Films by Title

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20,000 Days on Earth

Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard

The legend of Nick Cave is explored and amplified in this seductive, music-filled documentary created in collaboration with British filmmaker/artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. “Thrilling to behold.” — Time Out

52 Tuesdays

Sophie Hyde

A delicate and frequently touching debut drama, Australian director Sophie Hyde’s film, shot over a year of Tuesdays, traces a teenage girl’s explorations of her own sexual identity while her mother undergoes gender transition.

A

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.

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.

The Armstrong Lie

Alex Gibney

Investigative filmmaker Alex Gibney (Enron, We Steal Secrets) incorporates amazing all-access footage of the 2009 Tour de France into a comprehensive interrogation of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and the world he dominated.

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.

B

The Babadook

Jennifer Kent

‘Baba-dook-dook-dook’ joins ‘Candyman’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ as words too terrifying to say, but too tempting not to, thanks to Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent’s startling and thought-provoking horror house thriller.

Beloved Sisters

Die geliebten Schwestern

Dominik Graf

Beautifully acted, exquisitely mounted and fascinatingly evocative of its social setting, Beloved Sisters dramatises the shifting ménage-à-trois of the 18th-century poet Friedrich Schiller and the two sisters who shared his life.

Boyhood

Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater’s enthralling and moving drama of a boy’s progress from childhood to young manhood is truly unprecedented: it was shot over 12 years, capturing its star and his fellow cast as they themselves grew and changed.

C

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.

Charlie’s Country

Rolf de Heer

Aussie maverick Rolf de Heer’s latest collaboration with the great Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil, after the folkloric Ten Canoes and historical The Tracker, is a moving picture of present-day life in Australia’s far north.

D

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.

Diplomacy

Diplomatie

Volker Schlöndorff

This expert adaptation of a hit stage play imagines the negotiation between the German governor tasked by Hitler to destroy Paris and the Swedish counsel credited with persuading him not to.

The Double

Richard Ayoade

A faceless bureaucrat (Jesse Eisenberg) and his suave doppelgänger (Jesse Eisenberg) compete for Mia Wasikowska’s attention in Richard Ayoade’s stylish, retro-future take on Dostoevsky.

E

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.

Eastern Boys

Robin Campillo

A 50-something businessman gets more than he bargained for when he invites a young street hustler back to his apartment. Loaded with sexual tension, this superbly directed thriller never goes where you expect.

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.

Everything We Loved

Max Currie

A man, a woman and a four-year-old boy retreat to a house outside town. What are they hiding from? Debut writer/director Max Currie staggers its revelations to dramatic effect in this suspenseful psychological drama.

F

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.

Folies Bergère

La ritournelle

Marc Fitoussi

Isabelle Huppert is touching and funny as a farmer’s wife who takes off to Paris on a whim in this poignant comedy of 50-something upheaval – and romance in unexpected places.

Force Majeure

Turist

Ruben Östlund

Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s Cannes sensation combines black comedy, social satire and probing psycho-drama as a model family comes apart on a skiing holiday in the French Alps.

Frank

Lenny Abrahamson

Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhall play fiercely avant-garde musicians in this weirdly celebratory satire of an obscure art rock band propelled via Twitter into the limelight.

G

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

Dayna Goldfine, Dan Geller

A flamboyant Viennese baroness and her two lovers bring mystery and murder to a lonely Pacific paradise in this lavishly archived, stranger-than-fiction documentary whodunit.

God Help the Girl

Stuart Murdoch

This long-awaited, massively crowd-funded pop musical – written, composed and directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch – stars a radiant Emily Browning as an up-and-coming Glasgow singer.

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.

The Green Prince

Nadav Schirman

The incredible story of Mosab Hassan Yousef – the son of one of the founders of Hamas who became an informant for the Israeli secret service – is staged almost like an espionage thriller in this taut Sundance-winning doco.

H

Hot Air

Alister Barry, Abi King-Jones

In the years since New Zealand politicians began to grapple with climate change our greenhouse gas emissions have burgeoned. Alister Barry’s doco draws on TV archives and interviews with key participants to find out why.

Housebound

Gerard Johnstone

Welcome home to the Kiwi horror house comedy that took SXSW by storm. Gerard Johnstone’s brilliant genre mash-up stars Rima Te Wiata, Morgana O’Reilly, Glen-Paul Waru and Cameron Rhodes.

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.

I

In Order of Disappearance

Kraftidioten

Hans Petter Moland

Norwegian noir with mordant gallows humour, this bloody tale of snowballing revenge reunites actor Stellan Skarsgård with director Hans Petter Moland ( Zero Kelvin, A Somewhat Gentle Man).

