Here's a bit about us!
MIRIAM SMITH - WRITER / PRODUCER
Miriam Smith co-created & produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning feature documentaries THE GROUND WE WON & HOW FAR IS HEAVEN. Both films had successful nationwide cinema releases in New Zealand and screened at many celebrated film festivals around the world, including Locarno Semaine de la Critique, Melbourne FF, Warsaw FF, Big Sky and Full Frame Documentary Film Festivals.
THE GROUND WE WON was awarded Best Documentary & Best Documentary Cinematography at the NZ Film Awards, the Special Jury Prize at FIFO Tahiti, and the Best Sound award at the Moscow International Documentary Festival. HOW FAR IS HEAVEN was nominated for all of the documentary categories at the NZ Film Awards and won Best Documentary Cinematography, as well as being nominated for Best Documentary at the Asia Pacific Film Awards.
Miriam has written for literary journals, magazines, short film and feature-length radio dramas for RNZ & BBC 4. Miriam is alumni of the Binger Writers’ Lab in Amsterdam and Script to Screen’s Aotearoa Writers’ Lab. Miriam has a BA in English & Film (Senior English Prize winner) and a Masters in Creative & Performing Arts, majoring in screenwriting, from the University of Auckland.
Miriam and partner Chris Pryor were the recent recipients of the prestigious Harriet Friedlander New York Residency. The pair are co-directors of the independent film production company Deer Heart Films, through which they’re developing a slate of boldly original drama and documentary films.
CHRISTOPHER PRYOR - DIRECTOR / CINEMATOGRAPHER / EDITOR
THE GROUND WE WON is Christopher Pryor’s second feature documentary as director, cinematographer & editor. The film screened to considerable critical acclaim during it’s successful nationwide cinema release in New Zealand and at multiple A-list international film festivals, garnering multiple five-star reviews and being hailed “an instant national classic” and “one of the most powerfully cinematic New Zealand movies ever”. The film won Best Documentary & Best Documentary Cinematography at the NZ Film Awards, the Special Jury Prize at FIFO Tahiti, and the Best Sound award at the Moscow International Documentary Festival.
The critically acclaimed theatrical documentary HOW FAR IS HEAVEN was Chris’s debut as a director. He was also the cinematographer & editor, for which he was awarded a New Zealand Film Award for Best Documentary Cinematography, as well as being nominated for Best Documentary Film, Director & Editor. The film had a successful nationwide cinema release in New Zealand and international film festival screenings at NZIFF, Margaret Mead Film Festival and GZDOC.
Chris has collaborated on numerous drama and documentaries for both the big and small screen, including as cinematographer & co-editor on Florian Habicht’s features WOODENHEAD, KAIKOHE DEMOLITION & RUBBINGS FROM A LIVE MAN, and as DOP for Zia Mandviwalla’s short films CLEAN LINEN & AMARDI and Alyx Duncan’s THE RED HOUSE & THE TIDE KEEPER.
Chris and partner Miriam Smith recently spent 7 months living in NYC as recipients of the prestigious Harriet Friedlander New York Residency - where the creative team focused on developing several original feature drama and documentary projects.
Chris, who originally trained as a stills photographer, continues to pursue his love of photography through an ever growing range of personal projects.