NZIFF Booklet

Films by Language

English

100 Men

Paul Oremland

100 Men reflects on 40 years of gay history via a countdown of Kiwi filmmaker Paul Oremland’s most memorable shags, featuring candid and moving interviews with past lovers.

20th Century Women

Mike Mills

Annette Bening captivates as a single mother enlisting Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning to help raise her 15-year-old son in this funny, nuanced memoir of late-70s lifestyles from director Mike Mills (Beginners).

6 Days

Toa Fraser

Kiwi filmmaker Toa Fraser showcases his action chops on the world stage with this true-story hostage thriller set in 1980s London. Starring Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Steve James

A small family-owned bank serving Chinatown businesses, Abacus was the only US lender indicted for fraud post 2008. Steve James (Hoop Dreams) embeds with the Sung family through their spirited fight for vindication.

Austerlitz

Sergei Loznitsa

How should we remember the Holocaust? As tourists visit Nazi death camps in increasing numbers, Sergei Loznitsa sets up his camera at Sachsenhausen and Dachau and simply observes the behaviour of the visitors.

Bad Genius

Chalard Games Goeng

Nattawut Poonpiriya

A group of school friends scheme to rake in mega bucks by helping others cheat on their exams in this stylish and super-smart Thai suspense thriller, which has been a box office sensation on its home turf.

BANG! The Bert Berns Story

Brett Berns, Bob Sarles

Music meets the Mob in this entertaining biographical documentary about the life and career of Bert Berns, the most important 60s songwriter and record producer that you have probably never heard of.

Bangkok Nites

Tomita Katsuya

A high-class call girl and a middle-aged army vet search for paradise in a society haunted by decades of foreign exploitation in this stirring long-form feature set in Bangkok’s red-light district.

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.

Beatriz at Dinner

Miguel Arteta

A holistic health worker (Salma Hayek) goes head to head with the one percent over dinner in this potently loaded dramedy by Miguel Arteta. With John Lithgow, Chloë Sevigny, Jay Duplass, Connie Britton.

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).

Beuys: Art As a Weapon

Andres Veiel

This archive-packed documentary provides a tantalising introduction to the life and work of Joseph Beuys, the revolutionary German artist of the 70s and 80s, celebrated for his artworks, performances and politics.

BIG Time

Kaspar Astrup Schröder

BIG Time gets up close with Danish architectural prodigy Bjarke Ingels over a period of six years while he is struggling to complete his largest projects yet, the Manhattan skyscraper W57 and Two World Trade Center.

Bill Direen: A Memory of Others

Simon Ogston

Filmmaker Simon Ogston hits the road with NZ writer, poet, indie rocker Bill Direen as he explores the cultural landscape and presents a series of strikingly diverse live performances.

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.

Blue

Karina Holden

Filmed over two years in Indonesia, the Philippines, Hawaii and Australia, this beautifully crafted wake-up call to the state of the earth’s oceans profiles inspiring individuals working to preserve and protect marine life.

Born in China

Lu Chuan

Disney’s famed nature documentary unit brings the epic journey of three animal families enduring China’s vast and unforgiving terrain spectacularly to the big screen.

Brigsby Bear

Dave McCary

This weird and wonderful indie comedy stars Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney as a man totally obsessed with a TV show about a bear saving the world. Also starring Greg Kinnear, Mark Hamill, Claire Danes.

Call Me by Your Name

Luca Guadagnino

This gorgeous and moving adaptation of André Aciman’s acclaimed novel, directed by Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love), stars Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet as lovers in sun-kissed northern Italy.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Matt Tyrnauer

This fascinating documentary about urban planning considers the continuing relevance of the showdown, half a century ago, between the activist Jane Jacobs and the Trumpian Robert Moses: a fight for the future of New York.

Claire’s Camera

Keul-le-eo-ui ka-me-la

Hong Sang-soo

In director Hong Sang-soo’s wry observation of the end of an affair, Isabelle Huppert plays a French photographer who befriends a young Korean woman (The Handmaiden’s Kim Min-hee) at the Cannes Film Festival.

Columbus

Kogonada

In this charming debut a young librarian and an out-of-town visitor bond in Columbus, Indiana, their friendship blossoming out of conversations about life, relationships and the city’s exceptional modern architecture.

