Films by Venue

Academy Cinema

Alive Inside

Michael Rossato-Bennett

As dementia continues to affect millions worldwide, this rousing and emotional documentary reveals a remarkably simple, music-based breakthrough and shows how it has already transformed lives.

Alphabet

Erwin Wagenhofer

German filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer travels Europe and Asia to assemble evidence in favour of less regimented and competitive notions of education than those prevailing throughout much of the world (including New Zealand).

Animation Now 2014

This year’s Animation Now unleashes the unique properties of animation across a wide variety of techniques, bringing to life a diversity of sumptuous, often complex creative visions.

Art and Craft

Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman

Exploring the 30-year ‘career’ of a gifted fine art forger, Art and Craft delves into one of the most intriguing cases of deception in art history and its ramifications for the unhappy curators who fell for the fakes.

At Berkeley

Frederick Wiseman

A thoroughly absorbing documentary exploring multiple facets of America’s most famously progressive public university, while students and administrators negotiate the gathering threats to accessible tertiary education.

Aunty and the Star People

Gerard Smyth

In New Zealand, writer Jean Watson is an anonymous elderly woman living in a modest Wellington flat. In southern India she is revered as the famous ‘Jean Aunty’. Gerard Smyth’s documentary explores her fascinating double life.

Cap Bocage

Jim Marbrook

Jim Marbrook, director of Mental Notes and the original Dark Horse doco, takes us inside the long environmental campaign that followed the pollution of traditional Kanak fishing grounds in New Caledonia in 2008.

Club Sándwich

Fernando Eimbcke

This charming Mexican film is both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny as the relationship between a holidaying 15-year-old boy and his loving mother is tested by the arrival on the scene of a girl his own age.

Concerning Violence

Göran Hugo Olsson

This powerful documentary draws on rarely seen interviews and action footage from African liberation struggles of the 60s and 70s to offer fresh insight into the nature and enduring legacy of colonialism.

Consuming Spirits

Chris Sullivan

A comic nightmare of three strange characters connected by unsolved crimes and the local newspaper, Christopher Sullivan’s animated slice of small-town Americana is as far from family-friendly as animated features come.

The Darkside

Warwick Thornton

Samson & Delilah director Warwick Thornton invited Aboriginal people to share their experiences of the supernatural – and selected 13 of the most potent to be brought back to life by actors in this film.

Dior and I

Frédéric Tcheng

This fascinating and entertaining documentary takes us behind the scenes at the House of Dior as incoming designer Raf Simons conceives his first collection, and Dior’s highly skilled ateliers bring it to life.

E-Team

Katy Chevigny, Ross Kauffman

When atrocities are committed in countries held hostage by ruthless dictators, Human Rights Watch sends in the E-Team, a collection of brave individuals who document war crimes and report them to the rest of the world.

Enemy

Denis Villeneuve

Jake Gyllenhaal delivers two great performances in this compelling and creepy doppelgänger tale about a dishevelled university professor who spots his exact double performing in a movie, and tracks him down.

The Epic of Everest

J.B.L. Noel

Magnificent and haunting, the official record of the legendary 1924 Everest expedition screens in a superb restoration. Filmed by Captain John Noel, who accompanied doomed mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine.

Erewhon

Gavin Hipkins

For his first feature-length film the widely exhibited New Zealand photographer Gavin Hipkins invests a richly pictorial essay with the 21st-century resonance of Samuel Butler’s lively utopian satire Erewhon, written in 1872.

Exhibition

Joanna Hogg

A handsome modernist London townhouse has the power and presence of a third character in this closely observed dramatic portrait of its owners, an artist couple on the brink of change.

Faith Connections

Pan Nalin

A fascinating, spectacular and arrestingly intimate excursion into the heart of the Kumbh Mela, where millions of Hindu pilgrims converge every three years to purify themselves in the waters of a sacred river.

First Cousin Once Removed

Alan Berliner

Winner of the Best Documentary award at IDFA, director Alan Berliner’s film about his lifelong friend and mentor, the distinguished poet and translator Edwin Honig, becomes a profound study in identity and memory.

Fish & Cat

Mahi Va Gorbeh

Shahram Mokri

Boldly inventive and intricately choreographed, this Iranian one-shot wonder weaves an enigmatic time-warp narrative around a group of characters who have congregated at a lakeside camp.

The Great Museum

Das grosse Museum

Johannes Holzhausen

This wryly observed, visually sumptuous documentary takes us behind the scenes at Vienna’s Art History Museum while staff prepare an ambitious renovation, reinstallation and rebranding of its palatial Kunstkammer galleries.

Human Capital

Il capitale umano

Paolo Virzì

Two of Italy’s leading actresses, Valeria Golino and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, star in a stylish whodunit based on Stephen Amidon’s best-selling book of the same name, expertly intertwining love, class and ambition.

InRealLife

Beeban Kidron

Checking in with a generation of British kids who never knew life before social media, Beeban Kidron asks the rest of us to consider why anyone should worry about their being so totally plugged in.

Jimi: All Is By My Side

John Ridley

This provocative portrait of Jimi Hendrix as a fledgling rock legend features Outkast’s André Benjamin as the supremely gifted young guitarist in Swinging London. Directed by 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley.

