NZIFF Booklet

Films by Genre

Women Make Movies

Beach Rats

Eliza Hittman

In Eliza Hittman’s startlingly sensual study of conflicted masculinity, a Brooklyn teenager leads a perilous double life, cruising older men online while playing super straight to his homophobic homies.

The Beguiled

Sofia Coppola

Colin Farrell plays a wounded Civil War mercenary under the care of a commune of young women, led by Nicole Kidman, in Sofia Coppola’s beautiful, feminist take on Don Siegel’s 1971 Southern Gothic psychodrama.

Berlin Syndrome

Cate Shortland

A photographer on her OE meets a handsome yet mysterious local boy, stays the night and then finds he won’t let her leave, in this taut thriller from Australian director Cate Shortland (Lore).

Bill Frisell: A Portrait

Emma Franz

The perfect balance of talking heads and sustained performance, Emma Franz’s documentary delivers an entrancing two hours in the company of jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.

The Desert Bride

La novia del desierto

Cecilia Atán, Valeria Pivato

Paulina García (Gloria) plays an uprooted woman who stumbles into a new-found freedom with help from Claudio Rissi’s friendly stranger in this delicate and charming Argentinean debut feature.

Don’t Tell

Tori Garrett

Newcomer Sara West gives a gripping performance in the true story of the young Australian woman whose courageous testimony uncovered systemic cover-ups of sexual abuse by the Anglican church.

Faces Places

Visages villages

Agnès Varda, JR

In this utterly charming documentary, octogenarian French director Agnès Varda takes to the road with the young photo-muralist JR, creating artworks, looking up old friends and finding new ones.

Free Theatre

Shirley Horrocks

Shirley Horrocks’ tenth NZIFF documentary relates the storied 37-year history of Christchurch’s often provocative, always daring Free Theatre, creators of countless extraordinary productions and performance events.

The Future Perfect

El futuro perfecto

Nele Wohlatz

Arriving in Buenos Aires, a young Chinese immigrant embraces the struggle of a new language and surroundings, reimagining herself and her future in the process, in this dry comedy of manners.

Heal the Living

Réparer les vivants

Katell Quillévéré

A catastrophic accident leaves one family in ruins and bestows another with precious hope in a hospital drama immeasurably enhanced by the delicate sensitivity of Katell Quillévéré’s script and the poetic force of her direction.

House of Z

Sandy Chronopoulos

The meteoric rise, fall and rise again of the prodigiously talented fashion designer Zac Posen is documented with sympathy and a little suspense in a many-storied documentary, packed full of his splendid creations.

I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni

Set in Zambia, the birthplace of writer-director Rungano Nyoni, this strange, engrossing feature addresses the continuing marginalisation of ‘witches’ and revolves around a nine-year-old girl accused of witchcraft.

The Inland Road

Jackie van Beek

A runaway girl explores unsteady paths of emotional rescue with a young Central Otago family in writer/director Jackie van Beek’s gentle and lyrically filmed debut feature.

Jasper Jones

Rachel Perkins

A courageous teenage boy explores the murky waters of a small Australian town in Rachel Perkins’ atmospheric, richly peopled adaptation of a popular Australian murder mystery.

Kedi

Ceyda Torun

More than just another example of cute kittens on camera, this documentary about the cats of Istanbul and the people who watch out for them exudes charm and insight that a million YouTube videos cannot match.

Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web

Annie Goldson

As Annie Goldson’s impressively detailed documentary clearly sets out the battle between Dotcom and the US Government and entertainment industry, it goes to the heart of ownership, privacy and piracy in the digital age.

Kobi

Andrea Bosshard, Shane Loader

This warm and humorous doco about Kobi Bosshard, widely regarded as the grandfather of contemporary New Zealand jewellery, explores his philosophy of life and work, as captured by his daughter Andrea Bosshard.

La Chana

Lucija Stojevic

Supported by abundant footage, old and new, of spectacular dance and outstanding flamenco music, this intimate portrait is a loving tribute to the legendary gypsy dancer whose passion burns as strongly as ever.

Let the Sunshine In

Un beau soleil interieur

Claire Denis

Juliette Binoche lights up every frame of Claire Denis’ frank and rueful dramedy of romantic hope springing eternal, written in collaboration with the controversially confessional novelist and playwright Christine Angot.

The Love Witch

Anna Biller

A beautiful witch seduces – and disposes of – men in this sensationally conceived homage to 70s sexploitation, sharply told through both a contemporary feminist lens and the dubious sexual politics of the era.

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak

Mouly Surya

Set amongst the visually ravishing widescreen vistas of rural Indonesia, this thoroughly enjoyable and delightfully deadpan adventure delivers a wily feminist spin on a western tale of murder and revenge.

