"The Tide Keeper is concise, intelligent, beautiful and moving. This film created another world within a world, incorporating an intriguing sense of choreographic movement and the best elements of story-telling and cinema. It is totally original."

Show Me Shorts competition judges

"Completely gripping and rather beautiful."

Bill Gosden - New Zealand International Festival Director

"A small gem."

Rolf de Heer - Filmmaker

"For its poetical narration and expressive body choreography in a film about death and transcendency."

Jury Award, Animanima

"Gripping, poetic, beautiful, and visually stunning…. A great example of a filmmaker who is relentlessly dedicated to a strong theme."

International ShortWork Award, Whistler FF

"For thrilling atmosphere in an oneiric surrounding and visually striking film with a strong intimacy and wise use of animation."

Best Animated Short, Warsaw FF

"Nominated for Best Short, Best Cinematography, Best Short Screenplay for a Short."

New Zealand Film Awards


“Who knows how to stem the tide except through dreams?”

One night an old seaman dreams the ocean into his bed. His sea green sheets become the polluted waters of his worst nightmare. His own mortality is at risk as his household objects begin to suffocate him.

The film is inspired by the life of, and performed by, the filmmaker’s father.



Past screenings

Cast and Crew

Lee Stuart
Alyx Duncan
Writer, Director, Producer
Ben Montgomery
Chris Pryor
John Downie
Vedat Kiyic
Sound Design and Mix
Francesca Mountfort
Daniel Strang
Download credits list



Lee Stuart is an anthropologist and environmentalist interested in relationships of communities with the land and sea.

Living on Waiheke Island since the late 70’s and working both alone and in collaboration with Greenpeace, Forest and Bird and concerned community organisations, he strove to strengthen community and ecological values. He participates in planning issues in opposition to the City Council and private developers. He has a PhD in Human Geography. His thesis looked at the social effects of our so called rights-based fisheries management system on Hauraki Gulf fishermen and their communities.

His acting debut was in feature film THE RED HOUSE in 2012. He is the filmmaker’s father.

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Writer, Director, Producer

Alyx Duncan is a filmmaker and choreographer in genres spanning live performance, installation, video-dance, music video, documentary, television commercials, and experimental filmmaking. Her research investigates human perception in relation to place, culture and political context.

Her first feature film THE RED HOUSE won Best Self-funded film at the 2012 New Zealand Film awards. Alongside her industry work she has taught papers in dance, digital video, and theatre studies at various tertiary institutions in New Zealand and China.

Alyx is currently producing Lani Feltham’s short film MOUSE, and co-writing two new feature films, and working on a series of one-shot shorts in collaboration with Touch Compass Dance Trust.

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Ben Montgomery studied cinematography at Unitec, and worked in the lighting department on countless projects such as commercials, feature films, music videos, and tv shows. He has a strong eye for composition. Recently he has been working on personal photographic projects including 35mm film photography.

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Chris Pryor was cinematographer and co-writer on WOODENHEAD, KAIKOHE DEMOLITION, RUBBINGS FROM A LIVE MAN and a myriad of documentaries and art projects. Christ’s latest film is the award winning documentary HOW FAR IS HEAVEN which he co-directed, and shot. Chris is no stranger to crafting cinema out of life’s chaos.

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John Downie has had a long career as a cross-disciplinary creative artist, and as a university lecturer in theatre, film, and creative practice generally. He retired from Victoria University, Wellington in 2012.

He is currently working on fictions, some new theatre works, and a dialogic art exhibition with his daughter Leda Farrow.

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Sound Design and Mix

Vedat Kiyici, Head of Sound at Envy Studios, moved to New York to study Audio Technology. After graduating the Institute of Audio Research he started his audio career in the music industry recording and mixing local bands as well as working with world-renowned musicians. In 2004, with nine years of NYC experience under his belt, he came to New Zealand.

Vedat has mixed TVCs, prime time reality shows, documentaries, short films, feature films, recorded ADR, and produced bands. He has worked with clients such as Great Southern TV, Imagination TV, Screentime, Disney, Warner Bros, and Lucas Arts. His technical knowledge and expertise coupled with his ever-growing passion for sound with pictures makes him one of Auckland's top engineers.

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Francesca Montfort is originally from Wellington, New Zealand. She has toured Europe, Australia and NZ with a variety of genre spanning acts including gypsy, swing, cabaret punk, indie, and solo cello with dance.

Recent side projects include Shljivovitz Orkestra, a seven piece gypsy orchestra who bring to life uplifting traditional music from the Balkans. Graduating from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Music in 2002 and Majoring in electroacoustic composition, she set about laying down the foundations for what would become Nervous Doll Dancing. Francesca studied cello with Rolf Gjelsten from the New Zealand String Quartet and with David Chickering, principal cellist of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

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Daniel Strang graduated from Wintec with a Master of Arts with Distinction in 2008. He currently works as a freelance editor and director, primarily for art/performance based documentaries and music videos. He also frequently exhibits video art and photographic works in a fine art context.

Strang won the Best Editor at the Kodak Music Video Awards in 2006 for Minuit’s “Fuji” and in 2003 Playing a Role, a short film he wrote and directed, was nominated for Best Screenplay at the New Zealand Film Awards.

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