John Feeney’s ‘Nile’ Diaries

About this object

John Patrick Feeney, writer, film maker and photographer, worked for the New Zealand National Film Unit, 1947-1954, where he was best known for producing ‘Legend of the Wanganui River’ (1952), ‘Kotuku’ (1954) and ‘Pumice Lands’ (1954). In 1954 Feeney moved to Canada to work for their National Film Board, where he made ten films, two of which ‘The Living Stone’ (1958) and ‘Kenjouak’ (1963) were nominated for Academy Awards for Documentary Short Subject. In 1963 Feeney relocated to Egypt after the Egyptian Ministry of Information invited him to film the highly anticipated ‘last’ Nile flood. Feeney subsequently followed the Nile from its source for 3200 kilometers, capturing the only filmed record of the event. The result was a Cinemascope feature documentary titled ‘Fountains of the Sun’, released in 1969, and nominated for inclusion in UNESCO’s ‘Memory of the World ‘ register in 2001. This diary is one of eight John Feeney wrote during pre-production, production and post-production of ‘Fountains of the Sun’. Each diary recounts daily events and personal reflections about film making, travel, administrative and financial matters as well as the distribution and exhibition of ‘Fountains of the Sun’. This diary describes Feeney’s experiences filming in Khartoum, Uganda and the Ruwenzori Mountains, working with the ‘Studio Msir Lab’ and recording the music for the ‘Fountains of the Sun’.



Feeney , John Patrick

Maker Role

Writer, film maker

Date Made

Mar 1964 - Mar 1966

Place Made


Medium and Materials

Loose papers (typescript with annotations).


30 x 22.4 x 0.85cm (89 pages)

Subject and Association Description

Named Collection

John Feeney Collection

Credit Line

Deposited by John Feeney’s estate, 2007

Object Type


Object number

A&D 2790 D6250-2-3

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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