February 16, 1956 in Greytown, New Zealand
Vincent Ward has produced, executive produced and/or written and directed feature films including What Dreams May Come (Which won an Oscar and was nominated for 2 Academy Awards), The River Queen (Won best film in Shanghai) and The Last Samurai (4 Academy Award nominations and winner of Best Foreign Film in Japan) developing the underlying material he chose the director, before acting as an executive producer on this film. Ward's films have earned critical acclaim and festival attention whilst achieving a wide, eclectic audience. Vigil (1984), The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) and Map of the Human Heart (1993) were the first films by a New Zealander to be officially selected for the Cannes Film Festival. Between them they garnered close to 30 national and international awards (including the Grand Prix at festivals in Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the United States). His latest feature film Rain of the Children (2008) was voted by the audience, from 250 feature films, to win the Grand Prix at Poland's largest film festival. The film was also nominated for best director in New Zealand and Australia. Ward was awarded an Order of New Zealand Merit in 2007 and is in the process of actively searching for material for new projects.