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
Hosted by Wellington Film Society
Memorise the NZIFF programme, book in your ﬁlm buff mates, and head down to the Paramount for the 2014 Film Quiz hosted by the Wellington Film Society.
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.
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.
Austrian 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).
Los insólitos peces gato
A lonely, socially awkward young woman finds refuge and a role in a lively household of half-sisters in this humorous and poignant character study from Mexican writer/director Claudia Sainte-Luce.
Meet the cutest animal in the entire known universe – a young capuchin monkey with impossibly huge eyes and human expressions – on a stunningly photographed 3D adventure into the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
NZIFF recommends this programme for children aged 7–10 years (and up)
NZIFF recommends this programme for children aged 7–10 years (and up).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
La belle et la bête
A beloved classic of French cinema returns in a stunning digital restoration. Lovely Josette Day and magnificent Jean Marais star in Jean Cocteau’s retelling of the great Gothic romance.
Die geliebten Schwestern
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.
The many ambitions that come into play when a vast oil field is discovered off the coast of Ghana are revealed with amazing insight in this doco filmed over seven years, with access to executives, politicos and militants alike.
Bai ri yan huo
This inventive and atmospheric noir, set in China’s wintry industrial north, finds a hard-bitten former detective resurrecting the cold case that ended his career when an eerily similar new case surfaces years later.
This delirious Dutch thriller, with shades of the comic and surreal, sees a vagrant trickster named Borgman insinuate himself into the lives of an arrogant and affluent upper class family, with darkly hilarious results.
O menino e o mundo
This wordless, sensuous, uniquely original animated film follows Cuca, a young Brazilian boy who ventures from his simple countryside home into a neon-infused, carnivalesque metropolis in search of his father.
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.
Join us for a free Meet the Filmmaker event with Housebound's Gerard Johnstone and Luke Sharpe on Saturday 02 August at Embassy Theatre's Black Sparrow Bar.
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.
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.
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.
This edge-of-your-seat thriller keeps you off-balance with unexpected consequences when reluctant hero Michael C. Hall kills an intruder in his Texas home. Also starring Sam Shepard and a scene-stealing Don Johnson.
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.
Following his Oscar-nominated Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman continues his foray into the world of animation with this audacious sci-fi film that combines live action Hollywood satire with dazzlingly surreal animation.
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.
Be the first in the world to acclaim a moving new New Zealand film. Cliff Curtis is superb as the late Genesis Potini, the speed chess champion who passed on his gift to countless East Coast children.
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.
Remarkable footage of a Barcelona anti-austerity demonstration – and its quelling – shaped into a lyrical tribute to the spirit of protest by Victor Kossakovsky ( ¡Vivan las Antipodas!) and 32 Spanish film students.
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.
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.
This Dutch documentary features a young generation of scientists in genomics research. What if we could identify the genes for human intelligence? Would a brave new world of improved human beings be waiting for us?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wszystko jest możliwe
This intimate documentary explores the spirit and motivation of 79-year-old Teresa Bancewicz, an intrepid hitchhiker stimulated by her meetings with all manner of people in many different cultures.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mahi Va Gorbeh
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.
Flicks.co.nz are chuffed to announce a unique one-off free event, a live script read of Kiwi splatter classic Braindead, written by Stephen Sinclair, Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adieu au langage
In a dense and dazzling, disjunctive 3D mash-up of music, text, archive and image, the 83-year-old Jean-Luc Godard reflects on the significance, and possibly the decay, of language.
Das grosse Museum
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 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.
Trudno byt’ bogom
A visionary ‘medieval’ sci-fi epic based on the Strugatsky brothers’ 1964 novel, this brutal, visceral and densely detailed final masterpiece by the late Russian maestro Alexsei German was over a decade in the making.
If you’ve been there, you know: house-hunting can be the ultimate horror show. Home pumps up the suspense as it weaves the tale of an ambitious young realtor tasked with selling a house with a horrible past.
Die andere Heimat: Chronik einer Sehnsucht
This supremely cinematic epic of mid-19th century German rural life by Heimat director Edgar Reitz chronicles the quests and conflicts of country families hoping to escape poverty and famine by forging a new life in Brazil.
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.
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.
Il capitale umano
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.
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).
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.
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.
Dans la cour
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.
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.
Two Italian filmmakers visit veterans of the Soviet space programme and juxtapose 50-year-old visions of the future – in archive footage, monuments and memorabilia – with their present-day tales of the past.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two deranged serial killers – one from Tokyo, the other from Jakarta – post their violent crimes online in a psychotic battle for notoriety in this slick, violent, but darkly humorous, psycho thriller from Indonesia’s Mo Brothers.
Yume to kyôki no ohkoku
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.
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.
This surreal Slamdance-winning doco captures two years in the lives of a passionate amateur filmmaker, his supportive girlfriend and their outrageous cast – all trying to realise his dream of martial arts stardom.
Vintage film noir gloriously restored. Baroque plot complications engulf footloose Irish sailor Orson Welles on a Caribbean cruise with a crooked lawyer and his sultry wife Rita Hayworth (then Mrs Welles).
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.
Le dernier des injustes
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.
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.
This charmingly off-beat, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy breathes new life into the zombie flick. Starring Parks & Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza as back-from-the-dead Beth and Dane DeHaan as her confused boyfriend.
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.
Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
From Dec 2013 until Feb 2014 the Ukrainian director Sergeï Loznitsa ( In the Fog, My Joy) recorded the unfolding of a revolution as the crowds gathered in protest in Kiev’s Independence Square and military police cracked down.
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.
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.
A retrospective exhibition at the Pah Homestead presents an opportunity for painter and composer Michael Smither to survey his 40-year adventure in synaesthesia, expressing sound and colour together.
Mama di quanzhuang
Mothers is a gripping vérité documentary that shows how China’s one-child policy plays out in the daily lives of women in a northern Chinese village: those who enforce it and those who try to elude it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nosotros los Nobles
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.
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.
Hross í oss
In a rustic valley in Iceland, people and horses have lived together for centuries. This stunningly staged collection of tales tall and true explores the curious, complicated bonds between the two species.
In writer/director Paolo Rotondo’s debut feature, three teenagers on the run break into a deluxe Waiheke Island home and find themselves caught in a tense psychodrama with the conflicted owner.
U ri Sunhi
The prolific Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo delivers another droll tale of romantic crisis in academia. His latest follows Sunhi, a young graduate, who inadvertently rekindles old flames on a visit back to her alma mater.
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.
“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
Sakasama no Patema
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.
The fascinating story of Matthew VanDyke, an American adventure junkie, whose travels across the Middle East led to his joining – and filming – the Libyan revolution. Best Doco, Tribeca Film Festival 2014
“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
Our popular annual engagement with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra showcases the last major film to star the dazzling Louise Brooks. Timothy Brock’s score for this rarely seen jazz-age classic is conducted by Marc Taddei.
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.
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.
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
An up-and-coming media executive has good reason to question the very facts of his existence in this micro-budget sci-fi chiller from director Jonathan King ( Black Sheep, Under the Mountain) and novelist Chad Taylor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Le sel de la terre
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.
Debut Synergy: Housebound
Join us for a special NZIFF Writers’ Room with Housebound’s writer, director and editor Gerard Johnstone (The Jaquie Brown Diaries) and producer Luke Sharpe (The Jaquie Brown Diaries) as they talk to filmmaker Jackie Van Beek (Go the Dogs) about the challenges of writing and making this stellar debut feature.
Sepideh – Drømmen om stjernerne
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.
This selection of local short films exploring a broad variety of dance styles features a charming samba documentary made in Brazil, a dreamlike ballet film and a spectacular hip-hop dance drama.
Twenties cinema lives again with live accompaniment from our Show People Quartet! This funny and fascinating behind-the-scenes send-up of early Hollywood stars Marion Davies as a would-be diva determined to rise above her popular success.
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.
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.
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.
Jack O’Connell plays a violent young offender transferred to the same high security facility as his long incarcerated father (Ben Mendelsohn). Jonathan Asser’s script imbues brutal prison drama with raw inside knowledge.
Fourteen-year-old Maria resolves on a life of self-denial in a provocatively ambiguous drama, edged with satire, about a German family dedicated to an ultra-conservative strand of Catholicism.
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.
Història de la meva mort
Albert Serra’s teasing 18th-century drama sees Casanova cross paths with Dracula, as Enlightenment reason and secular pleasure give way to the dangerous passions of Gothic romanticism.
Kaguya-hime no monogatari
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.
This beautiful new film from the director of Tatarakihi honours the longstanding struggle of Whanganui iwi to reclaim guardianship over their ancestral river.
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.
Set in the early days of the jihadist takeover of northern Mali in 2012, African director Abderrahmane Sissako’s Cannes Competition drama delivers a beautiful and deeply humane condemnation of religious intolerance.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of his 1994 hip-hop masterpiece Illmatic, superstar MC Nas takes us on a trip down memory lane in this richly detailed documentary on his formative life and musical influences.
NZIFF recommends this programme for children aged 3–6
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.
Deux jours, une nuit
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.
Ukraina ne bordel
In Australian filmmaker Kitty Green’s intimate, insider portrait, FEMEN, the controversial topless female protestors of Ukraine, talk about life, danger and confronting male domination in their country.
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.
La Vénus à la fourrure
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.
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.
Violette Leduc, la chasse à l’amour
Lyrically combining archival interviews and the author’s own words, this absorbing documentary offers a rare opportunity to rediscover the taboo-breaking works and life of French writer Violette Leduc.
An intrepid park ranger and his team protect an endangered population of mountain gorillas in the Congo from poachers, rebel militia and British oil exploration company SOCO International.
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.
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.
Vi är bäst!
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.
Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare) exposes the international powers at work in the world’s newest country, South Sudan, in this astounding doco which received an award for ‘Cinematic Bravery’ at the Sundance Film Festival.
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.
Når dyrene drømmer
A teenage girl’s awakening sexuality quite literally brings out the beast in her in When Animals Dream, an atmospheric fantasy chiller that marks an accomplished Cannes debut from Danish director Jonas Alexander Arnby.
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.
Jigoku de naze warui
The latest from Japanese cult favourite Sono Sion (Suicide Club, Love Exposure ) delivers a rousing and hilarious midnight movie pitching two bloodthirsty Yakuza clans against a band of chaotic wannabe filmmakers.
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!
With myriad images and candid narration, renowned photographer William Yang presents his personal stories of queer Sydney and its famous Mardi Gras through the 70s to now.
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.
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.
L’extravagant voyage du jeune et prodigieux T.S. Spivet
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.
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.