NZIFF Booklet

Films by Section

Fresh

Araby

Arábia

Affonso Uchôa, João Dumans

This lyrical road movie provides a richly imagined view of lives encountered, friendships made, stories told, songs sung and lovers never forgotten in a lifetime of itinerant labour around Minas Gerais, Brazil.

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.

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.

Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl!

Não devore meu coração!

Felipe Bragança

A twisted tale of star-crossed lovers set amongst rival motorcycle gangs roaming a remote border region. Felipe Bragança’s neon-drenched, synth-laden film could be a biker Drive as reimagined by David Lynch.

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.

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.

Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait

Khyentse Norbu

The dazzling new film from Bhutanese lama and filmmaker Khyentse Norbu (The Cup) chronicles a sacred jungle ritual whose masked, anonymous participants seek after complete self-knowledge – or descend into anarchy.

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.

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.

Loving Pia

At Elske Pia

Daniel Borgman

This gentle second feature by New Zealand-born Daniel Borgman (The Weight of Elephants) tells a story of country life, inspired by the life of its lead actress, 60-year-old Pia, an intellectually handicapped woman looking for romance.

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.

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 Life As a Courgette (Subtitled)

Ma vie de Courgette

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.

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 Ornithologist

O Ornitólogo

João Pedro Rodrigues

This seductively meandering, playfully queer and richly cinematic riff on the St Anthony of Padua legend from Portugal’s João Pedro Rodrigues uses the classic man-in-a-forest motif in a strange journey of self-discovery.

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.

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.

The Untamed

La región salvaje

Amat Escalante

Love triangle drama and erotic bio-sci-fi thrills meet in a truly bizarre exploration of oppressive machismo and liberating sexual abandon from Mexican director Amat Escalante.

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.