Alfred Henry Whitehouse

Showman and the first New Zealand filmmaker

Whitehouse was a travelling showman from Auckland who introduced film to New Zealand in the form of the Edison Kinetoscope in Auckland on 29 November 1895. The primitive version of the Kinetoscope with sound, the Kinetophone, was added to his repertoire in January 1896. Having acquired his own camera by 1898 Whitehouse began to shoot local topicals, such as The Departure of the 2nd Contingent for the Boer War (the only film of his to survive, New Zealand's earliest), Menís Canoe Hurdle Race and Uhlan Winning the Auckland Cup at Ellerslie on Boxing Day 1898. He was not an ambitious producer, but he took a group of his films to the Paris Exposition in 1900, returning to take up film exhibition for a while but filming himself no more.

Luke McKernan