30 years after competing for the Palme d’Or, Vincent Ward’s Vigil will return to France as the Antipodean selection in the Cannes Cinephile programme.
Vigil was NZ’s first Palme d’Or competitor, although it would be two years later that NZ saw its first win, when Jane Campion took the Short Film Palme d’Or with An Exercise in Discipline – Peel. Campion won the feature Palme d’Or in 1993 with The Piano and remains NZ’s only winner.
Vigil won Best Film at the Madrid Film Festival and scored a hat-trick at the NZ Film Awards, winning Best Screenplay for Ward and Graeme Tetley, Best Cinematography for Alun Bollinger and Best Production Design for Kai Hawkins.
Ward’s The Navigator (1988) and Map of the Human Heart (1992) were also selected for Cannes.
Ward won’t be heading to Cannes but won’t be sticking around for the NZ winter either. He’ll return to Shanghai, where he’ll be a judge at the Shanghai IFF.
While in China Ward will also work with visual artists at Shanghai University. In 2012, Ward became the first New Zealander invited to participate in the Shanghai Biennale. He mounted a multi-media exhibition, Auckland Station: Destinies Lost and Found, in a former cathedral on Shanghai’s iconic the Bund.