Justin Pemberton

Justin Pemberton is a documentary filmmaker based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Life and careerEdit

Pemberton's adaptation of economist Thomas Piketty’s NY Times bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century premièred at Sydney Film Festival in June 2019[1].

In 2016 Pemberton co-wrote and directed a film about rugby player Richie McCaw called Chasing Great.[2] The film topped the New Zealand box office with a record-breaking opening weekend [3] and became the highest grossing New Zealand documentary of all time.[4]

His 2016 interactive documentary I Spy (with My 5 Eyes) investigated the Five Eyes Intelligence sharing network. The documentary was produced by Carthew Neal and was a co-production with Canadian digital media company Jam3.

Pemberton was also Executive Producer on the David Farrier documentary Tickled.[5]

Pemberton wrote and directed the feature docudrama The Golden Hour, based on the story of New Zealand athletes Peter Snell and Murray Halberg at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. The Golden Hour was nominated for a 2013 International Emmy Award for best documentary.[6][needs update]

His film The Nuclear Comeback investigated the nuclear power industry’s claim that, as a low carbon emitter, nuclear power is climate-friendly source of energy. The documentary won Best Documentary at Italy’s CinemAmbiente Film Festival in 2008 [7] and Best New Zealand Feature Documentary at the DocNZ Film Festival.[8] Pemberton was also awarded Achievement in Directing (Documentary) at the 2008 Qantas Film and Television Awards for The Nuclear Comeback.[9]

Pemberton’s film Love, Speed and Loss, about Grand Prix road-racer Kim Newcombe, won Best Documentary, Best Editing and Best Directing at the 2007 New Zealand Screen Awards[10] and was awarded Best Arts/Festival Documentary at the 2007 Qantas Television Awards.

He has frequently collaborated with New Zealand musician Anika Moa, directing two documentaries following the singer[11] as well as music videos and photo shoots, including the cover of her 2010 album Love In Motion. Moa has also composed the soundtracks for five of Pemberton’s films.

Festivals and awardsEdit

Love Speed and Loss
  • 2007 NZ Screen Awards: Win, Best Documentary,
  • 2007 NZ Screen Awards: Win, Achievement in Directing
  • 2007 NZ TV Awards: Win, Best Arts/Festival Documentary
  • 2005 New Zealand International Film Festivals
  • 2006 Reel Life On Film, Melbourne, Australia
The Nuclear Comeback
  • 2008 NZ Film & TV Awards: Win, Achievement in Directing
  • 2008 Cinemambiente, Italy: Win, Best Documentary
  • 2007 DOC NZ Film Festival: Win, Best NZ Feature
  • 2008 Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden
  • 2008 Rodos Film Festival, Greece: Runner-up, Medium Length Feature
  • 2008 South African International Documentary Film Festival
  • 2008 Festival Internacional de Cine Documentary, Mexico
  • 2008 Globale Berlin Film Festival, Germany
  • 2009 Cinema Planeta, Mexico
  • 2009 One World Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic
The Golden Hour
  • 2013 International Emmy Awards: Nomination, Best Documentary
Chasing Great
  • 2017 New Zealand Film Awards: Nomination, Best Documentary, Best Documentary Director
I Spy (With My 5 Eyes)
Capital In The Twenty-First Century


  1. ^ https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/capital-in-the-21st-century-2019
  2. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5722234/
  3. ^ "'Chasing Great' breaks box office record for NZ doco". Newstalkzb.co.nz. 2016-09-08. Retrieved 2017-05-01.
  4. ^ "Richie McCaw's Chasing Great highest grossing NZ doco of all time | 1 NEWS NOW". TVNZ. 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2017-05-01.
  5. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5278506/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  6. ^ "2013 International Emmy Award Nominees". The International Emmy Awards web site. Archived from the original on 2011-12-25.
  7. ^ CinemAmbiente. "Winners 2008". CinemAmbiente. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  8. ^ "The Nuclear Comeback". THE DOCNZ TRUST. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Qantas Film and Television Awards 2008 - Winners List" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  10. ^ "NZ On Screen". Justin Pemberton Biography. NZ On Air. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  11. ^ NZ On Screen. "Justin Pemberton Biography". NZ On Air. Retrieved 27 August 2012.

External linksEdit