Home by Christmas — 21.09.10

Gaylene Preston's film 'Home by Christmas' was a winner at the 2010 Qantas Film and Television awards, with Best Sound in a Feature Film and Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film for Tony Barry

Gaylene Preston's film Home by Christmas was a winner at the 2010 Qantas Film and Television awards, with Best Sound in a Feature Film and Best Lead Actor in a Feature Film for Tony Barry. Barry was unable to attend the award ceremony, and co-star Chelsie Preston Crayford accepted the award on his behalf, thanking him for his portrayal of her Grandfather Ed Preston.

Barry was delighted with this award, thanking Gaylene Preston and the Preston family for the privilege of playing Ed Preston, also acknowledging his fellow nominees, "Obviously we all did our best, but this year they decided to give it to the old bugger before he fell off his perch."

Equally thrilled with the recognition was director and producer of Home by Christmas Gaylene Preston, who comments, "Tony's Best Actor award marks the culmination of a life's dedication to the art of screen acting. Since his ground breaking performance in Geoff Murphy's Goodbye Pork Pie, he has inhabited an unusual place in trans Tasman film. That Tony's stunning performance in Home by Christmas has been recognised, not just by popular acclaim with NZ audiences, but also critically with this award for his performance of my father Ed, makes me very proud."

As Barry has spent much time working in New Zealand, he had heartfelt feelings toward this recognition, commenting "I have always treasured my relationship with New Zealand, and I gratefully accept this award in honor of that relationship and out of respect for what I have learnt in the company of kiwis like Bruno Lawrence, Don Selwyn, Martyn Sanderson and Gaylene Preston."

Home by Christmas continues to excel, revealing confirmed acceptance at the 2010 London Film Festival in October as the only New Zealand film to appear in the programme. Showing in the World Cinema section, Home by Christmas has scooped the time slot of Sunday evening in the opening weekend. This  exciting selection follows previous successful outings at the Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and the Shanghai Film Festival.

Home by Christmas is a film memoir based on Gaylene Preston's interviews with her father about his World War II experiences, weaving strands of poetic imagined drama, and archival footage into the interview. Released in New Zealand on April 29th by Metropolis Films, the film grossed over $1million at the New Zealand box office.

Home by Christmas is financed by the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ on Air and The Wellington Company