Michael Firth Movie Producer, Director, Writer
Film Producer, director and writer Michael Firth has shown his versatility by mining drama in everything from high energy ski footage to school teachers kissing in the rain.
Michael Firth got hooked into filmmaking aged 19, after experimenting with super 8 film and making a documentary about a tribe of Indians, while living with them in the Brazilian jungle.
A passion for alpine skiing lead Firth to directing his first feature Off the Edge, nominated for best documentary feature at the 1977 Academy Awards. Likely the first New Zealand movie born on a French ski field, Off the Edge began when Firth invited two friends, American skier Jeff Campbell and Canadian Blair Trenholme, to fly to New Zealand, so he could film them skiing and hang-gliding in the Southern Alps.
Off the Edge's relatively wide local release and box office record-breaking sales helped spearhead the late 70s renaissance of New Zealand film, alongside Sleeping Dogs, which was released just a few months later.
Seven years passed before Firth's next feature, psychological drama Heart of the Stag. Bruno Lawrence starred as a man traveling in the King Country, who encounters an antagonistic farmer (Terence Cooper) and falls for her daughter (Mary Regan).
Actors Lawrence and Regan workshopped and contributed to the script, alongside Firth and the late Martyn Sanderson. The Los Angeles Times praised the result as "electrifyingly good", and