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London Screenings For Christchurch Quake Film

Press Release – Joseph Hoye

Some stories need embellishing but the tale of the Christchurch earthquake is not one of them.London Screenings For Christchurch Quake Film

By Joseph Hoye

Some stories need embellishing but the tale of the Christchurch earthquake is not one of them.

‘When A City Falls’ is the record of the February 2011 earthquake, which devastated the Garden City and continues to make its mark. Filmed and directed by Gerard Smyth, the documentary allows Christchurch to speak for itself.

David Larsen in The Listener wrote “Smyth proceeds to show us the aftermath through a richly textured kaleidoscope of interviews, avoiding editorial comment, but talking to so many people that a vivid sense comes through of a community responding to a massive event”.

UK based New Zealanders have the opportunity to view ‘When a City Falls’ on the first anniversary of the quake that killed 183 people. The film will show for two sessions at London’s Ritzy cinema on Wednesday, 22 February as a fundraiser. Each session will be accompanied by a performance by Ngati Ranana, London’s official expat Maori community.

Organiser Trevor Sutton has been inundated with requests for more information, including pleas to organize screenings in Australia. Mr Sutton has said, “the evening is a chance for people to come together to not only remember those who lost their lives but also to look to the future of Christchurch and to show the people of Christchurch that we still care about them a year after the quake, especially at this time when Christchurch continues to experience swarms of aftershocks.”

Mr Sutton spent 13 years in Christchurch before returning to his native England but still has friends and family living there. His involvement in the charity screenings stems in large part from the loss of a family friend in the disaster, fourteen year old Jayden Andrews-Howland. Mr Sutton’s daughter also lives in Kaiapoi and he went through many anxious hours before the Red Cross and the New Zealand Herald were able to help confirm her safety.

For London-based expat Jicca Smith, the screenings are a chance to experience a greater sense of solidarity : “too many emotions to put into words, really… it’s about those of us who know and love Christchurch wanting to know and understand what happened and bear witness to it with the people of Christchurch.”

Tickets to the event are £20 with the profits of each session going to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal and can be found on

What: When a City Falls

When: 22 Feb, 2012

Where: The Ritzy Cinema, Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton. SW2 1JG.

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