Dark Night

Tim Sutton

An artfully understated critique of American gun culture, loosely based on the 2012 massacre in Aurora, Colorado that took place during a multiplex screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

A Date for Mad Mary

Darren Thornton

Sent only a single invitation, dry, sarcastic, maddening Mary (marvellous Seána Kerslake) sets out to find a date for her best friend’s wedding in this barbed and funny Irish romcom.

Dealt

Luke Korem

Winner of an Audience Award at SXSW, this fascinating feel-good doco introduces us to blind card magician Richard Turner, who learns a few new tricks as he comes to terms with visual impairment.

Dina

Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles

This affecting Sundance-winning documentary trains an empathetic gaze on forthright Dina and her romantic, touch-shy boyfriend Scott as they approach marriage and navigate one another’s considerable foibles.

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.

Dries

Reiner Holzemer

The 30-year career of prolific Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten is celebrated in this doco, which visits the designer’s atelier and home while following his production of four collections a year.

Ethel & Ernest

Roger Mainwood

This animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ graphic memoir of his parents’ lives is both humble and profound, with gorgeous renderings of Briggs’ justly famous lines. Featuring the voices of Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn.

The Evil Within

Andrew Getty

A demon appears in an antique mirror and manipulates a mentally ill young man, urging him to murder the ones he loves in this nightmarish horror, the bonkers cinematic brainchild of the late oil heir Andrew Getty.

The Farthest

Emer Reynolds

The incredible journey of the Voyager spaceship is retraced by the women and men closest to the action in this exhilarating big-screen documentary.

Final Portrait

Stanley Tucci

In a character study directed with wry wit by Stanley Tucci, Geoffrey Rush plays Alberto Giacometti and Armie Hammer plays James Lord, his young American biographer who endured endless sittings in hope of a portrait.

The Free Man

Toa Fraser

World-champion freestyle skier Jossi Wells is the subject of Kiwi filmmaker Toa Fraser’s absorbing examination of extreme sportspeople and the relationship between fear and true freedom.

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.

Gabriel and the Mountain

Gabriel e a montanha

Fellipe Barbosa

Brazilian Fellipe Barbosa’s richly layered road movie retraces his friend’s Africa-on-$3-a-day travels through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, based on the fond recollections of the people he befriended along the way.

A Ghost Story

David Lowery

A simple story told with the simplest means, A Ghost Story tracks the progress of a ghost who can’t let go of the woman he loved and the house they shared, evoking a profoundly moving sense of existential disquiet.

God’s Own Country

Francis Lee

Filmed on the Yorkshire Dales where he grew up, Francis Lee’s debut tells the poignant story of a hard-drinking lad who keeps his emotions in check until a handsome Romanian immigrant comes to work on the family farm.

Good Time

Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie

In this adrenalised Cannes sensation from guerrilla-filmmaker siblings Josh and Benny Safdie, Robert Pattinson is riveting as a small-time criminal on a frantic nocturnal odyssey to break his brother out of custody.

Hard Truths

For one session only, join documentary-makers Gaylene Preston, Annie Goldson, Tearepa Kahi and Paul Oremland as they dissect their relationships and responsibilities to the truth, and examine the uncharted waters they've navigated in their work.

Hounds of Love

Ben Young

This exercise in expertly crafted tension, centred on a serial killer couple and the teenage girl they abduct and hold captive, is a bold and challenging debut from writer/director Ben Young.

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.

Human Traces

Nic Gorman

Shot on location against the rugged backdrop of the Canterbury and Otago coasts, this atmospheric Kiwi thriller marks a confident calling card for its up-and-coming writer-director.

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.

I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck

This Oscar-nominated documentary draws an astonishing, challenging and utterly contemporary examination of race in the United States entirely from the writings and interview footage of civil rights icon James Baldwin.

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.

Intent to Destroy: Death, Denial & Depiction

Joe Berlinger

Studying the suppressed Armenian Genocide of 1915 from the set of an epic Hollywood movie, Joe Berlinger makes a powerful and timely case for film as both truth-teller and wound-healer.

It

Clarence Badger

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Live Cinema at NZIFF celebrates Clara Bow, flapper superstar of the jazz age, in the 1927 romcom that designated her the original It Girl. Marc Taddei conducts Carl Davis’ original score.

It Comes at Night

Trey Edward Shults

In this nerve-shredding post-apocalyptic thriller plague stalks the land and water is scarce. Joel Edgerton, along with his wife and teenage son, fight for survival, barricaded into an abandoned lodge in the woods.

