"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."

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