The Christchurch Earthquake Movie

The Christchurch Earthquake Movie

The official trailer for the Christchurch earthquake movie has been released on YouTube.

The film is called ‘When a City Falls’ and has had over 30,000 views in just a few days.

Created by Christchurch-based Frank Film, directed by award winning film maker, Gerard Smyth, and produced by Alice Shannon, the documentary movie is likely to be well received by Cantabrians as well as New Zealanders throughout the country.

The trailer sets the stage for a powerful movie that is sure to touch the hearts of thousands. Particularly those who experienced or were closely involved with the earthquake and devastating afterschocks themselves.

The trailer has already attracted a number of people asking if the film will be released overseas – in Australia (yes) and the UK (no answer yet) – and has incited some emotional comments from Christchurch-based YouTube users, such as:

Well done to the maker of this film. Its hard for me to watch as I was in the CTV building with my two young children when it collapsed.Its great to see the people of CHCH staying strong and rebuilding their beautiful city. Thanks to the wonderful men and women who rescued us x


The movie will first screen at Reading Cinema at The Palms Mall on November 16th when it re-opens for the first time following the earthquakes, and will come to cinemas nationwide from 24th November.

The disturbing scenes coupled with the fact that Reading Cinema viewers will be sitting in a building that has been closed for so long following earthquake damage may be too much for some people to stomach, as this commenter suggests:

I still live here in Chch, still cry. Know what you mean about not trusting buildings but putting my faith in the Palms Mall for premiere. It use to be MY Mall, only 500m from my house, scared to go back, was there on Dec 26th that was the end for that mall, I’ll go back for movie, be brave, keep strong.


The film was produced with grants from New Zealand Film Commission and NZ On Air.

While it’s obviously nowhere near the same quality, you can also view my own video from inside the red zone.

Film Links:

  • *sigh* yes i watched it the other day and blubbed just at the trailer – feeling everything they did… reckon i’d be a mess watching the whole thing… but i will…eventually