The team behind Letterboxd — the New Zealand-made global social network for film lovers — combined their individual wishlists with a selection of films that were highly rated by their community of mostly amateur film critics, to create this list for 2015. If you’re attending the festival, you’re encouraged to start a Letterboxd account and let others know what you think of each film you see. http://letterboxd.com
- Darren Bevan
- David Larsen
- Films for Teens
- James Croot
- Meet the Filmmakers: Auckland
- Meet the Filmmakers: Wellington
- Patricia Watson
- Rebecca McMillan
- Staff Picks: Angela Murphy
- Staff Picks: Bill Gosden
- Staff Picks: Cianna Canning
- Staff Picks: Felicity Drace
- Staff Picks: Hayden Ellis
- Staff Picks: Jenna Udy
- Staff Picks: Kailey Carruthers
- Staff Picks: Kate McArthur
- Staff Picks: Lisa Bomash
- Staff Picks: Lynn Smart
- Staff Picks: Megan Duffy
- Staff Picks: Michael McDonnell
- Staff Picks: Olivia Young
- Staff Picks: Poppy Granger
- Staff Picks: Rachael Deller-Pincott
- Staff Picks: Sandra Reid
- Staff Picks: Sibilla Paparatti
- Staff Picks: Tom Ainge-Roy
- The Lumière Reader
- Tim Wong
- Wellington Film Society's Picks of NZIFF 2015
This nerve-racking wartime thriller from director Yann Demange and Black Watch writer Gregory Burke stars Jack O’Connell (Starred Up) as a lost British soldier hunted by both sides amid the mayhem of Belfast, 1971.
Our chador-wearing heroine walks the night-time streets of Bad City sinking her teeth into those who deserve to die. Outrageously languid, this new-school vampire movie is a triumphant first feature for Ana Lily Amirpour.
In J.C. Chandor’s intense, 80s-set thriller an ambitious wheeler-dealer on New York’s contested waterfront (Oscar Isaac) tries to detoxify his business, but his Mob daughter wife (Jessica Chastain) has other ideas.
An intimate, overwhelmingly moving tribute to Amy Winehouse, the great young British soul singer whose talent and charisma brought her more fame than anyone might be able to handle. From the director of Senna.
Two metalheads unleash a satanic riff that opens the gates of hell in this blood-splattered, heavy shredding comedy-horror. The winner of the Make My Horror Movie competition hits home shores after wowing audiences overseas.
“The quasi-Kafkaesque administration holding Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s corrupt dictatorship in place finally gets the first-hand scrutiny it merits in Camilla Nielsson’s riveting documentary.” — Guy Lodge, Variety
Three high school geeks, obsessed with 90s hip-hop, get into risky business with molly moving gangstas in this fast, funny LA street comedy, featuring a star-making performance from the charismatic Shameik Moore.
El abrazo de la serpiente
A lone shaman inducts two European ethnographers into the mysteries of the Amazon in this breathtakingly photographed tale of exploration, vividly reimagined from the indigenous point of view.
This intellectually teasing, near-future drama stars Domhnall Gleeson, with Oscar Isaac as a reclusive AI genius and an eerily bewitching Alicia Vikander as the android Ava, programmed to test the boundaries of creation.
Loin des hommes
This gripping existential Western – North African style – sees Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb play two men battling to survive in 50s Algeria. Based on a story by Albert Camus and scored by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
Jon Mikl Thor was a bodybuilding, steel-bending, brick-smashing metal star in the 70s and 80s whose band never quite made it big. Years later, in this funny and endearing doco, he attempts a comeback that nearly kills him.
“Paul Thomas Anderson has taken Thomas Pynchon’s novel about the death of the hippie counterculture and turned it, reasonably faithfully, into a surreally funny, anxious and beautiful film noir.” — The Telegraph
Live Cinema with Lawrence Arabia and Carnivorous Plant Society
Coney Island 1928 is brought to teeming life with the World Premiere performance of a new score by Lawrence Arabia and Carnivorous Plant Society.
The emotional roller-coaster of a single mother’s relationship with her ADHD teenage son is rendered with intense sympathy and dramatic flair by 25-year-old director Xavier Dolan. Winner of the Cannes Jury Prize in 2014.
Tim Wong’s elegantly assembled and illustrated film essay contemplates the prevailing image of our national cinema while privileging some of the images and image-makers displaced by the popular view of filmmaking in New Zealand.
Present-day art world stars pay tribute in a lavishly illustrated profile of the arts patron extraordinaire who transformed a modest fortune and adventurous taste into one of the premier collections of 20th-century art.
An enthralling reinterpretation of Irish folktales… Sophisticated enough to appeal to adults and packed with enough humour and adventure to work for youngsters, Song of the Sea is a real animated gem.
Lavishly illustrated with long-lost motor racing footage and rich in interviews with the veteran drivers who were there, this doco explores the making of Steve McQueen’s ill-fated Hollywood epic, Le Mans.
Filled with his spectacular footage, this doco retraces the exploits of the late Carl Boenish, an aerial cinematographer and the father of the extreme sport of BASE jumping.
A painstaking restoration of Sergei Parajanov’s 1969 arcane and hypnotising masterpiece, a highly unconventional biopic of the 18th-century Armenian poet Sayat-Nova recounted in a succession of opulently exotic tableaux.
“This charming and sensitive film about a five-day encounter between acclaimed late author David Foster Wallace and a Rolling Stone journalist is a transfixing human drama.” — Anthony Kaufman, Screendaily
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) casts Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly and Léa Seydoux in a surreal English-language fable set in a world where singles are forced to couple up or be turned into animals.
Joshua Oppenheimer follows his extraordinary The Act of Killing with an equally revelatory documentary in which boastful perpetrators of Indonesia’s 1965 massacres are confronted by the brother of one of their victims.
The Sundance Grand Jury prizewinner for World Cinema Documentary is a scarier-than-fiction investigation of the Chernobyl disaster, headed up by an eccentric young artist, and abetted by the fearless filmmakers.
In this stranger-than-fiction doco, we meet six brothers who have spent their entire lives locked by their father into their Manhattan apartment – where they watch movies obsessively and film their own ingenious re-enactments.
New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff introduces his stable of oddball artists and guides us through the processes and philosophies that have kept publication in the magazine so highly prized for decades.
An after-midnight flirtation on the streets of Berlin gets thrillingly side-tracked by another chase entirely. Filmed in a single real-time take, it’s an edit-free pièce de résistance of acting, directing and mobile camerawork.
Miike returns to the demented brilliance of his V-cinema roots with a martial arts extravaganza which sees a clan of vampire yakuzas take on an international criminal syndicate led by a kick-ass giant frog mascot.