NZIFF Booklet

Films by Title

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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.

A

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.

Ancien and the Magic Tablet

Hirune-hime: Shiranai watashi no monogatari

Kamiyama Kenji

Director Kamiyama Kenji (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) makes a triumphant return with this fantastical anime drama interweaving the dreams and reality of a high school girl who turns into a brave sci-fi princess when she sleeps.

Animation NOW! Black & White

A surprising amount of animation is created in black and white. This carefully curated programme musters a collection of shorts that harness the creative promise of light, shade, form, texture and movement – without colour.

Animation NOW! Dark Hearts

From the dark side, this bold, bracing collection of short films goes deeper and blacker than live-action will allow.

Animation NOW! International Showcase

A celebratory showcase of some of the year’s best and brightest animated shorts. If you’re looking to sample the animation ecosystem in all its multicoloured, variously-shaped glories, there’s no better place to begin.

Animation NOW! Living Masters New Works

Seriously impressive new work from nine of the biggest names in the animation pantheon is brought together in this stimulating and highly enjoyable programme.

Animation NOW! New Chinese Animation

The profusion of energy, skill and idiosyncratic vision on display in this showcase of recent animation from China is amazing – and the spirit of independence fills every frame.

Animation NOW! The Best of Punto y Raya

Based in Barcelona, Punto y Raya is a nomadic festival celebrating the art of animation in its most abstract forms. Prepare to be dazzled. This collection showcases highlights of the 2016 edition.

Animation NOW! The Finalists

A programme of shortlisted finalists from this year’s Animation NOW!, judged by a panel of programmers and animators, with a jury prize donated by Victoria University Wellington, School of Design awarded to the winning film on the night.

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.

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.

B

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.

Belle de Jour

Luis Buñuel

In Luis Buñuel’s surreal 60s classic, Catherine Deneuve’s porcelain perfection hides a cracked interior in one of her most iconic roles: Séverine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her after¬noon hours working in a bordello.

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.

Blade of the Immortal

Mugen no junin

Miike Takashi

Japanese super director Miike Takashi, in no less than his 100th film, returns to the bloody mayhem of 13 Assassins with this brutal and boisterous manga adaptation about a vengeful samurai who can grow back his own limbs.

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.

Boxes

Jack Barrowman

A young man gets a reality check when his grandmother suddenly falls ill. Screening with A Date for Mad Mary.

BPM (Beats Per Minute)

120 battements par minute

Robin Campillo

A wary newcomer to the radical activist life risks his heart with one of its firecracker stars in this stirring and moving exploration of the ACT UP movement that protested government inaction on AIDS in the 90s.

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.

C

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.

China’s Van Goghs

Yu Haibo, Yu Tianqi Kiki

This revealing portrait of a peasant-turned-oil painter who falls under the spell of Van Gogh while producing replicas of his paintings provides surprising perspectives on Western culture and Chinese labour.

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.

The Coffin Club

Briar March

A musical documentary about the celebration of life and death. Screening with Hotel Salvation.

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.

D

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.

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.

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.

The Distinguished Citizen

El ciudadano ilustre

Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat

In this dark, slyly observed comedy an internationally successful writer is feted by – and confronted with – the people of the small town in Argentina that bred him and informed his life’s work.

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.

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.

E

East Meets East

Julie Zhu

A Chinese grandmother finds kinship on her bus trip to the Asian supermarket. Screening with Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

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.

F

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.

A Fantastic Woman

Una mujer fantástica

Sebastián Lelio

Rising Chilean director Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) celebrates the endurance of a woman under suspicion of murder in a film that heralds a stellar debut for transgender actress Daniela Vega.

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.

Félicité

Alain Gomis

A singer living in the Congo city of Kinshasa, Félicité looks the world in the eye every time she sets foot on a bar stage. When her son is involved in a motorbike accident her defiant stance as a single woman is on the line.

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.

Foraging

Simon Ogston

Musician Christoph el Truento explores a natural soundscape. Screening with Bill Direen: A Memory of Others.

For the Light

Steven Chow

A man reflects as the New Year is celebrated outside. Screening with Marjorie Prime.

Frantz

François Ozon

This elegantly mounted drama explores regeneration in the aftermath of World War I through the complex relationship of a young German woman (Anna Beer) and a French soldier (Pierre Niney) brought together by shared loss.

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.

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.

G

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 Gentle Creature

Krotkaya

Sergei Loznitsa

Ukrainian feature and documentary maker Sergei Loznitsa’s new dramatic film is a glowering state-of-the-nation fable, a bitter mix of tragedy, farce and road movie soaked in the sardonic spirit of Gogol and Dostoyevsky.

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.

Grey William

Sandy Augusto Burton

A quirky tour guide can’t let the past go. Screening with Ethel & Ernest.

H

Happy End

Michael Haneke

Jean-Louis Trintignant is the failing patriarch and Isabelle Huppert his daughter in this satirical dissection of a powerful French construction dynasty from Austrian director Michael Haneke (Amour, Caché).

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.

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.

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.

Hostages

Mdzevlebi

Rezo Gigineishvili

This nerve-jangling political thriller depicts a shocking true story from 1983, when a group of young middle-class Georgians attempted to hijack a plane to Turkey to escape the Soviet Union.

Hotel Salvation

Mukti Bhawan

Shubhashish Bhutiani

In this gentle comedy of family ties from India an old man, convinced by a dream that he is about to die, obliges his office-workaholic son to accompany him to the holy city of Varanasi.

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

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.

Import

Ena Sendijarevic

A family of Bosnian refugees try to make sense of their new home in a quaint Dutch village. Screening with The Future Perfect.

