NZIFF Booklet

Films by Country

France

The Apostate

El apóstata

Federico Veiroj

A wry character study of a bored young Spaniard galvanised into action by the bureaucratic conundrums that confront him when he tries to have his baptism annulled from the records of the Catholic Church.

Aquarius

Kleber Mendonça Filho

Brazilian actress Sonia Braga has the role of her life in this engrossing and richly surprising portrait of a fiercely intelligent and independent woman fighting to save the apartment she loves from demolition.

Argentina

Zonda: folclore argentino

Carlos Saura

Carlos Saura, the Spanish director of such classics as Flamenco, Tango and Blood Wedding, mounts a dazzling showcase for the leading contemporary performers of traditional Argentinian music and dance.

As I Open My Eyes

À peine j’ouvre les yeux

Leyla Bouzid

Tradition butts up against progress in Leyla Bouzid’s debut, a musically charged French-Tunisian film that follows a young woman in a band as she navigates familial and cultural strictures on the eve of the Jasmine Revolution.

Being 17

Quand on a 17 ans

André Téchiné

An attentive mother (Sandrine Kiberlain) intervenes unwittingly in her son’s passionate feud with another boy in this intimate, engrossing and original coming-of-age drama set in the spectacular Pyrenees.

The Country Doctor

Médecin de campagne

Thomas Lilti

French box-office star François Cluzet (The Intouchables) is a doctor reluctantly introducing a younger female trainee to his country practice in this touching and funny drama from doctor-turned-director Thomas Lilti.

The Dancer

La danseuse

Stéphanie Di Giusto

French singer Soko and Lily-Rose Depp star in this exquisitely dressed, spectacularly danced drama inspired by the true story of two rival pioneers of modern dance in late 19th-century Paris.

The Death of Louis XIV

La mort de Louis XIV

Albert Serra

A master of minimalist portraits of historical figures, Albert Serra (Story of My Death, NZIFF14) directs French New Wave doyen Jean-Pierre Léaud as Louis XIV during the last days of his 72-year reign as the king of France.

Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words

Thorsten Schütte

Director Thorsten Schütte’s doco splices together performance and interview footage of the ever-articulate rock star (and talk-show guest) Frank Zappa to recount the story of his defiantly non-conformist musical journey.

Elle

Paul Verhoeven

Genre subversive Paul Verhoeven, director of Basic Instinct and Black Book, teams up with the great Isabelle Huppert to craft this provocative, blackly comic thriller.

Endless Poetry

Poesía sin fin

Alejandro Jodorowsky

A glorious feast for the senses, the latest film from Chilean octogenarian and life-long maverick Alejandro Jodorowsky revisits his coming of age as an aspiring young poet in the bohemian Santiago of the 40s and 50s.

Family Film

Rodinný film

Olmo Omerzu

The modern well-to-do Czech family is skewered in director Olmo Omerzu’s mordant drama of free-wheeling parents, unfettered teenagers, and their faithful, long-suffering border collie.

Fatima

Philippe Faucon

Winner of the 2016 César for Best Film, Fatima is a beautifully nuanced portrait of an immigrant single mother giving everything to better the lives of her two very different teenage daughters.

Fire at Sea

Fuocoammare

Gianfranco Rosi

Gianfranco Rosi’s doco captures traditional life on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa alongside the compassionate, high-tech response to the boatloads of refugees finding landfall there. Best Film, Berlin Film Festival 2016.

The First, the Last

Les premiers, les derniers

Bouli Lanners

Two bounty hunters searching the flatlands of Western Europe for a stolen cellphone cross paths with two lovers on the run from the end of the world in this deadpan delight from Belgian actor/director Bouli Lanners.

Francofonia

Alexander Sokurov

The director of Russian Ark turns his attention to the Louvre in this hauntingly illustrated tribute to the great art museum and its preservation of cultural heritage through the rise and fall of empires.

Free to Run

Pierre Morath

Rich with clips and lively interviews, this doco traces the running movement over the past 50 years – the struggle for the right to run, especially for women, then the explosion of grassroots road races and marathons.

Graduation

Bacalaureat

Cristian Mungiu

Cannes winner Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) directs a tense, involving moral thriller centred on an overbearing father keen to get his daughter out of Romania and into a British university at any price.

Heart of a Dog

Laurie Anderson

An enchanted cinematic essay by legendary performance artist Laurie Anderson. A self-narrated punk meditation on love and death; exquisitely crafted and effortlessly profound.

I, Daniel Blake

Ken Loach

This often funny and ultimately intensely moving tale of the friendship between an out-of-work Newcastle carpenter and a young single mother won for Britain’s Ken Loach a second Palme d’Or for Best Film at Cannes this year.