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.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Yorgos Lanthimos

Reuniting with his Lobster director, Colin Farrell plays a surgeon, husband and father of two whose placid domestic life is slowly, insidiously disrupted by the persistent demands of a teenage stalker.

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.

Lady Macbeth

William Oldroyd

Florence Pugh is mesmerising as she transmutes from nervous bride to femme fatale in this bracing British period drama based on a 19th century Russian classic.

Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy

Thomas Riedelsheimer

British land artist Andy Goldsworthy reunites with the director of Rivers and Tides to collaborate on an equally seductive new documentary covering recent creations in Brazil, San Francisco, Provence and at home in Scotland.

The Lost City of Z

James Gray

Charlie Hunnam makes a commanding flawed hero as British Amazon explorer Percy Fawcett in a sweeping giant screen epic, filmed with rare intelligence by writer/director James Gray. With Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson.

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.

Manifesto

Julian Rosefeldt

Cate Blanchett dazzles as 13 different characters, each giving voice to the published rallying calls of myriad artistic movements in this playful, ingeniously staged feature by German artist Julian Rosefeldt.

Marjorie Prime

Michael Almereyda

Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) directs the magnificent Lois Smith as an ailing widow who turns to a holographic projection, played by Jon Hamm, in an effort to stave off memory loss and the melancholy of old age.

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.

Menashe

Joshua Z. Weinstein

A young widower struggles to appease Orthodox tradition and raise his son without a mother in this touching and funny observational drama, shot in Yiddish in a camera-shy Hassidic neighbourhood in Brooklyn.

Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith

Stuart A. Staples

“From acrobatic flies to suckling bees, Smith’s stop-motion nature films astonished viewers a century ago. Now Tindersticks’ Stuart Staples has set them to music in a dark and dreamy movie.” — Patrick Barkham, The Guardian

A Monster Calls

J.A. Bayona

A story-telling monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) helps a sleeping boy with his waking-life nightmares in this adaptation of Patrick Ness’ novel, spectacularly realised with lavish CGI and painterly animations.

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.

Multiple Maniacs

John Waters

John Waters’ gloriously grotesque, unavailable-for-decades sophomore feature comes to the big screen at long last, replete with all manner of depravity.

My Friend Dahmer

Marc Meyers

The origins of Jeffrey Dahmer as an infamous serial killer are sharply explored in this unusual and insightful teen movie, based on the recollections of one of Dahmer’s high school classmates.

My Life As a Courgette (Dubbed)

My Life As a Zucchini

Claude Barras

This soulful and subversive Oscar-nominated feature uses stop-motion animation to tell the story of an orphan named Courgette. From the key animator on Fantastic Mr Fox, and adapted for the screen by Girlhood’s Céline Sciamma.

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.

New Zealand’s Best 2017

Check out the year’s best New Zealand short films as chosen by this year’s guest selector Gaylene Preston, from a shortlist drawn up by NZIFF programmers from a total of 83 entries.

Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2017

Check out the latest and best Māori and Pasifika short films as selected for NZIFF by Leo Koziol, Director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, and Craig Fasi, Director of the Pollywood Film Festival.

No Ordinary Sheila

Hugh Macdonald

In Hugh Macdonald’s fascinating and inspiring doco, his cousin, writer and illustrator Sheila Natusch, retraces a long life dedicated to sharing her understanding and love of New Zealand’s nature and history.

Not Just Another Mountain

Chris Davis

This short documentary explores the significance One Tree Hill/Maungakiekie holds to Aucklanders – and the nation as a whole. Preceded by another short doco which introduces us to Auckland outsider artist Andrew Blythe.

The Other Side of Hope

Toivon tuolla puolen

Aki Kaurismäki

A Syrian stowaway lands up in Helsinki and finds refuge working in the worst restaurant in town in this funny, gorgeously filmed new tragicomedy from Finland hangdog maestro, Aki Kaurismäki.

The Paris Opera

L’Opéra

Jean-Stéphane Bron

This fascinating, candid doco goes behind the scenes of the Paris Opera, following the array of personnel – management, performers, costumers, cleaning crew – who work to bring breathtaking spectacle night after night.

