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Forgotten Silver

Costa Botes, Peter Jackson
New Zealand  1995 / 53’

Peter Jackson’s trenchant deconstruction of the making of national myths, Forgotten Silver remains at the center of the biggest hoax in New Zealand’s television history. The film recounts, in documentary style, Jackson’ discovery of a treasure trove of lost films by unheralded silent cinema trailblazer, New Zealander Colin McKenzie. Jackson discusses McKenzie’s incredible life and pioneering inventions, including the use of chicken eggs to color film and the introduction of sound to cinema years ahead of Hollywood. Guest appearances by critic Leonard Maltin, actor/director Sam Neill and producer Harvey Weinstein all lend credence. A masterpiece of straight-faced humor and technical skill from Jackson and co-director Costa Botes.

Jan Topolski


Fantasporto 1997 – Audience Award; New Zealand Film and TV Awards 1996 – Best Director

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson was born in the town of Pukerua Bay, New Zealand in 1961. He got his first camera at the age of 8. He began his career with a trio of ‘bad taste’ films (known to 8th NH audiences). His breakthrough film, Heavenly Creatures (8th NH), told the story of young girls who turn to murder. But it is the Lord of the Rings trilogy that brought him global renown, as well as the adulation of some, and ire of other, fans of Tolkien’s books. After taking on another legendary tale in King Kong, Jackson will soon make his return to Middle Earth in The Hobbit prequels, currently in production.

Selected filmography

1987 Zły smak / Bad Taste

1992 Martwica mózgu / Braindead

1994 Niebiańskie istoty / Heavenly Creatures

1995 Zapomniane srebro / Forgotten Silver (co-dir.)

2001-2003 Władca pierścieni / Lord of the Rings

2005 King Kong

2009 Nostalgia anioła / The Lovely Bones

Costa Botes

Born in Turkey to Greek parents in 1958, screenwriter, director and cinematographer Costa Botes grew up in New Zealand. His best-known work to date is his collaboration with Peter Jackson on the mockumentary Forgotten Silver. He has worked extensively in television and his short film Stalin’s Sickle received the Grand Jury Prize at the Clermont-Ferrand festival. His most recent work in documentaries has screened at Tribeca, Slamdance and IDFA.

Selected filmography

1988 Stalin’s Sickle (short)

1995 Zapomniane srebro / Forgotten Silver (co-dir.)

1998 Saving Grace

2006 Struggle No More (doc.)

2010 Candyman: The David Klein Story (doc.)

Prepared by: Jan Topolski

Cast & Crew

director Costa Botes, Peter Jackson
screenplay Costa Botes, Peter Jackson
cinematography Gerry Vasbenter, Alun Bollinger
editing Michael Horton, Eric De Beus
music Duncan Davidson, David Donaldson, Plan 9, Steve Roche, Janet Roddick
cast Costa Botes, Marguerite Hurst, Peter Jackson, Jeffrey Thomas, Leonard Maltin
producer Sue Rogers
production New Zealand Film Comission, New Zealand On Air, WingNut Films
sales New Zealand Film Council
language English, Cantonese
colouration colour & b&w