Vincent Ward (director)
16 February 1956|
Greytown, New Zealand
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
|Years active||Since 1978|
Vincent Ward, ONZM (born 16 February 1956) is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter and artist. Ward was awarded an Order of New Zealand Merit in 2007 for his contribution to film making. Ward is best known for his strongly visual and performance driven feature films.
Life and career
Ward was born on 16 February 1956 in Greytown, New Zealand. He was educated at St Patrick's College, Silverstream and also trained at Ilam School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. While still at art school he began writing and directing films. In 1978–81, he made the documentary In Spring One Plants Alone, which won the 1982 Grand Prix at Cinema du Reel (Paris), and a Silver Hugo at the Chicago Film Festival. In Spring One Plants Alone provides the starting-point for his later feature Rain of the Children (2008). His debut feature was Vigil (1984).
Ward's films have earned critical acclaim and festival attention whilst reaching an international audience. Vigil, The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) and Map of the Human Heart (1993) were the first films by a New Zealander to be officially selected for the Cannes Film Festival. Between them they garnered close to 30 national and international awards (including the Grand Prix at festivals in Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the United States).
The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey won major awards at both the Australian and New Zealand film industry awards. His film What Dreams May Come, starring Robin Williams, was nominated for two Academy Awards (best art direction-set decoration and best visual effects) and won the Oscar for best visual effects in 1999. It grossed more than US 200 million (all territories).
While in the United States, Ward wrote the story for Alien 3. He also developed the material that was the basis of The Last Samurai, selecting its director, and acting as executive producer on that project before writing and directing River Queen starring Kiefer Sutherland and Samantha Morton.
Voted by the audience from 250 feature films Rain of the Children won the Grand Prix at Era New Horizons Film Festival. The film was nominated for best director and won best composer at the Qantas Film and TV Awards in New Zealand. Vincent Ward was also nominated for best director at the Australian Directors Guild Awards for Rain of the Children.
Ward is actively developing new feature film projects whilst also focusing on public gallery art projects. In an 8-month period he had three solo exhibitions of large-scale painting, print, photographic and cinematic installation work. In 2011 he presented Breath an exhibition of paintings, photographs and cinematic installations at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. This was followed by the 2012 Auckland twin solo exhibitions Inhale and Exhale at the Gus Fisher Gallery and TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre respectively. He launched a third book, Inhale | Exhale, to coincide with his twin Auckland shows (Ron Sang Publishing). His art work is featured throughout its 180 large format pages. Ward has been invited to the 9th Shanghai Biennale 2012. He was New Zealand's first entrant to the Biennale with one of the very few solo pavilion shows, Auckland Station: Destinies Lost and Found, held in an historic former church on The Bund.
- A State of Siege (1978) (short) director and writer
- In Spring One Plants Alone (1981) (short) director, producer and writer
- Vigil (1984, director and writer)
- The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988, director and writer)
- Alien 3 (1992, storywriter)
- Map of the Human Heart (1993, director, producer and writer)
- What Dreams May Come (1998, director)
- The Last Samurai (2003, executive producer)
- River Queen (2005, director and writer)
- Rain of the Children (2008, director, producer and writer)
- Vincent Ward – Films as director and screenwriter:, Other films:
- Les Palmares depuis 1979 – Cinéma du réel
- "The 10 greatest sci-fi films never made" The Times Online
- "Alien 3: The Lost Tale of the Wooden Planet", Empire magazine, (accessed 2 May 2012)
- ADG – Australian Directors Guild
- Vincent Ward interview – TVNZ's Good Morning
- Byrt, Anthony (7 January 2012). "Vincent Ward: Breath – The Fleeting Intensity of Life review". New Zealand Listener. APN Holdings NZ Ltd. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Vincent Ward exhibitions". Scoop Independent News – Culture. Scoop Media. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Art". Vincent Ward. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
- "Solo Exhibition at the Shanghai Biennale". Vincent Ward. 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014.