NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Staff Picks: Lynn Smart

Every year, I look forward to skimming through the full list of films, picking out four or five must-sees. This year’s programme went from four or five must-sees to well over 20. Being fortunate enough to get early access to some of the films, I can safely and confidently say that New Zealand is being spoilt for choice (again!) at this year’s festival. Dazzling documentaries (Phil Keoghan’s Le Ride has made me want to pack up and move to France to live in that gorgeous scenery), confronting dramas, unique stories, and some incredibly strange features (I’m looking at you, Greasy Strangler) make for a fantastic festival in 2016. Below is my list of highly recommended and most anticipated from this year’s program.

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.

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

Everybody Wants Some!!

Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater follows Boyhood by recalling his own first days at college in this hilarious, deeply relaxed comedy about male bonding, set in the bars, discos, parties and frat houses of 1980 Austin.

Ants on a Shrimp: Noma in Tokyo

Maurice Dekkers

Copenhagen-based Noma and celebrated chef-owner René Redzepi relocate the restaurant and its entire staff to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo for five sold-out weeks of spectacular lunches and dinners with specially created menus.

A Perfect Day

Fernando León de Aranoa

Crisp photography, boisterous tunes and a stacked deck of affable company make this funny, incisive comedy a memorable entry for the war genre. With Benicio Del Toro and Tim Robbins.

Poi E: The Story of Our Song

Tearepa Kahi

NZIFF 2016 opens with the World Premiere screenings of the Kiwi feel-good movie of the year: Tearepa Kahi’s richly researched celebration of Dalvanius Prime and the many rivers that flowed into the making of ‘Poi E’.

The Rehearsal

Alison Maclean

In Alison Maclean’s vibrant screen adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s debut novel, a first-year acting student (James Rolleston) channels the real-life experience of his girlfriend’s family into art and sets off a moral minefield.

Weiner

Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg

An amazingly up-close and personal view inside the New York mayoral campaign that became a media frenzy when the charismatic candidate with the excruciatingly appropriate name couldn’t keep himself from sexting.