Vincent Ward (director)

Vincent Ward
Born (1956-02-16) 16 February 1956
Greytown, New Zealand
Nationality New Zealander
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Years active Since 1978
Title ONZM

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[1] 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[2] (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.[3][4] 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[5] 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[6] for Rain of the Children.

In 2010 he published Vincent Ward: The Past Awaits, part mid career chronicle and part large format film photo book.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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[10] on The Bund.[11]



Vincent Ward Films

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