the series.

Thank you.

Episode Seven at the Wellington Film Festival


Michael Smither: Portraits 2016

Directed by Tony Hiles Aotearoa

In the uncommonly moving seventh episode of Wellington filmmaker Tony Hiles’ documentary series celebrating the creative skills of his friend, Michael Smither, he finds the renowned artist returning after 40 years to portraiture.

Director/Producer/ Photography  - Tony Hiles

Editor  - Daria Malesic

Post/Online - Paul Wedel

With Michael Smither


Episode One

2009: Shared Harmonics

The first episode premiered as a Video Catalogue for Michael's almost final dealer-gallery exhibition at Artis Gallery in Auckland August 2009: Shared Harmonics. This shows the concept behind his harmonic works; his work environment, and a taste of the future as he prepares for the next decade. Includes Michael’s new paintings, techniques, original music, inspirations and ideas.

View Episode 1: Shared Harmonics


Episode Two

2010: Artist in Residence

The second documentary film in this project premiered at the Wellington Film Festival in 2011. Michael explores his home territory in search of whitebait; opens his house to the public; and completes a commissioned painting. The second in the Smither series was invited to the Cinema des Antipodes Festival in St Tropez, France where it received great audience response.

View Episode 2: Artist in Residence


Episode Three

2012: Into Perspective

The third film in this project premiered at the Wellington Film Festival in 2012. Michael completes a musical work, develops an old rock painting into new, and reflects on major works of art completed during a turning point in his life.

View Episode 3: Into Perspective


Episode Four

2012: Life and Death

Michael revisits two unfinished paintings and composes the music for a lament for the men who died in the Pike River mine disaster. Michael is spending the 2009 − 2019 decade completing his own collection of unfinished works; caring for the environment; writing music; starting new works; and anything else that takes his fancy.

View Episode: 4 Life and Death


Episode Five

2014: Music

The fifth documentary film in this project premiered at the Wellington Film Festival in 2014. A retrospective exhibition at the Pah Homestead presents an opportunity for painter and composer Michael Smither to survey his 40-year adventure in synaesthesia, expressing sound and colour together.

View Episode 5: Music


Episode Six

2015: Prints

The sixth documentary film in this project premiered at the Wellington Film Festival in 2015. Directed by Tony Hiles. Smither explains how indelibly screen-print work was associated with his father, and that he abandoned the medium after his father died. A meeting with screen printer Don Tee eventually brought him back to it, and it’s a medium he relishes for keeping his work affordable and accessible.

View Episode 6: Prints