Pineapple BORN in Hampstead, London. Parents Jack Gaster and Maire Lynd; a mixed ancestry of Rumanian Jewish and Irish Protestant: an upbringing in a tumultuous cosmopolitan atmosphere of progressive radical intellectual activity.

After finishing ordinary schooling I went to Art School, training as a painter. Gradually my main interest changed and I became obsessed with Cinema, eventually changing courses and attending the London School of Film Technique for two years. While there I learnt all aspects of my craft including, direction, lighting and camera, sound and picture editing.

Working briefly in commercials after leaving Film school, I then worked at Rank Film Laboratories for six months. At that time one of the few ways of joining the cinema union, the A.C.T.T., but also an invaluable insight into the technical details of the film making process. I then joined United Motion Pictures as an assistant Editor, quickly moving to full Editor.

I then went freelance in, working on B.B.C. and Independent TV films and documentaries. In 1974 I moved to Feature Films, working as Music Editor on 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'.

I have been fortunate to, work with many world renowned film directors, editing many critically successful films starting with the Oscar nominated, 'Whales of August', by Lindsay Anderson. The last film to star the legendary actresses, Lillian Gish and Betty Davis.

'A World Apart', by Chris Menges followed immediately, which won both the Special Jury and Best Actress prizes at the Cannes Film Festival.

I then spent a year in Paris, working with Peter Brook, on his epic production of the Indian mythological classic, 'The Mahabharata'. This six hour film was shown world-wide, winning the Golden Globe in America, for best foreign TV film. In 2001 I returned to Paris for Peter’s radical reworking of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, collaborating with the director on the set throughout the shoot and even acting a small role!

After Paris I was called to Zagreb to edit 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead', written and directed by Tom Stoppard, which won the Lion d'Or for best film at the Venice Film Festival.

I had a very happy collaboration with Milcho Manchevski working is Makedonia on, 'Before the Rain', which won another Golden Lion at the Venice film festival and was nominated that year for , 'Best foreign Film Oscar'., and later 'Dust', a grand amalgam of national revolt and traditional western.

I have Labina Mitevska to thank for introducing me to Taona Mitevska with whom I cut, 'How I Killed a Saint' and 'The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears'.

While living in Berlin I edited 'The Ogre', directed by Volker Schlöndorf, and starring John Malkovitch, also directing uncredited 2nd unit. Later that year I travelled to Santa Fe, New Mexico to finish 'Simmoom, A Passion in the Desert', a film based on a Balzac short story, directed by Lavinia Currier and starring Michel Piccolli.

Since I have developed a very good relationship with director Roger Michell,, collaborating with him on , ‘The Mother’, ‘Enduring Love’, ‘Venus’, which produced another Oscar nomination for Peter O’Toole, and lastly ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’, with Bill Murray.

After a stint in Hawaii cutting 'Oka', an ethnically based feature about the Pigmies of the Central African Republic and their battle for survival, I had the joy of working with Ralph Fiennes on his first two directorial outings, 'Coriolanus' and 'Invisible Woman'. Coriolanus was shot in Kotor and Belgrade where I directed some uncredited 2nd Unit for the Coriolanus battle scenes.

Continuing the thespian theme the late Alan Rickman asked me to edit, ‘and also to take over the 2nd Unit shoot on his film ‘A Little Chaos’ during which I had the chance to direct Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts in a couple of scenes..

Editing my friend, Rade Serbedzija's film, ' Liberation of Skopje', took me back to the Balkans, always a pleasure.

Most recently I cut Rupert Everett’s directorial debut, 'The Happy Prince', a story of Oscar Wilde’s last days, written and directed by Rupert Everett, who also stars, alongside Colin Firth and Emily Watson.

NICOLAS GASTER acceptance speech for lifetime achievement award

Hello АФПМ AFP na Makedonija,

You do me a great honour in awarding me a life time’s achievement award for editing.

Thank you so much.

I have very much appreciated the time I have been able to spend in Makedonija, working alongside and making friends with all the talented technicians and artists of the Makedonijan film industry.

I am very grateful for the warmth and hospitality which has greeted me when I have been working in the republic, indeed all the republics of ex Jugoslavia. Film people are a race apart: we speak the same special language of collaborative artistic creativity which makes life truly exciting!

I am very sorry I cannot be with you today in person. I am still active so in the process of cutting a film about Catherine the Great of Russia which means I can’t fit a trip to Skopje into the schedule. (I will be available to cut films later though!)

As you can see from my photograph I am dressed for an award ceremony. I have included my wife Susan in the photo as well. She also thanks you. She says now she finally won’t have to listen to me complaining about my lack of recognition, for which she is deeply grateful.

Once again I am so thankful I have had for the wonderful privilege of visiting Makedonija so many times. It is a place very close to my heart.

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