Home   >   Movie Stars   >   W   >   Vincent Ward
Vincent Ward
  • Biography

Vincent Ward

Director Vincent Ward has earned international acclaim as one of New Zealand's most accomplished filmmakers with a reputation for crafting films with a unique visual style. With his newest film, What Dreams May Come, Ward again takes his audience on a personal journey through unfamiliar lands.

Following in the spirit of Ward's previous films, Vigil, The Navigator and Map of the Human Heart, Ward's latest directorial effort is an epic love story of soul mates separated by death. The story would inspire Ward to envision the afterlife as a painted world, incorporating state-of-the-art, adapted and entirely new technologies in an original, fully articulated, filmic view of imagined realms that may await us after death.

Wards' films, shot in remote and extreme climes, have been described as at once epic and personal. Wards' critically acclaimed first feature, Vigil (1984), the story of an imaginative, isolated farm girl on the brink of puberty, was the first film from his homeland to be selected for competition in the Cannes Film Festival.

With each new film, Ward's imagined realms expand new territories and grow increasingly unique and more poetic. He followed Vigil with The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988), about a young boy who digs a hole in medieval England and arrives in modern day New Zealand. The film was also selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Ward's early two films garnered him nearly 30 domestic and international awards, including the Grand Prix at festivals in Italy, Spain and Germany, and Best Film and Best Director at the Australian Film Institute Awards and the New Zealand Film Awards.

Ward co-produced, directed and created the story for the critically acclaimed Map of the Human Heart (1993), the story of a half-Eskimo boy and his love for a half-Cree Indian girl. Cast and crews flew by helicopter to shoot on Arctic ice floes 100 miles from the nearest community. After its debut at Cannes, the film went on to earn wide critical acclaim and attract the attention of a world-wide audience.

Ward originally trained as a painter at Canterbury University Art School in New Zealand, and fell into film making unexpectantly at 21, co-writing and directing a short film, A State of Sedge, adapted from a novel by Janet Frame. The film, hailed by critics for its visual power, won awards at both the Chicago and Miami Film Festivals.

Ward lived for two years in an isolated Maori community while filming the documentary In Spring One Plants Alone, exploring the relationship of an elderly Maori woman and her 40-year old schizophrenic son.

Ward has also been featured as an actor in the films The Shot, Leaving Las Vegas and One Night Stand.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Vincent Ward Facts

BirthplaceGreytown, New Zealand

Selected Filmography

Not available.