FAQ

When does the Festival announce the programme for 2013?

Printed programmes and full website programme information will be available three weeks prior to the Festival opening. Prior to this date, information about confirmed films will be available on the website as it comes to hand. Advance title confirmations will be provided to My Festival subscribers, fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter.

How can I submit a film?

Submissions for the 2013 Festival are now closed.

For information on rules and regulations, please click here. Queries can also be submitted to our Assistant Programmer Michael McDonnell.

When is the deadline for film entries?

Submissions for the 2013 Festival are now closed. Please watch this space for information on submitting your film for 2014.

Is there any fee to enter a film?

There is no fee for entry to the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Why doesn't the Festival offer a discount pass to regular patrons?

We cannot offer a discount pass because we often pay the sales agents, producers or distributors of the films we are playing an agreed percentage of the box office. This requires a strict accounting for the exact income pertaining to each session. Festivals operating pass systems must offer large fixed rentals or other, even more expensive incentives (first class airfares etc) to sales agents, producers or distributors to make their films available.

Our funding, which is derived largely (more than 90%) from ticket sales does not make this possible. There are no tax-subsidised Film Festival tickets in New Zealand! We are able to run an extremely expensive Festival here thanks to a measure of sponsorship, and an audience prepared to pay normal movie admission prices for what we hope will be a better than normal movie experience.

Why are some films screened at the Auckland and Wellington legs of the Festival, but not at any other location?

Increasingly niche cinemas in the smaller centres are able to fill the gaps, picking up films that have become available for release in New Zealand as a result of their popularity at the Auckland and Wellington legs of the Festival. Discerning audiences throughout the country benefit from the work of the Festivals and Auckland and Wellington audiences who have met the substantial establishing costs of so many of the films that we import in the first place. If you succeed in having some of the films you're missing in your local Festival screened locally in the year that follows, then we'll be as pleased about that as you are.

Why are there only one or two sessions of most films? Why aren't there extra screenings of some sold-out films?

Often our screening agreements negotiated with the films sales agents, producers or distributors stipulate the number of screenings that their films can have in the Festival. Most Festival entrants hope that the Festival screenings will prove the first of many screenings for their film in New Zealand. They are often nervous that potential local distributors or exhibitors will resist taking up films that have already had multiple Festival screenings.

Why doesn't the Festival in Auckland and Wellington sell its own tickets?

Ticketing the Festival in Auckland and Wellington needs to be the work of a single ticketer and is a far more complex undertaking than many patrons imagine. The multiple, separately owned venues, several of them quite small; the 150+ different "events"; the high volume of sales and low ticket prices; and the accounting needs of the many participants; all these factors make us an imposing challenge for any ticketer.

We have established, through annual negotiation, that Ticketek's service is currently the most effective and affordable in New Zealand to tackle the Film Festival. We remain open to offers from Ticketek's competitors, but to date no other bidder for the job has come close, and several have backed off entirely on reading the brief. An attempt to involve the services of a second ticketer in Auckland in 2008 was an unmitigated disaster. We certainly do not have the resources at our disposal to develop, furnish and staff a ticketing service of our own.

We wish that Ticketek's internet service was much better suited to the Festival in pricing (particularly for single ticket purchases) and effectiveness. Ticketek are well aware of our disappointment in this area. If you would like to email us with any specific problems with Ticketek's service then we will pass those observations on to them. 

Why is there a ticketing fee on tickets sold over the counter?

Any ticket you ever buy for anything incorporates an element of ticketing cost. We could absorb the 50c we pay Ticketek into the cost of the ticket, but we'd need to raise our ticket price by more than 50c to nett Ticketek their fee: venue operators and film owners often receive an agreed percentage of the ticket price. Our ticket price plus booking fee rarely exceeds a regular movie ticket price. 

Why can’t I see what seats I am booking on-line?

Unfortunately some film suppliers consider sales information (which can be extrapolated from booking sites) commercially sensitive and would deny us their films if we were to provide this service to patrons. We see their point. The films are new. Their anxious proprietors fret that they may appear unpopular – and unpopularity is more contagious than ever in the age of communication overload.

Potential distributors, exhibitors (and audiences too) make snap judgements on sales information and consider it market analysis. We prefer to see those judgements made on the basis of audience reaction to a film, not patron response to the Festival’s fallible marketing of it. We are, however, looking at the possibility of on-line venue maps (formerly known as ‘theatre plans’) that can indicate broad areas of availability.

I can’t purchase tickets via the Ticketek booking engine on your website. I keep getting an error message every time I click on the ‘Purchase Tickets’ button or the transaction keeps timing out.

While we ensure to keep everything on the website working the way it should, there are some things that are out of our control. The Ticketek booking system requires a secure connection for credit card/debit card transactions to take place safely. We understand that Internet Explorer 8 and older is incompatible with working in a secure connection and causes the transaction to time out or result in an error message.

Please download the latest versions of the Internet browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc) in order to diminish the negative experiences you are facing.

If you continue to have issues, please call Ticketek at 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538)