Barbara Sumner

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Barbara Sumner
Barbara Sumner

OccupationWriter, filmmaker
Spouse(s)Thomas Burstyn

Barbara Sumner is a New Zealand writer and film producer.[1] 'Tree of Strangers', her compelling memoir of adoption, loss and discovery, will be published by Massey University Press in September 2020.[2]

She co-founded the film production company Cloud South Films with her husband Tom Burstyn and has served as a writer for The New Zealand Herald.


  • Tree of Strangers (to be published by Massey University Press, September 2020)
  • This Way of Life (2013)


  • Some Kind of Love (2015, as producer and writer)
  • This Way of Life (2013)
  • Red White Black & Blue (2012, as producer)
  • This Way of Life (2009, as producer and writer)[3][4]
  • One Man, One Cow, One Planet (2007, as producer and writer)


This Way of Life (2011):

  • Shortlist 2011 Academy Awards
  • Berlin International Film Festival, Jury Prize.
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Best Feature Film,
  • Victoria Independent FF, Texas, Best Documentary
  • Bend International FF, Oregon, Best Documentary 2012
  • Bend International FF, Oregon, Best Feature Film, 2012
  • Iowa Indie Film Festival 2011, People's Choice -
  • Iowa Indie Film Festival 2011, Best Documentary
  • Docville Official Selection 2011 Belgium
  • DocEdge Festival Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Documentary 2011 Qantas Film Awards 2010, Best Documentary
  • FIFO 2011 Special Jury Award
  • Anuuruaboro Youth Jury Prize
  • Wairoa Maori Film Festival 2010, Audience Award
  • Plus Cameraimage nominated Best Cinematography, Poland 2010
  • Sold to 22 countries

One Man, One Cow, One Planet:

  • Best Environmental Conservation Film: CMS Vatravan, India
  • Katherine Knight Award: EarthVision International Film Festival
  • Best Non-Broadcast Film: Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
  • Award of Excellence: The Accolade
  • Sold to 16 countries


  1. ^ "Barbara Sumner Burstyn: a family's life". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Barbara Sumner's website".
  3. ^ Anderson, John. "Review: 'This Way of Life'". Variety. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  4. ^ Harvey, Helen. "A way of life". Retrieved 22 May 2015.

External links[edit]