An acclaimed and respected Wellington film-maker, whose latest documentary premiered in this year's New Zealand International Film Festival, has died of lung cancer.
Kathy Dudding, 49, who has worked in film for more than 20 years and is well known in the New Zealand film community, had been gravely ill at Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington since Sunday. Initially she was at the hospice in a semi-conscious state after suffering a stroke.
But she died this morning surrounded by friends and family, including her 20-year-old daughter.
Dudding's feature-length documentary Asylum Pieces, about changes to attitudes to mental health in New Zealand, was shown at the festival last month, but she had to decline interviews to promote the film because of her illness. A spokesman for her family said Dudding – who was not a smoker – discovered she had lung cancer only when she returned from the United States in April after winning a Fulbright Travel Award.
She had been in New York at a film symposium to deliver a paper on women film-makers.
Dudding works for the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington and is also a video artist, poet and writer.
She moved to Wellington from Wellsford 27 years ago, hoping to get a job on Gaylene Preston's first feature, Mr Wrong, but ended up as a nanny for the film's producer.
Her other films include The Return, about a childhood in early Wellington, which was shown at the International Film Festival in 2008.
Dominion Post film reviewer Graeme Tuckett gave Asylum Pieces a five-star review, praising it as a "complex and haunting documentary".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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