Flicks.co.nz interview with Gaylene Preston

Flicks.co.nz interview with Gaylene Preston

"FLICKS: I saw the film in Sydney at the State, at the world premiere, which was a great way to kick it off.

GAYLENE PRESTON: I don’t think it gets much better than that. That was my fifth film there at the State. First actual premiere there, and I’ve always found that that’s a great space. It’s a great cinema to show your film and so is [Wellington's] Embassy. The State is like the Embassy times two, really, isn’t it? It’s got a similar vibe, and the Civic is always amazing because the Civic’s a bit more sort of stately, do you know what I mean?

There’s something about a big theatre – like State and the Embassy – where it’s got a real gathering place feel in it.

I don’t know what it looked like from the stage as you came out to greet the audience after the film, but it seems like when you’re in the audience there that there’s great sightlines onto the stage. So I suppose you’re eyeballing people once you’re up there, right?

I’ll tell you what, that is breathtaking. The first time I walked on to that stage at the State cinema… It’s the same with the Civic, actually. I go up there with the lions and you feel like a little ant [laughter]. The space is so big, and when it’s full of people, it’s just got this vibe to it that’s electric. It’s brilliant. And that’s before the film’s screened.

But at the State, that was a memorable moment. There are standing ovations where some people are sitting, clapping, while some people are standing and putting their coats on and it kind of gradually becomes a bit of a standing ovation. But when a huge audience like that just leaps to its feet as one and does a spontaneous thing like that, it was quite something to see."

Click here to read the full interview with Flicks.

Gaylene Preston - The Wireless interview

Gaylene Preston - The Wireless interview

"When Helen Clark announced that she would be putting herself forth as a candidate for the role of Secretary General of the UN in April of last year, many assumed she was a shoe-in. After all, how could Helen - our very own Aunty Helen, who became the first elected female prime minister and went on to become the third highest ranking member of the UN - possibly lose?

But then a lot of things didn’t go as expected in 2016. Brexit passed. Donald Trump was elected. And Helen, along with six other women in the running to be the UN’s first female secretary general, was ultimately unsuccessful and stepped down from her role as head of the UNDP not long after.

For the moment in history in which we find ourselves, the story of Clark’s campaign told by Gaylene Preston’s My Year with Helen could hardly be better timed. Not because it’s a story of defeat - but because it’s a story of strength.

“Helen is resilient”, Preston tells me of her subject’s ability to keep on keeping-on, even when faced with seemingly immovable power structures.

“She's taught me a lot about resilience, just being alongside her for this journey.”

Click here to read the full interview at The Wireless.

Darren Bevan profiles My Year With Helen ahead of NZIFF premiere.

Darren Bevan profiles My Year With Helen ahead of NZIFF premiere.

"Already sold out in Wellington, and likely to be the big-hitter of the festival, Gaylene Preston's My Year With Helen chronicles Helen Clark's campaign to become UN Secretary General last year. However, what emerges from Preston's laconic doco is more a deafening cry for change within the UN itself as it reveals how increasingly close to irrelevance it's coming in representing the people."

Read the feature in full here.

Brisbane International Film Festival announces My Year With Helen.

Brisbane International Film Festival announces My Year With Helen.

Following on from the announcement of My Year With Helen being screened in the Melbourne International Film Festival, it has also just been announced for the Brisbane International Film Festival.

There are four screenings in Brisbane of the film - with tickets for each of the screenings on sale now:

August 21st, Palace Centro, 1pm
August 25th, Palace Barracks, 1pm
August 26th, Palace Centro, 12pm
August 28th, Palace Barracks, 3.15pm

My Year With Helen poster released!

My Year With Helen poster released!

The official poster for MY YEAR WITH HELEN has just been released, ahead of the film's general release into NZ cinemas on August 31st. Check out the poster below:

myyearwithhelenposter.jpg

Stuff.co.nz list My Year With Helen as a must-see at NZIFF

Stuff.co.nz list My Year With Helen as a must-see at NZIFF

This year's New Zealand International Film Festival boasts one of the strongest line-ups of Kiwi films for many years.