Joe

David Gordon Green

Nicolas Cage offers a strikingly well-rounded picture of a good-hearted tough guy facing down his demons in David Gordon Green’s tale of friendship and menace set deep in the Mississippi backwoods.

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

David Zellner

Inspired by an urban legend that was itself inspired by the Coen brothers’ Fargo, filmmaking brothers David and Nathan Zellner have crafted a quixotic adventure story as beguiling as it is wondrously strange.

The Last of the Unjust

Le dernier des injustes

Claude Lanzmann

The Nazi-appointed Jewish leader who collaborated with the Germans and survived the Theresienstadt concentration camp defends his actions with compelling verve in Claude Lanzmann’s gripping new film, built around a 1975 interview.

Lilting

Hong Khaou

Ben Whishaw brings moving sensitivity to this lyrical tale of a young gay man tragically bereft of the love of his life and craving reconciliation with his lover’s old-school Chinese-Cambodian mother.

Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed

Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados

David Trueba

Inspired by actual events in 1966, this buoyant and funny road movie about an English-language teacher determined to meet John Lennon won all the major Spanish film awards this year.

Locke

Steven Knight

Tom Hardy mesmerises as a man dealing with crisis on all fronts, making and taking frantic phone calls as he steers his BMW through the night. Steven Knight’s breathless feat of real-time drama is set entirely inside the car.

Looking for Light: Jane Bown

Luke Dodd, Michael Whyte

“A quiet, moving portrait of Jane Bown, the longstanding Observer photographer who has taken all those iconic portraits you know, but probably didn’t know she’d taken.” — Deborah Ross, The Spectactor

Manakamana

Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez

In this hypnotic observational documentary from Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, a fixed camera captures diverse travellers – from devout pilgrims to media-savvy metalheads – riding the gondola to and from a Hindu temple in Nepal.

National Gallery

Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman, the grand old man of observational documentary, explores London’s National Gallery, looking in on backroom activities but more interested in examining the enduring power of the paintings themselves.

The Noble Family

Nosotros los Nobles

Gary Alazraki

A self-made mogul tricks his three spoiled-rotten kids into believing they are paupers. Mexico’s biggest box-office hit of all time made millions by taking satirical aim at the idle rich.

notes to eternity

Sarah Cordery

Renowned critics of Israeli policies – Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Sara Roy and Robert Fisk – provide personal substance and historical perspective to their arguments in this impressive film by New Zealander Sarah Cordery.

The Overnighters

Jesse Moss

As richly peopled as a Steinbeck novel, Jesse Moss’ doco about the impact of the oil boom on a small North Dakota town follows the controversial campaign of a local priest to support the influx of homeless job-seekers.

Regarding Susan Sontag

Nancy D. Kates

This documentary of novelist, critic and public intellectual Susan Sontag is rich with insight and biographical details about the defining impact on her life and work of key relationships with several highly accomplished women.

The Reunion

Återträffen

Anna Odell

In her bold, biting and unnervingly entertaining film recounting schoolyard misery, Swedish artist Anna Odell shows exactly why her high school class chose not to invite her to their 20th anniversary reunion.

Sacro GRA

Gianfranco Rosi

This elegantly shot and crafted Italian documentary takes us into the lives of a handful of intriguing individuals who live and work around Rome’s ring road, the Grande Raccordo Anulare.

The Skeleton Twins

Craig Johnson

Saturday Night Live veterans Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are brilliant as long-estranged twins who reunite in a crisis in this warm, often outrageously funny dramedy of late-30-something angst. Also starring Luke Wilson.

Sol LeWitt

Chris Teerink

One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Sol LeWitt refused to become an art personality. This doco honours his wish, exploring the conceptual basis of his work and celebrating its spectacular realisation.

Te Awa Tupua - Voices from the River

Paora Te Oti Takarangi Joseph

This beautiful new film from the director of Tatarakihi honours the longstanding struggle of Whanganui iwi to reclaim guardianship over their ancestral river.

Tender

Lynette Wallworth

In this remarkably rewarding documentary we meet a feisty community group in Port Kembla, NSW that sets out to bypass the corporate drivers of the funeral industry and set up their own non-profit funeral business.

Tūmanako/Hope

Susy Pointon

Many roads lead to the Hokianga in this engaging documentary portrait of several generations of inhabitants: local iwi, long-established farming families, and the alternative lifestylers of the 60s and 70s who put down roots and stayed.

Voices of the Land: Ngā Reo o te Whenua

Paul Wolffram

Paul Wolffram’s fascinating and eloquent doco about Māori instrumental traditions accompanies Richard Nunns and Horomona Horo as they perform in a series of remarkable South Island wilderness settings.

Watchers of the Sky

Edet Belzberg

This rewarding documentary explores the work of the man who, in 1944, coined the word ‘genocide’, as well as four modern day activists who continue his crusade to establish international procedures to end such horrors.

Welcome to New York

Abel Ferrara

The director of The Bad Lieutenant teams up with the fearless Gerard Dépardieu for the best, most inflammatory film either has made in years, a lurid tale of excess and obsession inspired by the downfall of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.