In the Courtyard

Dans la cour

Pierre Salvadori

Two anxious old souls – one of them not so old in years – find friendship in this funny and touching tale of Paris tenement life starring Catherine Deneuve and Gustave Kervern.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Brian Knappenberger

This lucid, punchy doco tells the story of Aaron Swartz, the tech genius who eschewed the rewards of Silicon Valley to become a net freedom activist and found himself targeted by the FBI.

Into the Void

Margaret Gordon

Long a mainstay of Christchurch’s underground music scene, Into the Void are ready for their close-up in this lively and eccentric film which documents two plus decades of heavy rocking, hard drinking and artistic endeavour.

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

Michel Gondry

Director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Mood Indigo) and philosopher-activist Noam Chomsky talk about life and language in a conversation gorgeously illuminated with Gondry’s hand-drawn animations.

It Follows

David Robert Mitchell

“With its marvellously suggestive title and thought-provoking exploration of sex, this indie chiller is a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true.” — Tim Robey, The Telegraph

J

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.

Jimmy’s Hall

Ken Loach

The latest from veteran British social realist Ken Loach is a rousing, romantic retelling of the story of Irish folk hero James Gralton and his battle with the Catholic Church to run a popular dance hall and community centre.

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Frank Pavich

A riotous look behind the scenes of the greatest movie never made: Alejandro Jodorowsky’s proposed super-production of Frank Herbert’s cult sci-fi novel Dune, which was to star Orson Welles, Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger.

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.

K

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Yume to kyôki no ohkoku

Sunada Mami

This genial, illuminating and delightfully observant documentary takes us behind the scenes at the great Japanese animation studio over the year that Miyazaki was completing The Wind Rises and Takahata Princess Kaguya.

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.

L

Land Ho!

Martha Stephens, Aaron Katz

Two 70-something buddies take a trip to Iceland in this surprisingly funny road movie. If Iceland’s not already on your bucket list, it will be now – possibly even with these two comedians in tow.

Leviathan

Andrey Zvyagintsev

Direct from Competition in Cannes, the new film from the Russian director of The Return is an involving, magnificently envisaged and blackly funny tale of one man’s struggle in a densely corrupt world.

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

Love is Strange

Ira Sachs

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are magnificent in Ira Sachs’ topical, moving and beautifully tender portrait of an ageing gay couple whose decision to marry after 39 years has complicated consequences.

The Lunchbox

Dabba

Ritesh Batra

Classic movie romance beautifully transposed to the rhythms and flavours of modern-day Mumbai. Hearts are kindled when a lunchbox, designed to delight the cook’s husband, is accidentally delivered to a more appreciative stranger.

M

Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg’s gleefully toxic satire of Hollywood vanities stars Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, startling newcomer Evan Bird channelling Justin Beiber; and, in her Cannes-winning role, Julianne Moore.

The Mule

Angus Sampson, Tony Mahony

A reluctant and seriously inept drug-runner finds himself in police custody with a belly full of heroin in this ingeniously gut-wrenching comedy of suspense set in the Melbourne crime-world of the 80s.

N

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.

New Zealand’s Best 2014

For our third New Zealand’s Best short film competition Festival programmers Bill Gosden and Michael McDonnell viewed 115 submissions to make a shortlist of 12 from which filmmaker Andrew Adamson selected these six finalists.

Night Moves

Kelly Reichardt

Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Sarsgaard and Dakota Fanning are eco-activists in Kelly Reichardt’s skillful political thriller set in a world of shifting loyalties and tensely debated ethics.

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.

O

P

Particle Fever

Mark A. Levinson

“This documentary accessibly conveys the science and the human drama behind the largest machine ever built – the Large Hadron Collider – and its crowning achievement, the discovery of the Higgs boson particle.” — Scientific American

Patema Inverted

Sakasama no Patema

Yoshiura Yasuhiro

In this charming and ingeniously elaborate anime world one tribe’s gravity is another tribe’s anti-gravity. A plucky upside-down girl and a gallant right-way-up boy switch perspectives.

Print the Legend

Luis Lopez, Clay Tweel

“A technology that promises (some would say threatens) to permanently transform our lives gets compelling behind-the-scenes treatment in this skillful overview of the major players in the 3D printing industry.” — Justin Chang, Variety

Pulp: a Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets

Florian Habicht

NZer Florian Habicht’s acclaimed collaboration with Jarvis Cocker fixes the triumphant 2012 concert billed as Pulp’s last ever within a loving portrait of Sheffield and Sheffielders.

