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Mothers & babies win

The independent feature The Great Maiden’s Blush, which is the latest drama from directing duo Andrea Bosshard and Shane Loader, made its mark at the recent NZ Film Awards.

The film took the top prize for Best Self-funded Film in a year where independents have been prolific. And Miriama McDowell won her second Best Actress prize for her performance in the film, in which she plays a prisoner and first-time mother who must make decisions around the welfare of her new baby.

Bernard Bories, director of the Rencontres Internationales du Cinema des Antipodes in St Tropez, where McDowell also won Best Actress, said of the film ‘…a superb drama full of sensitivity and subtlety. Magnificent!’ The Great Maiden’s Blush was the only New Zealand film included in reviewer Graeme Tuckett’s Ten Best Films of 2016 list.

Women are the mainstay audience of arthouse cinema in New Zealand, and there is a hunger for films that speak to women’s experience. With both international and domestic concern about the dismal number of women in key creative roles behind and in front of the camera, director Andrea Bosshard is celebrating the acknowledgement from the NZ Film Awards. She says ‘We want to give sustenance to an audience which is looking for alternatives to Hollywood blockbusters or the male-centred stories so prevalent in NZ cinema’.

The Great Maiden’s Blush explores a side of life not seen in New Zealand or international films — motherhood and the intense life-changing experience of the first few days of being a parent.

The film took 18 years to bring to the screen and has just been released on DVD after a long-running national theatrical release beginning in May last year.

Read more about the The Great Maiden’s Blush and view the trailer here.

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