Peter Wells is a distinguished writer and film-maker.
As a writer, he won the 1992 NZ Book Award for Fiction for his first book of short stories Dangerous Desires, published by Viking Penguin in New York and Secker and Warburg in London. The book also won, among other awards, the PEN (NZ) Best First Book in Prose Award in 1992.
He has since published another book of short fiction The Duration of a Kiss (New York, Sydney and London), and a novel Boy Overboard which was shortlisted for the 1998 Commonwealth Prize Pacific Region. He has published a memoir Long Loop Home which won the 2002 Montana New Zealand Book Award for Biography. Iridescence was runner up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the Montana Book Awards and a finalist in the Tasmania-Pacific Award. Lucky Bastard, a novel, was published 2006. The Hungry Heart, a biography in search of the dissident missionary and thinker William Colenso, was a finalist in the NZ Book Awards in 2011.
He was awarded Creative New Zealand’s Michael King Fellowship in 2011 and is writing a book on Volkner and Kereopa Te Rau which will be published by Random Penguin in May 2014.
His stories have been anthologised widely, both nationally (including The Oxford Book of New Zealand Short Stories) and internationally The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, edited by David Leavitt. Two stories have been made into films: One of Them!, a television drama, and Memory and Desire, a feature film directed by Niki Caro.
In 1999 he was co-winner of the Landfall Essay Prize and he was declared New Zealander of the Year by North & South Magazine.
He co-founded the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival, and was creative director in 2000 and 2001, then from 2003 to 2008. He has been made a Member of the Order of New Zealand for services to film and literature.
His films include A Death in the Family, one of the earliest dramatised responses to Aids, which won, among other international awards, the Blue Ribbon Award at the American Film Festival in New York. His documentaries include The Newest City on the Globe which effectively kickstarted Napier as an Art Deco destination and The Mighty Civic which led to the 1929 picture palace being restored. This won the Golden Gate Jury Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
He was co-writer and co-director of the feature film Desperate Remedies which screened at Un Certain Regard at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival and won, among other awards, Best Director Award at the Asia Pacific Festival. He was co-drector of Georgie Girl which won the 2002 Documentary Award at the Frameline Festival in San Francisco and the Audience Award at the Sydney International Film Festival.
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