The New Zealand International Film Festival is deeply saddened at the passing of former Director Bill Gosden (ONZM). Bill died peacefully on Friday 6 November, five days shy of his 67th birthday.
Bill helmed the film festival for almost 40 years before retiring last year due to ill health. His promotion of, and commitment to, New Zealand film and filmmakers is one of his enduring legacies.
New Zealand Film Festival Trust Chair Catherine Fitzgerald said Bill’s contribution to New Zealand’s film culture through film festivals is indelible. “Bill lived and breathed film from his earliest years, working tirelessly to create a demand from New Zealand audiences for the highest quality films from around the world.”
Film Festival Director Marten Rabarts said the news of Bill’s passing was a sad day for the film industry in New Zealand and worldwide. “The film festival and film community in New Zealand owes Bill a huge debt of gratitude for the decades of work and passion he committed to develop and champion a world-class festival experience for audiences and filmmakers alike.”
Paris-based programmer Sandra Reid said it had been a privilege and honour to work so closely with Bill as a boss, a mentor, an inspiration and a friend for more than 24 years. “His passion for cinema, which he so generously shared nationwide, nurtured my own and that of all his colleagues.”
The New Zealand Film Festival Trust and the New Zealand International Film Festival extend their condolences to Bill’s wide circle of friends, family and colleagues.