Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

View from Olympus 2010

Directed by Geoffrey Cawthorn

This extended version of Geoffrey Cawthorn's Artsville doco provides a much fuller picture of internationally celebrated Wellington composer John Psathas in conversation and at work at home here and in his native Greece.

75 minutes Blu-ray

Director, Screenplay, Photography


Richard Riddiford


Peter Roberts


Geoffrey Cawthorn
Tony Spear
Ant Nevison


John Psathas


Michael Hurst


John Psathas
Pedro Carneiro
Jack Body
Tania Psathas
Carla Psathas
Peter Williams
Warren Maxwell

Like many of New Zealand’s best artists, Wellington composer John Psathas and his viscerally rhythmic work may well be better known overseas than locally, something that Geoffrey Cawthorn’s documentary is obviously hoping to change. It’s a portrait of an artist straddling two worlds. As the son of Greek immigrants, Psathas’ creative life is a constant balancing act between his New Zealandroots and his Greek heritage. The distinctively Greek flavour of his ‘View from Olympus’ led to the commission to compose works for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics, where his music was heard by billions around the world. The film follows Psathas as he embarks on a series of new projects, both at home and abroad, with musicians such as Trinity Roots’ Warren Maxwell and Portuguese percussionist Pedro Carneiro, including an emotional return to Greece for a reunion with his parents. A shorter cut of this film was broadcast on TV One’s Artsville. We’re delighted to premiere this extended version and honour an unassuming local hero. — MM