Every year NZIFF showcases a series of All Ages films for the whole family to enjoy. There’s documentaries for discerning teens and tweens, animated shorts for the teeny tinies, and boundless movie magic, nostalgia and mayhem packed into a concise programme of viewing for mums, dads, grandparents and their smaller companions to enjoy.
Big kid at heart-cum-programmer Nic Marshall, always at the helm of the all ages ship, shares some highlights from this year’s wonderfully whimsical, thought-provoking series of films:
What can our young and young-at-heart audiences look forward to in this year’s All Ages programme of films?
NZIFF once again offers artistically distinct, thought-provoking, engaging and culturally diverse new features and animated short film collections for the next generation of film fans, including two terrific documentary films, Science Fair and Liyana.
What’s extra special about this year’s programme?
My favourite part of the NZIFF year is sharing the Animation for Kids collections of short films in our most glorious cinema venues. These shorts, from all over the big wide world, are always particularly close to my heart – it’s terrific to see which films resonate with a full theatre and to share the audience reaction with the filmmakers.
Wellington-based composer Stephen Gallagher took a moment to answer a few questions ahead of the world premiere of his latest film industry project, She Shears, on 1 August.
What was your official role on She Shears?
I composed and produced the original music for the film’s score. I also made the tea. Working on Jack’s film has been a joy. He and producers Georgina Conder, Ainsley Gardiner and editor Gretchen Peterson have been brilliant to collaborate with.
Tell us about a few of your biggest achievements.
At 11 years old, I read The Hobbit for the first time. I would have never, in my wildest imagination, have guessed that some years later I would be writing and recording the music for the song ‘Blunt The Knives’ to be used in the movie adaptation and watched by millions of people worldwide. That entire experience was surreal.
Tell us a bit about the process of composing the music for She Shears and how the score evolved.
I started by recording a range of musical and non-musical sources and sending Jack material to review. The early stages of composing, when you and the director are working out the sound world of the score,
NZIFF Director Bill Gosden and Radio New Zealand film critic Simon Morris got together for their annual chat about the highlights of the NZIFF programme.
Bill divides the NZIFF programme of more than 150 carefully selected feature films, documentaries and shorts programmes into several manageable themes and discusses select films within each.
Read more below, or to hear the full interview, tune into Simon’s ‘Standing Room Only’ radio show on Sunday 1 July. You can also listen to it online on the Radio New Zealand website.
Auckland 50th Anniversary Titles
To celebrate 50 years of NZIFF in Auckland, a special programme of films from half a century of NZIFF will be screened in cinemas around the city, culminating with Buster Keaton’s The General, which will be accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.
Film discussed: Wings of Desire.
This international festival of animated shorts is coming to Auckland for one weekend only from Friday 10 August and will screen six programmes of shorts handpicked by animation expert Malcolm Turner.
Films discussed: Animation NOW! festival
A prize collection of 30 highly anticipated Cannes films will premiere to New Zealand audiences during NZIFF. These are some of the best new
Six short films have been selected by Leon Narbey as finalists for our annual New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition.
The finalists will compete for a total of three prizes, with winners to be announced at the closing night event of the Auckland leg of NZIFF.
The six finalists are Charmer (dir: Judah Finnigan), Falling Up (dir: Chelsie Preston Crayford), My Friend Michael Jones (dir: Ian Leaupepe, Samson Rambo), No Shame (dir: Brendan Donovan), Run Rabbit (dir: Robyn Paterson), and Sail Away (dir: Ella Becroft, Tama Jarman).
“I was given an excellent cluster of films, each so different with their social concerns and visual poetry triggering emotions and making observations about us. Choosing the best six was an extremely hard decision,” says Leon Narbey.
Audiences at the New Zealand’s Best screenings in Auckland and Wellington will be asked to vote for their favourite short. The Audience Award winner takes away a 25% share of the box office takings from the New Zealand's Best screenings in the four main centres. In 2017 this prize was valued at $4,500.
Madman Entertainment will again support the title award, the Madman Entertainment Best Short Film Award. The cash prize of $5,000 is donated by
Leon Narbey will be the Guest Selector for our only competition strand, the New Zealand’s Best short film competition.
Five to six selected New Zealand shorts will premiere in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch where audiences are encouraged to vote for their favourite short from Narbey’s shortlist. Previous Guest Selectors have included Gaylene Preston (2017), Lee Tamahori (2016), Christine Jeffs (2015), Andrew Adamson (2014), Alison Maclean (2013) and Roger Donaldson (2012).
Leon Narbey is one of New Zealand’s finest cinematographers and has worked closely with many of New Zealand’s greatest filmmakers. After studying Sculpture and Lighting at Elam School of Fine Arts his first films Room 2 and A Film of Real Time were completed in 1968 and 1971 respectively. He went on to shoot TV news and then he collaborated on important early documentaries Te Matakite O Aotearoa: The Maori Land March (Geoff Steven) and then Bastion Point: Day 507 (with Merata Mita and Gerd Pohlmann) before making his own Man of the Trees questioning the destruction of the world’s forests. In 1987 he directed his award-winning feature Illustrious Energy. As a cinematographer Narbey has shot many feature films and documentaries including Desperate Remedies, The Price of Milk, Whale