From documentaries to short-films and dramatic features, New Zealand filmmakers are setting up 2017 as a cinematic year to remember. There's something for everyone, from insights into the worlds of hard rockers Head Like a Hole, natural historian Sheila Natusch freestyle-skier Jossi Wells, to a recreation of the invasion of London's Iranian Embassy and a psychological thriller set on a subantarctic island.

Gaylene Preston's latest documentary starts out as a chronicle of our former Prime Minister's bid to become UN General Secretary.

However, despite some warm and intimate moments involving Clarke and her father, the real drama comes from following the machinations of the UN's voting process and all the political factors that come into play.

Read the feature in full here.

Radio Live - Gaylene Preston interview

Radio Live - Gaylene Preston interview

Gaylene Preston recently did an interview with Radio Live's Sunday Social show, where she talked about My Year With Helen, and the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

My Year With Helen is the first film to sell out a session in the New Zealand International Film Festival.

My Year With Helen is the first film to sell out a session in the New Zealand International Film Festival.

MY YEAR WITH HELEN is the first film to sell out a session in the NZ International Film Festival. The film’s first Wellington session on July 30 at the Embassy Theatre sold out on the first day of ticket sales yesterday.

There are still seats available for the second Wellington session on August 1 and both Auckland sessions (July 23 and 25). Click here for Wellington tickets, and here for Auckland tickets.

An observational documentary, MY YEAR WITH HELEN travels alongside former Prime Minister Helen Clark campaigning to become the first woman UN Secretary-General while continuing her work as the highest ranking female at the UN, leading the UN Development Group and managing to stay in daily contact with her 94-year-old father back in New Zealand.

Preston’s cameras explore the cracks between the diplomats, the embedded press and feminist activists as they push for change while caught up in a power process as secretive and patriarchal as the selection of the Pope.

Clark says: “The film conveys how tough it is to break the remaining glass ceilings. May it motivate future generations of women to keep at it!”

Preston: “The film asks the question - what will it take for women to become global leaders.”

Make Lemonade - My Year With Helen

Make Lemonade - My Year With Helen

"It’s great to see doco-maker Gaylene Preston make a film about Helen Clark.

The film, My Year with Helen, will premiere at Auckland’s Civic Theatre on July 23 as part of the opening weekend of the NZ International Film Festival.

There will be a second screening at the Civic on July 25, followed by Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson screenings.

The fly on the wall documentary follows former Prime Minister Helen Clark campaigning to become the first woman UN Secretary-General while continuing her work as the highest-ranking female at the UN.

Preston’s cameras explore the cracks between the diplomats, the embedded press and feminist activists as they push for change while caught up in a power process as secretive and patriarchal as the selection of the Pope.

Clark says the film conveys how tough it is to break the remaining glass ceilings. “May it motivate future generations of women to keep at it,” she says.

I had a bit to do with Helen when she was prime minister. I was based in London from 1997 to 2001 as NZ Press Association’s London bureau chief. Helen made several trips to London and she got me inside 10 Downing Street and I met Tony Blair before she had a private chat with him."

Read the full story on Make Lemonade here.

Gaylene Preston - Stuff.co.nz interview

Gaylene Preston - Stuff.co.nz interview

Kiwi director Gaylene Preston says the debut of her latest documentary "couldn't have been better", with the audience leaping to their feet to applaud the film at its conclusion.

My Year With Helen, which followed former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark as she unsuccessfully campaigned for the role UN Secretary-General, had its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival last weekend.

Preston, who had finished editing the film only days before Saturday's screening, says she was delighted with the response from the packed State Theatre.

"When you have your first screening, you don't know how it is going to work with an audience. This was amazing. People laughed quite a lot at things we didn't think would get a laugh and they started clapping at certain points. 

Read the interview in full here.

Devex Q&A with Helen Clark

Devex Q&A with Helen Clark

Q&A: Helen Clark on cracking the glass ceiling and life post-UNDP

It has been less than two months since Helen Clark finished her time at the head of the United Nations Development Programme. But never one to rest or shy away from controversy, Clark is already approaching new challenges head on — including highlighting the United Nations’ lack of transparency in the election of its secretary-general.

