9 Aug 2010

Hawke's Bay documentary wins Variety accolade

3:01 pm on 9 August 2010

The prestigious New York based movie entertainment magazine Variety has praised a documentary about the life of a Hawke's Bay family.

This Way of Life is screening in New York and Los Angeles as part of the annual International Documentary Association's three-week film season.

The documentary, which took four years to make, follows Peter and Colleen Karena as they raise their six children off the land and care for 50 horses.

Reviewer John Anderson describes the family as living a "near-Rousseau-like existence", firstly in a ramshackle house, then in a shed near Waimarama beach.

The review says the "gloriously photographed film" and its attractive, unconventional subjects should help it find a life beyond the festival circuit, though it points to a "certain lack of narrative clarity" in the storytelling that obscures the details.

The documentary's producer, Sumner Burstyn from Napier, says an accolade from Variety is fantastic as the magazine is "quite tough".

Ms Burstyn says having This Way of Life screen at the International Documentary Association's festival means it can be nominated for an Oscar.