Here's a bit about us!
CHRISTOPHER PRYOR - DIRECTOR / CINEMATOGRAPHER / EDITOR / PHOTOGRAPHER
Chris is the director, cinematographer and editor of the award-winning feature documentaries THE GROUND WE WON and HOW FAR IS HEAVEN. Both films have screened to considerable critical acclaim both in New Zealand and abroad, with THE GROUND WE WON being hailed “an instant national classic” and “one of the most powerfully cinematic New Zealand movies ever”.
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 awarded a New Zealand Film Award for Best Documentary Cinematography, as well as being nominated for Best Documentary Film, Director & Editor.
Over the past 15 years, Chris has collaborated on countless drama and documentaries for both the big and small screen, including shooting more than 50 episodes of the much loved Maori TV arts series KETE ARONUI. Chris has also contributed as cinematographer and co-editor to Florian Habicht’s features WOODENHEAD, KAIKOHE DEMOLITION and RUBBING FROM A LIVE MAN, as cinematographer for Zia Mandviwalla’s short films CLEAN LINEN and AMADI and again as a cinematographer for Alyx Duncan’s award-winning films THE RED HOUSE and THE TIDE KEEPER.
Chris and partner Miriam Smith were recent 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 and professional projects.
MIRIAM SMITH - WRITER / PRODUCER
Miriam Smith co-created, wrote and produced the critically acclaimed, award-winning feature documentaries HOW FAR IS HEAVEN and THE GROUND WE WON. 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, MIFF, Warsaw FF, Moscow International Documentary Festival, Big Sky and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
Miriam has written for literary journals, magazines, film and feature length radio dramas for RNZ and BBC 4. Miriam is alumni of the Binger Writers’ Lab in Amsterdam and Script to Screen’s FilmUp Programme and Aotearoa Writers’ Lab. Miriam has a BA in English and Film, (winning the ‘Senior English Prize’) and a Masters in Creative and Performing Arts, majoring in screenwriting, from the University of Auckland.
Miriam and Chris Pryor are co-directors of the production company Deer Heart Films. In 2017 the creative team were awarded the Harriet Friedlander New York Residency, (an arts award administered by the NZ Arts Foundation) - which inspired a bold new range of film & creative projects that are now in development.