At the 2017 Research for Development Impact conference in Sydney on June 13, Clark gave a keynote speech discussing her experience on the value of broad partnerships to deliver sustainable development outcomes. Clark made time to speak with Devex about life post-UNDP and creating chips on the glass ceiling for other women to pierce through where she did not.

You are here in Sydney not just for the Research for Development Impact conference but also the Sydney Film Festival, where they are screening the documentary My Life with Helen about your campaign for U.N. secretary-general. From that experience, does it bring home how important you have been in breaking the glass ceiling for women?

The filmmaker, Gaylene Preston, is one of New Zealand’s best known filmmakers. When she approached me, I said “yes, why not.” At that time, I had made no decision to run for the secretary-general job, so she started because she was interested in me as a change agent.

We started in Botswana and then of course the secretary-general story started to overtake the documentary.

There is always a lot of interest in New Zealand on what Helen is doing, and I think the movie will be of great interest to them. But it is also of broader interest — it sheds light on the opaque processes of the U.N. And that’s something worthy of wider debate.

Read the interview in full here.

Helen Clark - The Guardian interview

Helen Clark - The Guardian interview

Elle Hunt from The Guardian spoke to Helen about the glass ceiling in the UN, as well as a broader discussion of her entire political career.

"In the United Nations’ 72-year history, eight of its nine secretaries general have been decided behind closed doors by a few powerful countries. But not the ninth. Last year’s appointment process resembled American Idol: a public-facing contest with a strong social media component and a side of drama and double-crossing.

When the process to replace Ban Ki-moon got under way in April 2016, it was said to be unprecedented in its transparency. Helen Clark, one of the eight unsuccessful challengers, is quick to put that into context. “The ‘transparency’ – I’ll put that in quotation marks – I don’t think that had any impact on the outcome,” she says. “What it did was expose how opaque the real process was.”

As head of the UN development program, Clark had been considered a strong contender when she announced her candidacy, particularly given the groundswell of support for a female leader. By 30 September – the week before the former Portuguese prime minister António Guterres was confirmed in the top job – her chances had reportedly dwindled to nil.

“I won the public vote, I won the social media scene, I won the staff votes – all of that, but it didn’t matter at all,” says Clark pragmatically, without bitterness. “Clearly, the security council wasn’t looking for someone like me, from a small, independent-minded country, having been an independent-minded leader, who looks at the evidence and makes decisions accordingly.

“That’s fine. That’s the outcome.”

Clark’s experience of the process is the subject of a documentary, My Year with Helen, that screened last weekend as part of the Sydney film festival. What thoughts or feelings did she have, watching her failed bid unfold again, from within the audience?

“You know, I’ve always had a capacity to move on from things very fast,” she says. “That was a pretty intense six-month period and at the end of it I shut the door, went home to see my family and got on with life.”"

Read the interview in full here.

OPINION: New Helen Clark doco shows heights of UN glass ceiling.

OPINION: New Helen Clark doco shows heights of UN glass ceiling.

Newshub's Connor Whitten wrote an opinion piece following watching My Year With Helen at the Sydney Film Festival.

"She may be New Zealand's most high-profile politician - but being diplomatic is no longer a concern for former Prime Minister Helen Clark. Especially when asked about her previous employer.

"There's a very big glass ceiling," Ms Clark recently claimed.

She was talking, of course, about the United Nations, the job she left only two months ago. It's the first time she's spoken with such cutting candour.

And it shows the spectre of workplace sexism extends to the highest offices in the world.

Ms Clark's collision with the UN's glass ceiling is the subject of a new documentary, My Year With Helen, which premiered Saturday at the Sydney Film Festival.

The film should make Kiwis - men and women - hopping mad."

Read the story in full here.

Helen Clark - ABC interview

While in Sydney for the My Year With Helen screening, Helen Clark was interviewed by ABC News about the importance of the film in showcasing the glass ceiling for women.

She said:

"I'm constantly shocked by how little progress the whole world has made."

"The number of women leaders in the world actually peaked a few years ago and is back on the way down."

Watch the interview in full here.