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

Patti Cake$

Geremy Jasper

Music video director Geremy Jasper launches an unlikely rap star – a plus-size, white New Jersey rapper played by Aussie sensation Danielle Macdonald – in this high-energy feature debut.

A Prayer Before Dawn

Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire

Joe Cole is sensational as British Muay Thai fighter Billy Moore in Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s visceral adaptation of his tale of survival in Thailand’s Klong Prem prison.

Quest

Jonathan Olshefski

Condensing a decade’s worth of filming into an engrossing 105 minutes, Jonathan Olshefski’s documentary follows a buoyant young African American family and their working-class neighbourhood through the Obama years.

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.

Secret Screening

Who likes being kept in the dark? Introducing our first ever secret screening – and we can’t wait to see it unfold before unsuspecting audiences.

Spookers

Florian Habicht

In this funny and improbably charming documentary Florian Habicht looks behind the curtain to show us the real lives of the frighteners at the infamous and hugely popular horror theme park at the old Kingseat Hospital.

The Square

Ruben Östlund

Winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or, Ruben Östlund’s The Square is an astounding work of social satire centred on a Swedish art museum and a PR stunt that goes horribly wrong. Starring Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Terry Notary.

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.

Super Dark Times

Kevin Phillips

The bond between two best friends drifting through adolescence is shattered by a violent tragedy in this striking, horror-tinged portrait of feckless suburban youth.

Swagger of Thieves

Julian Boshier

Taking its cue from its subjects, Julian Boshier’s all-access portrait of Head Like a Hole’s Nigel ‘Booga’ Beazley and Nigel Regan at home, on the road and in full roar on stage tells it like no other NZ music doco ever dared.

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.

That’s Not Me

Gregory Erdstein

A wannabe star is gutted by her identical twin sister’s HBO success – plus she’s dating Jared Leto – then decides to take advantage in this wry Aussie comedy of outsized fantasies and bad behaviour.

Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present

Tyler Hubby

A joyful exploration of the unconventional art of minimalist musician, avant-garde filmmaker and conceptual performer Tony Conrad, whose innovative work always challenged the status quo.

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.

To Stay Alive: A Method

Erik Lieshout

Iggy Pop and French writer Michel Houellebecq head up a superbly crafted documentary about struggling artists, many struggling with mental illness, who fight against the odds to make their art.

Tragedy Girls

Tyler MacIntyre

At once giddily postmodern and subtly disturbing, this hilarious Gen Y splatter-farce finds two social media-obsessed high school girls fixated on becoming famous when a serial killer moves into town.

Trophy

Shaul Schwarz

This thorny doco about commercialised wildlife conservation in Africa juxtaposes the potent emotional appeal of animal rights activism and the ‘if it pays, it stays’ rationalism of big game hunters.

Una

Benedict Andrews

Rooney Mara is electrifying as the troubled young woman confronting the older man (Ben Mendelsohn) who seduced and abandoned her in this abrasive screen adaptation of David Harrower’s stage play Blackbird.

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 Venerable W.

Le vénérable W.

Barbet Schroeder

Barbet Schroeder (General Idi Amin Dada, Terror’s Advocate) completes his trilogy of evil with this chilling documentary about the Buddhist monk whose Islamophobic rhetoric is stoking ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.

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.

We Don’t Need a Map

Warwick Thornton

Filmmaker Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah) investigates his country’s ownership of the Southern Cross, in a genial film essay that surveys the heavens from the cultural and political perspectives of Australia now.

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.

Whiteley

James Bogle

A visual journey into the private life and creative legacy of Australia’s most iconic artist, Brett Whiteley, told largely in his own words using personal letters, notebooks, photographs, archival interviews and rare footage.

Wind River

Taylor Sheridan

Rookie FBI agent Elizabeth Olsen teams with her Avengers co-star Jeremy Renner to investigate a mysterious death on an Indian reservation in this atmospheric western thriller directed by gun screenwriter Taylor Sheridan.

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.

The Wound

Inxeba

John Trengove

What happens when ancient beliefs and modern life come into conflict? John Trengove’s suspenseful drama explores this dynamic when a ‘soft’ city boy is forced by his father to undergo the traditional rites of passage.

The Young Karl Marx

Le jeune Karl Marx

Raoul Peck

Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro) delivers an engrossing, classically conceived biopic about how Karl Marx, as a struggling family man, and Friedrich Engels, the son of industrial wealth, came to create The Communist Manifesto.