The Punk Singer

Sini Anderson

An inspiring close-up encounter with feminist punk rock legend Kathleen Hanna. Frontwoman for Bikini Kill throughout the 90s, then the hugely popular dance group Le Tigre, she’s a powerful presence onstage and off.

Q

R

Reaching for the Moon

Flores raras

Bruno Barreto

The turbulent love story of American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares. “An empowering portrait of two highly gifted women who defy social convention.” – Hollywood Reporter

The Rover

David Michôd

Two unlikely travelling companions traverse the existential badlands of the Australian outback in Animal Kingdom director David Michôd’s intense and atmospheric picture of the lucky country gone feral.

S

The Salt of the Earth

Le sel de la terre

Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

The life and work of Sebastião Salgado, the undisputed master of monumental photojournalism, is explored in this wonderful doco, jointly directed by his son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, and German director Wim Wenders.

Sepideh - Reaching for the Stars

Sepideh – Drømmen om stjernerne

Berit Madsen

In a provincial town in Iran, young Sepideh dreams of becoming an astronomer, although almost no one she knows thinks this a fit pursuit for a young woman. Filmed over several years, this doco traces her surprising progress.

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.

Snowpiercer

Joon-ho Bong

Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho’s much anticipated sci-fi epic, his first English language production, finally hits NZ screens in his original director’s cut. Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Song Kang-ho.

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.

Still Life

Uberto Pasolini

Actor Eddie Marsan is the steady, purposeful centre of this poignant, slightly stylised drama about a council worker whose job – locating the relatives of the unclaimed dead – is his strongest connection to the living.

T

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

Kaguya-hime no monogatari

Takahata Isao

Hot on the heels of Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises comes another animated masterpiece. Studio Ghibli co-founder Takahata’s rich and astonishing swansong vividly brings an ancient Japanese folktale to life.

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.

Two Days, One Night

Deux jours, une nuit

Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

This tense and affecting drama from two-time Palme d’Or winners the Dardenne brothers depicts the weekend-long crusade of a working-class woman to be reinstated in her job. Marion Cotillard is riveting in the central role.

U

Under the Skin

Jonathan Glazer

Scarlett Johansson is an alien creature in human guise cruising Glasgow on a mysterious mission to lure young men. Jonathan Glazer’s eerie spellbinder amalgamates chilling fantasy with covertly filmed reality.

V

Venus in Fur

La Vénus à la fourrure

Roman Polanski

In Roman Polanski’s film of the stage hit, Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner are terrific as director and auditioning actress acting out Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s classic text of dominance and submission.

Violette

Martin Provost

Emmanuelle Devos is hypnotic as Violette Leduc, the French writer whose fearless memoirs, championed by Simone de Beauvoir, broke new boundaries for women in literature. From the director of Séraphine.

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.

W

We Are the Best!

Vi är bäst!

Lukas Moodysson

Swedish director Lukas Moodysson returns to the subversive high spirits of his earlier Show Me Love, adapting his wife’s graphic novel of 80s schoolgirl misfit friendship – and no-talent punkette attitude.

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.

White God

Fehér isten

Kornél Mundruczó

Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó’s audacious drama, about how a young girl’s separation from her dog leads to a full-blown canine uprising, won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Wild Tales

Relatos salvajes

Damián Szifrón

A surprise Cannes sensation from Argentina, Wild Tales is a compendium of six lavishly produced shorts united by a theme of vengeance – the kind that explodes in spectacular outbursts, sometimes planned, sometimes not!

Winter Sleep

Kiş uykusu

Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Jane Campion’s jury awarded the Palme d’Or for Best Film at Cannes this year to this provocative and engrossing study of unwitting male pride and its fallout by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

The Wonders

Le meraviglie

Alice Rohrwacher

This intimate portrait of a marvellously idiosyncratic family of beekeepers in the Italian countryside is a classic picture of children growing up in nature – and won its young director the Grand Prix at Cannes.

Y

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet 3D

L’extravagant voyage du jeune et prodigieux T.S. Spivet

Jean-Pierre Jeunet

The director of Amelie and Delicatessen takes to 3D and delights with his abundant visual wit in this tale of a ten-year-old boy genius’s attempts to understand his weird family and the even weirder wider world.

Yves Saint Laurent

Jalil Lespert

Comédie Française actor Pierre Niney (It Boy) is sensational in this surprisingly frank ‘authorised’ biopic of the fashion designer who took over from Christian Dior at 21 and eventually established his own enduring brand.