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1 June 1947 |
Greymouth, New Zealand
|Spouse(s)||Andy Dennis (m. 1968–73)|
|Partner(s)||Jonathan Crayford (1982–91)|
|Children||Chelsie Preston Crayford|
Her first film was All The Way Up There. As a producer she has contributed to the award-winning feature documentaries Punitive Damage (1999) and Coffee, Tea or Me? (2001) and Lands of our Fathers (executive producer). Her feature film Home By Christmas was a dramatized oral history based on her father's memories of his wartime experiences, contrasted with her mother's perspective.
Her other feature films include Mr Wrong, Ruby and Rata, and the mini series Bread & Roses (with producer Robin Laing). She was writer, director and producer of Perfect Strangers, a black comedy starring Sam Neill and Rachael Blake.
Preston chaired the Academy of Film and Television Arts (1997–99) and was a member of the board of the NZ Film Commission (1979–85) as well as chair of the Film Innovation Fund (1981–85). She has been a member of the Board of New Zealand on Air (The NZ Broadcasting Commission), and was awarded the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to filmmaking. In 2001 she was the first filmmaker to be made a Laureate by the New Zealand Arts Foundation recognising her contribution to New Zealand film and television.
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- Home By Christmas (2010) – Writer / Director / Producer
- A narrative documentary with drama based on her father's recollections of his service during World War II, contrasting with her mothers's perspective (which were first used in War Stories: Our Mothers Never Told Us (1995), see below.)
- Earthquake (2006) – Producer / Director
- A documentary presenting eyewitness accounts of the Napier earthquake
- Lands Of Our Fathers – my African legacy (2004) – Executive Producer
- Opening an old leather suitcase compels a New Zealand filmmaker to revisit her Rhodesian childhood, and reconcile herself with the effects of the colonial past
- Perfect Strangers (2003) – Writer / Director / Producer
- Female Eye festival 2005 Toronto Best Film; Fantasporto Film Festival 2004 Portugal Best Actress Rachael Blake; Vladivostok Film Festival 2004 Best Actress Rachael Blake
- Selected: Melbourne, London Montreal, Film Des Femmes Paris, Fantasporto ( in competition ), Stockholm, Seattle, Chicago, Fantasy Film Festivals Brussels ( in competition ), Germany, Hof, Shangahai, Vladivostok (in Competition), Cincinnati, Vancouver among others
- Coffee, Tea or Me? (2002) – Producer
- A story of an underestimated flight attendant.
- Selected: NZ International Film Festival 2002, Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver
- Titless Wonders (2001) – Producer/Director
- Documentary about life after breast cancer diagnoses.
- NZ Media Peace Awards 2001 Winner Premier Award; Selected: NZ International Film Festival 2001; Keynote presentation World Breast Cancer Symposium 2002
- Wahine Requiem (2001)
- Semi-permanent cinema installation for the Museum of Wellington City and Sea.
- Getting To Our Place (1999) – Producer/Co-Director
- A documentary on the founding of Te Papa.
- Selected NZ Film Festival 1999
- Punitive Damage (1999) – Producer
- A true story of a death in Timor and a mother’s grief.
- Munich Film Festival Awards Silver Medianet; Sydney Film Festival Awards Best Documentary 2nd place; Selected Critics Week Locarno International Documentary Festival
- Survivor Stories (1998) – Producer/Director
- The Hawkes Bay Earthquake of 1931 remembered. Semi-permanent cinema installation.
- No Other Lips (1996) – Director/Co-Producer
- WAR STORIES Our Mothers Never Told Us (1995) – Producer/Director
- Seven New Zealand women share stories of love and loss during the Second World War.
- Best Film – NZ Film & TV Awards 1995; Most Popular Film – Sydney Film Festival 1995; Best Documentary – Sydney Film Festival 1995
- Selected: Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival 1996, AFI Assoc. Charity Screening, Los Angeles 1996, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Gothenburg, Munich
- Bread And Roses (1993) – Director/Co-writer/Associate Producer
- A four-part mini-series for television based on the autobiography of Sonja Davies.
- New Zealand Film & Television Awards 1994: Film: Best Performance in a Dramatic Role – Female, TV: Best Performance in a Dramatic Role – Female, TV: Best Supporting Performance – Male, TV: Best Design; Melbourne Film Festival – 3rd Popular Choice
- Selected: New Zealand, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Seattle, London, Toronto, San Francisco
- Ruby and Rata (1990) – Director/Co-Producer
- New Zealand Film & Television Awards: Best Editing, Best Film Score, Best Contribution to a Soundtrack, Best Male Performance; Winner – 3rd Place-Popular Choice, Best Feature Sydney & Melbourne Film Festivals; Gold Medal Award Giffoni Children's Film Festival, Italy; Top 10 selection most popular, Toronto Film Festival
- Selected: New Zealand, Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto, London, Milan, Seattle, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Palm Springs International Film Festivals
- Kai Purakau The Story Teller (1987) – Producer/Director
- A documentary for Thames Television (UK) on Booker Prize winning author Keri Hulme.
- Selected: New Zealand International Film Festival
- Mr Wrong, (The Dark Of The Night – USA) (1985) – Director/Producer/Co-writer
- Based on a short story by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
- New Zealand Film and & Television Awards Best Female Performance; 2eme Prix du Public Festival de Films de Femmes de Creteil 1986
- Selected NZ, Seattle, Chicago, Melbourne and Munich Film Festivals
- Patu (1983) – Co-ordinator
- Merata Mita’s feature-length documentary about the protest against the Springbok tour of New Zealand (1981).
- Making Utu (1982) – Producer Director
- A documentary about the making of Geoff Murphy’s feature-film UTU, looking at the issues involved in exploring New Zealand’s racial past.
- Hold Up (1981)- Director/Co-Producer
- A deaf dress designer, a blind radio announcer and a film critic with cerebral palsy witness the robbery of a cinema.
- Australian Teachers of Media (1983). Best Overseas Film for under 12year-olds; Best Overseas Film. Rehabilitation Film Festival (New York 1983); First Prize – Dramatisation category – Rehabilitation International World Congress (Lisbon 1984)
- Learning Fast (1980) – Producer/Director
- A documentary about seven small-town seventeen-year-olds leaving school and finding their place in the world.
- All The Way Up There (1978) – Director/Producer
- Bruce Burgess, a 24-year-old, spastic since birth and Graeme Dingle, a well-known mountaineer, climb Mt Ruapehu together.
- Special Jury Prize – Banff Festival of Mountain Films (1980); Special Jury Prize – Festival International du Film Alpine, Les Diaberets (1980)
- Hogan, Ambrose (October 21, 2010). "Review of 'Home By Christmas'". Thinking Faith. British Province of the Society of Jesus. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- "Perfect Strangers". Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision. New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua Me Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
- "Gaylene Preston Film maker". The Arts Foundation. The Arts Foundation. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Chapman, Katie (31 May 2011). "It's all go on Wellywood hill". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 1 October 2011.