Posted Tuesday 16 Feb 2021
Our sympathy goes out to the family and friends of Tony Hiles, who passed away on 6 February. Tony was the first man to support WIFT by becoming a member back in the day.
"Tony was always supportive of other filmmakers male and female, and he gave a first opportunity to many young people wanting a career in the industry," remembers WIFT member Robin Laing.
Tony's filmmaking career began in the mid-1960s when he documented US President Lyndon B Johnson's visit to New Zealand on film. He followed this with work in commercials and on television productions including Country Calendar and Good Day.
He set up independent production company, City Associates in the 1980s to focus on making social and arts documentaries, something he spent much of the rest of his career focusing on. In 1981 he shot a documentary about photographer Robin Morrison, From the Road, using video cameras which had not yet been tried in New Zealand.
He was named Best Director at the 1996 Film and TV Awards for Jack Brown Genius.
His documentary about Wellington architect Bill Toomath, Antonello and the Architect, screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival as did the decade-long series of films he made about artist Michael Smither. The last of these, Michael Smither 10, screened at the 2019 NZIFF.
(info and image source: New Zealand Film Commission)