The Innocents

Les innocentes

Anne Fontaine

Based on a true story from post-World War II Poland, this satisfying drama follows a young female French doctor who finds herself caught up in the lives of nuns, traumatised and shamed by their wartime suffering.

Le Ride

Phil Keoghan

Amazing Race supremo Phil Keoghan jumps onto a 1928 bike to ride the Tour de France as experienced by Kiwi Harry Watson, one of the first English-speaking cyclists to enter, let alone complete the race.

Like Crazy

La pazza gioia

Paolo Virzì

“This high-energy romp is a superb showcase for its two lead actresses as they impetuously extend a group outing from the residential clinic into a two-character outlaw adventure.” — Lisa Nesselson, Screendaily

Long Way North

Tout en haut du monde

Rémi Chayé

Long Way North is a beautifully animated historical fantasy about a 19th-century Russian girl who embarks on a hazardous adventure to the North Pole to find her grandfather’s ship and save her family’s honour.

Lost and Beautiful

Bella e perduta

Pietro Marcello

“Layering together the past, the present, and the timeless world of nature, Pietro Marcello fuses styles to explore Italy’s bucolic traditions and fragile but enduring cultural legacies.” — Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment

Love-Sick Shorts

Five unconventional shorts from around the world deliver twisted tales of teenage heartbreak, relationship doom, queer romance, online commodification and a feverish found-footage dream of sex and death.

Mercenary

Mercenaire

Sacha Wolff

A young Pacific Islander has to grow up fast when he gets the opportunity to leave his idyllic but oppressive home and take up a professional rugby contract in France in this fierce and entertaining sports drama.

Much Ado About Nothing

Aquí no ha pasado nada

Alejandro Fernández Almendras

A hot date and an invitation to a great party have a fateful aftermath for a handsome young Chilean in this taut tale of crime, punishment and the price of justice, based on a notorious real-life case.

Neruda

Pablo Larraín

Not your conventional biopic, this enthralling dramatic exploration of the legacy of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda conjures up a fiction in which he is pursued into political exile by an incompetent detective played by Gael García Bernal.

No Home Movie

Chantal Akerman

The late, great Belgian filmmaker and cultural nomad Chantal Akerman crafts a moving portrait of her relationship with her housebound mother, an Auschwitz survivor whose chronic anxiety greatly shaped her daughter’s art.

Paris 05:59

Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau

Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau

An intensely romantic night in Paris begins for two young men when they experience the coup de foudre in a sex club orgy, then roam the empty city streets in a post-coital daze and begin to get acquainted.

Personal Shopper

Olivier Assayas

Kristen Stewart reunites with Clouds of Sils Maria director Oliver Assayas to play a young American in Paris, buying haute couture for her celebrity boss, and seeking contact with the spirit of her dead twin brother.

The Red Turtle

La Tortue rouge

Michael Dudok de Wit

Studio Ghibli’s first international co-production is a ravishing castaway fable that combines beauty, mystery, drama and heartbreak – with not a word spoken. It’s a triumph for animator Michael Dudok de Wit.

The Salesman

Forushande

Asghar Farhadi

From Iranian master Asghar Farhadi: a violent incident rocks the marriage of two Tehran actors in this Cannes award winner for Best Actor and Best Screenplay.

Sand Storm

Sufat chol

Elite Zexer

Elite Zexer’s mesmerising debut feature portrays the emotionally layered relationship between a Bedouin mother and her spirited daughter, both bound by village custom while struggling to adapt to a changing world.

The Son of Joseph

Le fils de Joseph

Eugène Green

“Offbeat French formalist Eugène Green delivers his most accessible work to date with this… honey-drizzled, farcically funny fable of an unhappy teenager seeking a father.” — Guy Lodge, Variety

Suburra

Stefano Sollima

This bloody, brutal crime saga boasts the epic sprawl of the mob classics it emulates, but with a lurid energy all of its own. With a throbbing score from electronic heavyweights M83.

Things to Come

L’avenir

Mia Hansen-Løve

Isabelle Huppert essays a self-possessed woman confronting unexpected changes in her life and work in Mia Hansen-Løve’s heartfelt and perceptive portrait of middle age.

Tomorrow

Demain

Cyril Dion, Mélanie Laurent

In ten countries around the world this stimulating French doco (and box office hit) finds concrete examples of solutions to environmental and social challenges in agriculture, energy, economy, education and governance.

Winter Song

Chant d’hiver

Otar Iosseliani

In a similar style to Jacques Tati, this elaborate and nostalgic comic portrait of the denizens of a Paris suburb favours visual gags over dialogue and the beguiling unravelling of random connections over plot.

The Wounded Angel

Ranenyy angel

Emir Baigazin

Four thematically linked stories portray the harsh lives of four different teenagers in desolate rural Kazakhstan in this disarming new work from a young Central Asian director who has fast become a festival favourite.