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NZIFF recommends this programme for children aged 4+
NZIFF recommends this programme for children aged 8+
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.
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.
Zonda: folclore argentino
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.
À peine j’ouvre les yeux
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.
Quand on a 17 ans
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.
Médecin de campagne
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.
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.
La mort de Louis XIV
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.
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.
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.
Poesía sin fin
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.
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.
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.
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.
Les premiers, les derniers
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.
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.
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.
Recommended For Ages 12+
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.
An enchanted cinematic essay by legendary performance artist Laurie Anderson. A self-narrated punk meditation on love and death; exquisitely crafted and effortlessly profound.
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.
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.
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.
La pazza gioia
“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
Les vies de Thérèse
Filmed over the last months of her life, this compelling and inspiring portrait of the French feminist thinker and activist Thérèse Clerc celebrates her extraordinary evolution and vital legacy.
Tout en haut du monde
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.
Bella e perduta
“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
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.
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.
Aquí no ha pasado nada
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.
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.
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.
Théo et Hugo dans le même bateau
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.
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.
La Tortue rouge
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.
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.
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.
Le fils de Joseph
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.