Forgotten Silver

Forgotten Silver is a New Zealand film mockumentary. Released in 1995, it was written and directed by Costa Botes and Peter Jackson (of "Lord Of The Rings" fame) who also starred in the film as the "documentary" makers.

It purported to tell the story of "forgotten" New Zealand filmmaker Colin McKenzie, his "lost" "films" and his "technological achievements" that predated accepted history by as much as 20 years. The film was purportedly complete with "recovered" archival footage in both black and white and colour (from as early as 1911!) and with sound (from as early as 1908!).

There was a (staged) "premier screening" of a recovered feature film presented by film promoter Lindsay Shelton, as well as deadpan comment from actor/director Sam Neill[1] and director and film archivist John O'Shea. The deadpan "critical praise" from international industry notables including film historian Leonard Maltin, and Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films, gave credibility to a rather fantastic story.

When released it had a large proportion of the TV audience and the local industry fooled until the directors revealed they were "only joking".

  1. The film Cinema of Unease: A Personal Journey by Sam Neill, written and directed by Sam Neill and Judy Rymer, was also released in 1995. In it Neill narrated his personal recollection of New Zealand film history.

See also:


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