The Kiwi Who Saved Britain: Keith Park

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The Kiwi Who Saved Britain is a fully dramatized account of Keith Park’s battles in the summer of 1940. The documentary fuses war archive, scripted drama and feature film footage to bring the story to life.

A documentary crew filmed at the Uxbridge War room that Keith Park ran, that has been preserved exactly as he left it. The crew also filmed with British sculptor Les Johnson as he created the statue of Sir Keith that would be turned into a scaled up model for Trafalgar Square by New Zealand’s Weta Workshop and with Battle of Britain recreationists at the Biggin Hill air show.

In New Zealand a replica of the war room was built and the action of the weeks and months of the battle were recreated in Auckland. Archive footage filmed by the British and the Germans weaves into the drama and with a deal struck with MGM also brings in scenes from the 1969 American classic feature film “The Battle of Britain”.

Interviews with people still living who knew Keith Park have been used as the basis for actors playing the roles of pilots and WAAFs and a documentary angle has been woven into the drama with actors being interviewed in character.  All of this combines to give the audience an experience of being with Keith Park during the months of the Battle of Britain as if a documentary crew had been there at the time.

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Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Cast:

Keith Park: Stephen Papps

Dorothy Park: Tandi Wright

Hugh Dowding: Stephen Lovatt

Leigh-Mallory: John Leigh

Sholto Douglas: Cameron Rhodes

Controller: Ian Hughes

Hazel Gregory: Chloe Lewer

Al Deere: Greg Padoa

Winston Churchill: Tim Raby

Clementine Churchill: Bridgid Davis

Doris: Katie Burson

Kitty Brightwell: Genevieve Cohen

Young Tom Neil: Glenn R. Smith

Douglas Bader: Paul McDiarmid

Ethel: Kate Lumb

 Production Personnel

Producer: Cass Avery

Exec producer: Andrea Lamb

Network exec: John Wright

Researchers: Lawrence Watt, Robert Antony

Art director: Miro Harre

Make up: Glenys John

Wardrobe: Hannah Parker, Caroline Ladd

Writer: Robert Antony

Additional script: John Callen

Editor: Gary Sims

Production managers: Kylie Henderson, Emilie Stevenson

Production assistants: Jayna Kesha, Casey Kaa, Marion Douglas, Greg Padoa

DOP:  Dave Cameron

Camera assistants: Lance Guthrie, Nick Roberts (UK)

Shoot assistants: Britta Lauritzen, Moana Elliott, Nicky Garland, Kelly Chen, Sam Richardson

Sound: Terry King, Dave Hurley, Stephen Pritchard (UK)

Narrator: John Callen

Production accountant: Hina Dalwadi

Financial controller: Glenda Paterson

Funded by: New Zealand On Air and TVNZ