Films by Country


Ain't in It for My Health: A Film about Levon Helm

Jacob Hatley

Up close and personal with The Band’s legendary, plain-speaking drummer and singer. “A captivating look at a musician hanging onto his art for dear life… The performances included are wonderful.” — Hollywood Reporter

Animation for Kids 2011

A lively international showcase of new animated shorts including the wonderful Gruffalo. The films on this year’s programme, tested by a demanding young jury, have been deemed highly suitable for audiences aged four to eight.

Another Earth

Mike Cahill

A second, parallel Earth appears in the sky – where there may be alternate selves for each one of us. “A gripping, intimate story to which science fiction adds a provocative, philosophical context.” — Hollywood Reporter

Anton Chekhov’s The Duel

Dover Kosashvili

Superbly acted English-language adaptation of an 1891 Chekhov novella brings shrewd understanding to its ageless tale of indiscretions, infidelity, rivalry and blackmail at a summer holiday resort. “Very satisfying.” — NY Times

The Artists Cinema

Ten short films commissioned to bring visual artists’ work into cinemas in subversive and playful ways. International work from LUX; plus four NZ works curated by Mark Williams with support from Creative New Zealand.

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Michael Rapaport

“Poignant and powerful, complex and melancholy… Michael Rapaport’s riveting hip-hop documentary gets uncomfortably close to A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most important and influential groups of the past 25 years.” — AV Club


Mike Mills

Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer in a rich, romantic comedy of second chances. “A sad, sweet, funny and ultimately unforgettable love story about a man and a woman and a father and son.” —

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

Constance Marks

Inspiring story of how shy boy Kevin Clash pursued his dream to become a puppeteer on Sesame Street. “A rare documentary that will connect across generations and cultures to delight viewers worldwide.” — Hollywood Reporter

Better This World

Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega

This provocative documentary investigates the charges against two young activists arrested while protesting the 2008 GOP Convention. “Both a compelling news documentary and a stunning character study.” — Austin Chronicle

The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975

Göran Hugo Olsson

An amazing treasure trove of previously unseen footage (shot for Swedish TV) provides startling new insights into the American civil rights movement and the ascendancy of Black Power.

Bobby Fischer Against the World

Liz Garbus

The fascinating and turbulent life of chess master – and unlikely Cold War hero – Bobby Fischer. “It is a strange and complex story of a brilliant but deeply troubled man, full of bizarre twists and turns.” — Screendaily

Boxing Gym

Frederick Wiseman

Frederick Wiseman’s doco admires values and skills instilled in a neighbourhood gym. “Rather than a fixation on the violence of the sport, there’s a serene appreciation of muscle, sinew, and movement.” — Slant Magazine


Cindy Meehl

This inspiring encounter with the legendary horse whisperer takes us on the road as he runs clinics and ‘starts’ rogue colts. “There are no problem horses, just horses with people problems.” — Buck Brannaman

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of southern France, capturing the miraculously preserved, oldest known pictorial creations of humankind, maybe 32,000 years old.


Aaron Schock

Filmmaker Aaron Schock hits the road with Gran Circo México, a family of contortionists, stunt riders, clowns and animal trainers who have been travelling the back roads of Mexico for generations. Music by Calexico.



Maryam Keshavarz

“The world of sex, drugs, and underground nightclubs in Iran provides the backdrop for Maryam Keshavarz’s lusty, dreamy take on the passionate teenagers behind the hijabs.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian


Nicolas Winding Refn

Hollywood reclaims the Embassy screen in style with our Closing Night screening of the film that took the Best Director’s laurels at Cannes this year.

The Forgiveness of Blood

Joshua Marston

You thought your parents were unreasonable? An Albanian teenager is trapped at home in an ancient blood feud. “Riveting… a richly textured portrait of a society in 2011 still bound by a centuries-old code of law.” — Screendaily

The Future

Miranda July

In this delicately cracked comedy from Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) a 30-something LA couple give up their jobs for a last taste of freedom – before adopting a cat. “Surreal, precious, devastating and brilliant.” — The Playlist

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

Damien Chazelle

The on, off, and possibly on-again affair of a young African American jazz trumpeter and a Euro-American waitress and aspiring performer, shapes this lovely, loose pastiche of Hollywood musical, French New Wav and urban vérité.

Hot Coffee

Susan Saladoff

Everyone has heard about the little old lady in Albuquerque who spilled hot coffee in her lap, sued McDonald’s for millions, and won. This cogent doco about the decline of civil justice in America has worldwide resonance.

How to Die in Oregon

Peter D. Richardson

This Sundance-winning doco showing Oregon’s Death with Dignity legislation in action is a trenchant, impressively honest work of advocacy. “A hard but incredibly moving, even transformative watch.” — Boston Globe

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Marshall Curry

Superb investigative doco about the perils of activism examines the case of the ‘eco-terrorist’ Earth Liberation Front, who torched timber industry property in the US Northwest. “An intriguing and important film.” — Filmmaker

The Innkeepers

Ti West

From the creator of the stunning The House of the Devil comes a devilishly spooky show set in the last days of a run-down inn that many believe to be one of New England’s most haunted hotels.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

David Gelb

Portrait of legendary Tokyo sushi chef, 85-year-old Jiro Ono. “Torture to watch – if you are on an empty stomach… a paean to perfectionism and crafty bit of food porn.” — Hollywood Reporter

Joseph Brodsky: In the Prison of Latitudes

Jan Andrews

This new film about Nobel Prize-winning poet and essayist Joseph Brodsky blends interviews, cityscapes and audio of Brodsky reciting his own work to create a poetic homage to one of the 20th century’s great literary talents.

Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place

Alex Gibney, Alison Ellwood

Colour footage shot by Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on their legendary 1964 bus trip across America is seen for the first time, collated by Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney. Turn on, tune in, drop out!

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Sean Durkin

A fragile young woman seeks refuge from a cult with her estranged sister in this Sundance winner. “Elizabeth Olsen steps onto the radar as a seriously accomplished actor in this mesmerizing drama.” — Hollywood Reporter

A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt

Sally Rowe

Ten years in the rollercoaster career of Paul Liebrandt, a brilliant young English chef in New York, documented by expat Kiwi Sally Rowe. “Liebrandt makes a charismatic focus… a gastronomic thriller.” — Wall St Journal

Meek's Cutoff

Kelly Reichardt

Based on fact, Kelly Reichardt’s beautiful, eerily poetic alt-Western follows three families heading west in 1845. With Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton.

Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself

Gandulf Hennig

Forthright portrait of the country star who penned the ageless anti-hippie anthem ‘Okie from Muskogee’. With Keith Richards, Dave Alvin, John Carter Cash, Robert Duvall, John Fogerty, George Jones and Merle's wives, past and present.

Miss Representation

Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Wanting a better world for her baby daughter, filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom embarks on an unashamedly personal journey to figure out why women are so under-represented in the media and what can be done to change this.

My Reincarnation

Jennifer Fox

This epic doco, spanning 20 years and 17 countries, studies the relationship between Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Italian-born son, Yeshi, who resists following his father’s footsteps.

Page One: Inside the New York Times

Andrew Rossi

The world’s most famous newspaper tangles with WikiLeaks and grapples with the digital revolution in this fascinating all-access doco. “Slick, fun, and surprisingly sexy.” — Vanity Fair


John Turturro

Actor/director John Turturro takes us on a dramatic musical tour of Naples. “It took an Italian-American to capture with such force the soul and, above all, the suffering and joy of Neapolitan music.” — Il Messaggero

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Morgan Spurlock

Docu-prankster Morgan (Super Size Me) Spurlock plunges into the billion-dollar business of product placement in Hollywood by branding himself and making a film financed entirely from product placement.


Asif Kapadia

You don’t have to be a petrolhead to ‘get’ the legend of Formula One racer Ayrton Senna. Ask any Brazilian – or check out the most enthralling big-screen sports documentary since When We Were Kings.

Sing Your Song

Susanne Rostock

With intimacy, style and classic performance clips, Susanne Rostock’s documentary surveys the inspiring life of singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte. “Personal, candid, historic, and impassioned.” — Reverse Shot

Something Ventured

Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine

Venture capitalists who enabled maverick entrepreneurs to start and grow such companies as Intel, Apple, Genentech and Atari speak frankly about risk, loss and gain in this surprisingly entertaining doco.

Sons of Perdition

Jennilyn Merten, Tyler Measom

Documentary portrait of young men struggling in the real world after fleeing or being evicted from Warren Jeffs’ Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints sect. “A moving, thrilling yarn of heartland life and masculinity.” —


Errol Morris

In his lightest, funniest doco in years Errol Morris (Fast, Cheap and Out of Control) reactivates the UK tabloid fever generated in the 70s by a former Miss Wyoming accused of kidnapping and raping her Mormon missionary ex-boyfriend.

Take Shelter

Jeff Nichols

Contemporary anxieties about the end of days are brilliantly channelled into Jeff Nichols’ acclaimed psychological thriller. A riveting Michael Shannon plays a small-town working guy driven by visions of apocalypse.

Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese

Scorsese and De Niro’s great seething vision of 70s New York mesmerises anew in a blazing 35th anniversary restoration. “Taxi Driver still stuns… See it again. And try to have a nice day.” — Village Voice


Azazel Jacobs

Injecting concern with laughter, this high school comedy stars John C. Reilly as a vice-principal who identifies with the biggest losers on campus. “Smart, gentle and instinctively wise.” — Roger Ebert

Tiny Furniture

Lena Dunham

Actor/writer/director Lena Dunham made indie headlines with this autobiographical comedy. “The honest story of a young woman’s vulnerable desires and a bemused satire of real-life Gossip Girlhood.” — Entertainment Weekly

The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick

Brad Pitt stars in Terrence Malick’s audacious, visionary The Tree of Life, Palme d’Or at Cannes. “No one with a genuine interest in the potential of film would think of missing it.” — Rolling Stone

Wild River

Elia Kazan

Glorious new restoration of a neglected 1960 masterpiece by Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront) with legendary performances from Jo Van Fleet and Lee Remick and Hollywood icon Montgomery Clift.


Laura Israel

The arguments for and against wind turbine power rage through a small rural community in this illuminating saga. “An absorbing, sobering documentary about the lures and perils of green technology.” — The Washington Post

The Woman

Lucky McKee

Notorious and nasty Sundance feral-woman-chained-in-the-cellar shocker. “A girl-power allegory, a cheeky genre-twister, and exploitation cinema par excellence.” — L Magazine