A montage of the former Miss New Zealand winner is featured in an upcoming documentary about the competition.
An interesting documentary is being made about the ups and downs of the Miss New Zealand competition.
During the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, winning the title was the equivalent of becoming an All Black in terms of fame. But now, competition is barely making a ripple.
Documentary filmmaker Neil Gussey says the winner of the competition from that era is Lady Di. She was right, they accompanied royals on women’s magazine covers over the decades and many have had very successful careers in the world of fashion, beauty, and television.
“This documentary is an exciting journey back in time, talking to various winners and reminiscing about their experiences in their years in office,” said Gussey, who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business as a photographer since the 80’s.
He has selected nine winners from the years he thinks stood out the most from both their victories and beyond.
These include our most famous beauty queen Lorraine Downes, who became our first Miss Universe in 1983, and Elaine Daley (Miscall), who was a celebrity for decades when she finished second at Miss World in 1963.
Mrs World 1987 winner Barbara McDowell will appear and Gussey says some of the funniest stories have come from Tracey Allan and her mother, Lorraine, who named Miss Mother and Daughter New Zealand 1988 and flew to Guam and reached the finals.
Alongside interviews with previous winners, Gussey has interviewed several famous faces and industry experts, including Colin Mathura-Jeffree, Paula Ryan, Dame Trelise Cooper, Di Goldsworthy and of course the eyes and ears of the time, the great David Hartnell, to tell the background. behind him and is it really a fairy tale to everyone.
One thing people often forget, Gussey says, is that we nearly lost Miss Universe three years before Downes took the crown in 1983 at Denyse Borley (Nottle)
“Two days before the final of Miss Universe 1980, the press photographer chose Denyse as the winner of Miss Photogenic and she shot up and, out of 75 contestants, was the same favorite to win, along with Miss Sweden and Miss USA with bookies odds of 3-1. “
Nottle was runner up 2nd and went on to become a successful international model working in Europe for many years and is now based in London.
Gussey thinks the peak of the competition will be the mid-80s, when Downes took the crown and the number of views on TV was very high.
In regards to the fall in competition, he said it happened in 1989, when TVNZ stopped playing and time had passed. Gussey said he has seen a revival in the modern era with the rise of reality TV and social media.
She includes Holly Michelle Cassidy from 2013, who competed in Russia for Miss Universe when Donald Trump was running the competition, and Jess Tyson from 2018, who went to Miss World and reached the top six.
Gussey hopes the interview will be completed by the end of August. Look forward to major film screenings at the Event Theater with all proceeds going to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Center.
The film will then be put on various film festivals next year and be available to watch online.