About Bryan

Bryan Bruce is an award winning documentary maker, and best selling author. Born in Scotland in 1948, his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1956. He grew up in Christchurch and attended the University of Canterbury where he graduated with an M.A. in Sociology and Philosophy and Christchurch Teacher’s College where he earned a Diploma in Teaching.

He was a professional musician for over 25 years before eventually taking up a career in television in 1985.

He now resides in Auckland New Zealand.

Some of his published non-fiction works include:

  • A Taste of History ( Batemans 2007) A history of everyday foods
  • Hard cases (Random House New Zealand 2008 )
  • Historia Smaku ( Cartablanca 2000).
  • Jesus: The Cold Case Random House New Zealand 2010
  • Jezus: Dowody Zbrodni Cartablanca Poland 2011

His feature length prime time documentaries ranging in topic from natural history to crime have consistently attracted large audiences and enthusiastic revues.

He wrote , produced and directs the real crime show The investigator which screened on TV ONE (Television New Zealand) and  CBS Reality ).

He is an advocate for the rights of children and administrates the face book page http://www.facebook.com/InsideChildPoverty


  • 2014 New York Festivals Gold Medal for his Social Issues documentary -MIND THE GAP
  • 2012 New York Festivals Silver and Bronze Medals
  • Winner History and Religion Documentary Categories – JESUS THE COLD CASE.
  • 2012 Winner TV Guide Best On The Box Best Documentary Award  INSIDE CHILD POVERTY – screened on TV3.
  • 2011 Winner Aotearoa Film and Television Awards
  • Best Documentary- Jesus: The Cold Case.
  • 2008 Winner Qantas Awards Best Documentary Director.
  • Finalist: Best Factual Entertainment Series.
  • 2005 Nominated Best Factual Director – NZ Television Awards (A Question of Justice).
  • 2003 Finalist New York Festivals Television Programming Awards (Writer, Director Producer for The Lost Dinosaurs).
  • 2003 Banff Television Festival Award Finalist (The Lost Dinosaurs)
  • 2002 Winner- Best Director Factual Entertainment (New Zealand Television Awards)
  • 1999 NZ Film and TV Award finalist Best Script (The Trouble With Ben])
  • 1998 NZ Film and TV Award finalist Best Director Factual Television (Shaky Beginnings)
  • 1997 Winner – NZ Film and TV Award – Best Director Documentary (Murder They Said)
  • 1995 ITVA- Best Documentary
  • 1993 Nominated Best Director NZ Film and TV Award – Best Director ( Documentary) (Serious Fraud)
  • 1991 Auckland University Award for Excellence in Journalism


The following documentaries made by Bryan Bruce are lodged at The New Zealand Film Archive and can be found here.

  • Nothing to Live For : A 50 min Documentary on Suicide for TVNZ.
  • Peter Blake (yachtsman) : A 50 min documentary for TVNZ on the life of winning Whitbread Skipper Sir Peter Blake
  • The Tour Ten years On : A 50 min documentary for TVNZ on the civil disorder surrounding the SpringbokTour of 1981.
  • Whina Te Whaea O Te Motu : A 50 min documentary for TVNZ on the life of the late Dame Whina Cooper.
  • Water A 58 min documentary (International Co-production with PBS Dallas).
  • Breaking Barriers: A 48 min documentary on the life of pioneer filmmaker John O’Shea (director).
  • 17 : A Documentary for TVNZ channel 2 about teenage life in New Zealand
  • Stand By Your Man : A 46 min documentary for TVNZ about the dilemmas women face when their partners are imprisoned.
  • You’re Soaking in It!: A 46 min documentary on Social Change in New Zealand for TVNZ, using old television commercials to tell the story.
  • Serious Fraud: A Inside NZ documentary for TV3 about the life and times of three of New Zealand’s biggest fraudsters.
  • Beyond A Joke: A 46 min documentary for TVNZ on the Kiwi sense of humour.
  • Murder They Said: A 90 min Inside NZ drama documentary for TV3 about the investigation and trial of David Tamihere.
  • The Coach: A Inside NZ documentary for TV3 about two sports coaches.
  • In Cold Blood: A 90 min Inside NZ documentary on mass murder, featuring similarities in the lives of mass killers Thomas Hamilton ( Dunblane Scotland) Martin Bryant (Australia) and David Gray (New Zealand).
  • Twisted Tales : A Originator of Emmy Award Winning Series 1 – 13x 24 mins hour animal stories for Animal Planet and Natural History (NZ) Ltd.
  • First Impressions: A 44 min Inside NZ documentary about how we make up about our minds about people in the first few seconds of the encounter.
  • Heavy Petting: A 45 min documentary for TVNZ on the psychology of pet ownership.
  • Shaky Beginnings : A 45 min documentary for TVNZ on New Zealand’s Geology and geography.
  • The Trouble With Ben : A 44 min documentary about a mother trying to look after her intellectually disabled boy at home.
  • State Of Mind : A 44 min documentary for TV3 about the deinstitutionalisation of Mental Health in NZ
  • Workhorse to Dreamhorse : A 44 min documentary for TVNZ about the history of the horse in New Zealand.
  • The Bughouse : A 44 min documentary for TVNZ about the bugs that live in our houses featuring entomologist Ruud Kleinpaste.
  • The Bridge : A 43 min documentary for TVNZ on the history of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
  • The Last Place On Earth : A 55 min documentary about New Zealand Geology, Flora & Fauna.
  • The Lost Dinosaurs Of New Zealand : A 52 minute documentary about the discovery of New Zealand dinosaurs by Dr Joan Wiffen.
  • The Sir Howard Morrison Story: A 50 minute autobiographical documentary about the life of entertainer Sir Howard Morrison for TVNZ.
  • Trial By Ordeal : A 70 minute drama documentary on the trial of John Barlow for the murder of Eugene Thomas and his son Gene.
  • A Question Of Justice : A 93 Minute docudrama on David Bain who was convicted in 1995 of the murder of his family. TV1 Highest rated NZ On Air funded factual programme in 2005
  • Monsters Of The Deep: A 52 Minute TVNZ and International documentary on the identity of a huge carcass hauled up off the New Zealand coast.
  • The Investigator: An 18 part Cold Case Crime series for TVNZ.
  • Inside Child Poverty: A 45 Minute documentary for TV3.
  • Jesus: The Cold Case: A 90 Minute documentary for TVNZ. Won AFTA for Best Documentary plus Silver and Bronze Medals in Religion and History categories at The New York Festivals Television and Film Awards. Awarded despite apparent initial TVNZ reluctance to release, and subsequent criticism from some reviewers.
  • Who Killed The Crewes?: A 45 Minute documentary for TVNZ on the controversial unsolved murder of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe in Pukekawa 1970
  • MIND THE GAP – 44 Minute documentary fro TV 3  on  the increasing gap between the rich and the poor in New Zealand
  • Passion In Paradise – A Sexual History of New Zealand .5 part drama documentary series for TVNZ

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