Maudie

Aisling Walsh

Sally Hawkins delivers an unforgettable performance as Nova Scotian folk artist Maud Lewis, irrepressible despite arthritis and a churlish husband (Ethan Hawke), in this gently flowing biopic set in the 1930s.

Mountain

Jennifer Peedom

A spectacular musical and cinematic collaboration, Jennifer Peedom’s new movie exalts the spellbinding force of the world’s great mountains – and the power they exercise over the human imagination.

My Year with Helen

Gaylene Preston

With unique access to high-ranking candidate Helen Clark, filmmaker Gaylene Preston casts a wry eye on proceedings as the United Nations chooses a new secretary general.

On Body and Soul

Teströl és lélekröl

Ildikó Enyedi

Two workers in a pristine modern abattoir are shocked to discover they have been dreaming the same idyllic dream in this arrestingly peculiar – and visually dazzling – tale of reluctant soulmates.

The Party

Sally Potter

“This sketch of an ambitious Westminster politician and dinner-party hostess (Kristin Scott Thomas), whose life comes spectacularly apart before the canapés are even served, is a consummate drawing-room divertissement, played with relish by a dream ensemble.” — Guy Lodge, Variety

Pop Aye

Kirsten Tan

This quietly charming, slightly surreal road movie features a bromance between an over-the-hill architect and his long-lost pet elephant as they escape Bangkok and head back to their village hometown.

Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan

Linda Saffire, Adam Schlesinger

The prima ballerina prepares to take her final bow after three decades with New York City Ballet and considers life and dance after ‘retirement’ in this intimate and inspiring, clip-studded documentary portrait.

Risk

Laura Poitras

Dramatically revised since its 2016 Cannes premiere, Laura Poitras’ years-in-the-making, all-access documentary about Julian Assange provides a deeply revealing portrait of a man who would change the world.

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Catherine Bainbridge

This revealing tribute to Native American musicians, crammed with concert footage, celebrates their little credited contributions to popular contemporary music from blues to jazz, from Hendrix to Metallica.

Sami Blood

Sameblod

Amanda Kernell

This clear-eyed coming-of-age tale follows a headstrong Sami teenager who attempts to abandon her indigenous heritage and pass as Swedish in a 1930s society rife with prejudice and discrimination.

Step

Amanda Lipitz

Fighting the tough realities of their disadvantaged neighbourhood, Step follows three irrepressible young women in an enlightened Baltimore school as they prepare for college – and rehearse for step dance glory.

Summer 1993

Estiu 1993

Carla Simón

Catalan director Carla Simón’s award-winning dramatisation of her own experience as a six-year-old orphan adjusting to a new life in the country features the most remarkable and mesmerising child performances in years.

Swallows and Amazons

Philippa Lowthorpe

In this new adaptation of a British classic, four plucky kids escape the tedium of a housebound Lake District summer holiday, and set off on their own for capers of the dinghy sailing and foiling dastardly spies variety.

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton

Rory Kennedy

This epic sports doco captures the remarkable and unconventional life of legendary big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. Sweeping cinematography puts us in the lineup with a master playing the sea.

TEAM TIBET: Home away from Home

Robin Greenberg

Thuten Kesang, New Zealand’s first Tibetan refugee in 1967, recounts his fascinating and inspiring story and the environmental and political issues that have made him a tireless advocate of the Tibetan cause.

Top of the Lake: China Girl

Jane Campion, Ariel Kleiman

Join us for a very special screening of the much-anticipated new instalment of Jane Campion’s award-winning series, starring Elisabeth Moss, Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman.

Unrest

Jennifer Brea

Suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome but told by her doctor it was all in her head, journalist and academic Jennifer Brea started filming from her bed, contacting other sufferers via Skype, to explore the little understood condition.

The War Show

Andreas Dalsgaard, Obaidah Zytoon

This startling documentary frames life under Assad from the perspective of a radio DJ and her activist friends, whose main weapon – the video camera – seizes both frightening and intimate moments in the Syrian conflict.

Waru

Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Cohen, Renae Maihi, Paula Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene

Eight Māori female directors have each contributed a sequence to this powerful and challenging feature which unfolds around the tangi of a small boy who died at the hands of his caregiver.

Western

Valeska Grisebach

Subtly applying the themes of the American western to Europe’s eastern frontier, Valeska Grisebach’s drama mines the tensions and the bonds that develop between a German construction camp and a nearby Bulgarian village.

Winnie

Pascale Lamche

Winner of a Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival, this fascinating portrait allows South Africa’s ‘mother of the nation’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to give her account of her bitterly contested role in history.

Working in Protest

Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley

This immersive doco covers 17 years of protest and activism in America from thwarted processions by the KKK and events celebrating the Confederate Flag, to the Occupy Wall Street movement and rallies for Trump.