Sir Peter Jackson gives insight on his stunning new WWI documentary

These are the lives of World War I soldiers as modern movie audiences have never seen before.

Sir Peter Jackson's latest project, They Shall Not Grow Old, is a labour of love for the Kiwi director. The documentary shows, in full colour, the horrors of war.

Sir Peter Jackson's latest project, They Shall Not Grow Old, is a labour of love for the Kiwi director. Source: Breakfast

"We are really connecting with these guys and I think that's what's affecting people the most with this film is they are suddenly seeing real people for the very first time," Sir Peter told 1 NEWS.

The director's fascination with WWI is well known. He was the brains behind Wellington War Museum's Great War Exhibition.

And his own grandfather, who the documentary is dedicated to, died from wounds he sustained in the conflict.

The World War One documentary created with 100-year-old footage premieres in London next month. Source: 1 NEWS

"I'm sure if my grandfather's voice was there he'd be telling the same story… that's what I was thinking," he said. 

While it was made in association with the BBC, the documentary does feature some Kiwi troops, including some rugby players wearing the silver fern.

"Anytime I could sneak shots of Kiwis in there I did," Sir Peter said.

Post production on the film was done in Wellington, which was important to the director.

"What we didn't know is how good we could make the black and white film look, and that's a really tricky process and it took us months," he said. "And that's why I wanted to do it here, because I wanted to be hands on.

"I mean, I live here, I want to drive five minutes and make my movie."

The film has been released in the UK and had its premiere in London.

It will be released nationwide on Sunday, to coincide with Armistice Day.

The renowned Kiwi director spoke with 1 NEWS ahead of the release of They Shall Not Grow Old. Source: 1 NEWS