A documentary about a groundbreaking Taranaki photographer is one of the first six films announced from the 2021 Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) programme.
Fiona Clark: Unafraid, directed by Lula Cucchiara, follows the story of one of Aotearoa's most notable photographers, Fiona Clark.
NZIFF says Fiona shocked 1970s New Zealand with her documentary images of Auckland's burgeoning queer scene.
"The pictures they tried to ban were just the beginning for one of Aotearoa's photography greats. The 82-minute documentary recounts how Fiona overcame censorship, homophobia, sexism and debilitating physical injuries to become one of the most respected social documentarians."
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The film invites audiences inside the decommissioned Taranaki dairy factory that Fiona calls her home and office, an abandoned milking shed converted into a darkroom and powered by its own natural gas well, repaired by the photographer herself.
"Through a series of candid interviews, the documentary paints a picture of the artist as an eclectic, staunchly independent force of nature."
NZIFF said Fiona is best known for documenting Auckland's queer scene.
"The film also affords rich reflection on her diverse portfolio, including collaborating with tangata whenua to fight environmental degradation and documenting a burgeoning Kiwi body-building community."
Fiona has been instrumental in ensuring the history of marginalised communities in Aotearoa is documented and preserved, even when society at large preferred them forgotten.
"Fiona Clark: Unafraid returns the favour, ensuring the photographer's legacy lives to capture another day."