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

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Newsletter #3


The second in the Smither series was invited to the Cinema des Antipodes Festival in St Tropez, France where it received great audience response and widened the ever-increasing audience.  Episode 3 is in the planning stages and will flash-back to explore some of Michael's publicly unseen religious works from the 60s and 70s in his home town of New Plymouth as well as updating works in progress at Otama. Also included will be elements of a workshop held recently in Whitianga where musicians 'played' elements from his Harmonic Box series, and the story of his fish-pond.

Keep in touch.



Photograph: Sue Collins

Newsletter Deux

I’ve had great reaction to the first DVD, made the deadline of August 11th, and have already had another week filming with Michael for the second DVD due Feb/March next year.

The weather was good enough to spend time on the beach recording the habitat in detail, including filming of a pod of Orcas racing past. It’s a comprehensive coverage of the shoreline so we can show the climate-changes over the next 9 ½ years, as well as the effects of any major developments in the area.

Got tangled in the deeply overgrown creek Michael intends to clear (with help from the neighbours); and studied in detail Michael painting 21 Spotties on one of his two unfinished commissioned paintings. If anyone likes Poisson Sa la muraille he plans to release a print version in due course.

Keep in touch.


Newsletter Numero Uno

Welcome Art and Documentary lovers - this first DVD with Michael has been made with a bit of hiss and a roar, as we didn’t have the idea until as recently as Queen’s Birthday this year - immediately started shooting with a second shoot a month later, pushing things through to make the deadline of Michael’s final dealer-gallery exhibition at Artis, in Auckland on August 11th.  A bit of breathing space until the end of August when I’ll be back in Coromandel to video the sight and sound of Michael’s new grand piano, take a second look at St Francis and the Wolf; see Michael’s next reclamation project, and start a regular series looking at paintings in his private collection. That plus a beach check to see how the habitat is faring.

Each DVD will have the cover and title photograph shot by Michael’s partner G’ian McGregor. She’s got a good porridge recipe too, if anyone’s interested. Feel free to send me an email if there’s anything you’d like to know.