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.

An Insignificant Man

Khushboo Ranka, Vinay Shukla

With exceptional access, this documentary about the rise of India’s newest parliamentary party, the Common Man’s Party (AAP), and the divisive, charismatic man at its heart, makes for riveting viewing.

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.

In Times of Fading Light

In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts

Matti Geschonneck

The cracks in a crumbling regime are exposed as an elite family gather in East Berlin to celebrate their failing patriarch’s 90th. Absorbing, richly detailed historical tragicomedy based on a German bestseller.

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.

J

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.

K

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.

Kiki, Love to Love

Kiki, el amor se hace

Paco Léon

Anyone for harpaxophilia? How about somnophilia? In five intertwined mini-romcoms, a scorching summer heatwave intensifies the very particular desires of a collection of Madrid lovers. A major hit at the Spanish box office.

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.

L

#Losing

Stjohn Milgrew, Damian Golfinopoulos

Spoken word artist Dominic Hoey aka Tourettes reflects on his losing battle with a degenerative bone disease. Screening with Heal the Living.

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.

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.

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 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.

Loveless

Nelyubov

Andrey Zvyagintsev

Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan) won the Cannes Jury Prize for his stark and gripping tale of a divorcing couple caught in a missing-child procedural.

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.

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.

M

Maliglutit (Searchers)

Zacharias Kunuk

Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) returns with this Arctic epic about a vengeful husband who sets off in pursuit of the violent men who kidnapped his wife and destroyed his home.

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.

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.

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.

The Merciless

Bulhandang

Byun Sung-hyun

An undercover cop and a notorious gangster become blood brothers in Byun Sung-hyun’s big-budget noir-tinged crime thriller, a sleek South Korean cousin to Scorsese’s The Departed.

The Midwife

Sage femme

Martin Provost

Catherine Frot stars as a conscientious midwife reluctantly reconnecting with Catherine Deneuve as the flamboyant step-mother who absconded 30 years earlier, in this lively drama from writer/director Martin Provost (Séraphine)

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 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.

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.

N

Napalm

Claude Lanzmann

Bringing an egocentric but telling perspective to the subject of North Korea’s isolation, Claude Lanzmann (Shoah) revisits Pyongyang to explore the significance of a romantic encounter that has haunted him for 60 years.

Newton

Amit V. Masurkar

In this wry tragicomedy, a rookie government clerk finds himself entrusted with a task that appears deceptively simple: collecting 76 votes in a remote village in the jungle of central India.

New Zealand’s Best 2017

Help give the year’s best New Zealand short films the homegrown recognition they deserve by voting for your favourite at this screening.

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.

The Nile Hilton Incident

Tarik Saleh

Egypt’s 2011 revolution provides the backdrop for a classic police thriller, which trails its corrupted detective anti-hero from the grimy back streets of Cairo to the highest levels of government.

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.

Nowhere to Hide

Zaradasht Ahmed

The top prize-winner at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam: a first-person account of four turbulent years in the life of a resilient medic and his young family living in Iraq’s ‘triangle of death’.

O

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.

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.

P

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.

Politics, an Instruction Manual

Política, manual de instrucciones

Fernando León de Aranoa

Fernando León de Aranoa’s fly-on-the-wall doco reveals the inner workings of the populist Spanish collective that took on the austerity movement and helped break the mould of Spanish politics.

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.

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.

Q

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.

R

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.

S

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.

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.

Stalker

Andrei Tarkovsky

One of the most immersive and rarefied experiences in all cinema, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker embarks on a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic post-apocalyptic landscape. Newly restored.

Starless Dreams

Royahaye dame sobh

Mehrdad Oskouei

Mehrdad Oskouei’s lucid, empathetic documentary gives voice and spirit to young women locked up in a Tehran detention facility for murder, theft or simply running away from home – and whose lives were often worse outside.

Stay

Craig Gainsborough, Luke Thornborough

The lives of June and her pet dog Lucas change forever. Screening with Kedi.

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.

The Summer Is Gone

Ba yue

Zhang Dalei

Zhang Dalei’s luscious, black-and-white, drama recalls a country boy’s last summer vacation before entering high school, oblivious to political change and the new market economy overturning his parents’ world.

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.

T

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.

The Teacher

Učitelka

Jan Hřebejk

When accused of bartering her students’ grades for goods and services provided by their parents, a schoolteacher mounts a devious defence in this blackly funny dramedy set in the communist era.

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.

U

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 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.

V

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.

W

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.

We All Need Love

Brendan Donovan

A solo mum working as a cam girl makes an unwanted connection. Screening with Kiki, Love to Love.

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.

What Lies That Way

Paul Wolffram

Filmmaker Paul Wolffram immerses himself in the spiritual world of the Lak people in the rainforests of southern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea in this heady combination of ethnography and lyrical expressionism.

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.

A Woman’s Life

Une vie

Stéphane Brizé

In a literary adaptation styled with striking immediacy, Stéphane Brizé relates the tragedy of an adventurous young 19th-century noblewoman harshly judged for an unfortunate marriage.

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 Workshop

L’atelier

Laurent Cantet

Laurent Cantet (Human Resources, The Class) makes an enthralling return to form, drawing topical debate and socially conscious thrills from the true story of a writer intrigued and disturbed by a troubled student.

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.

Wùlu

Daouda Coulibaly

The rise and rise of a young drug trafficker takes on a new level of jeopardy when civil war convulses Mali in this muscular gangster thriller with a sharp political edge.

Y

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.

Yourself and Yours

Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot

Hong Sang-soo

Hong Sang-soo’s sardonic romantic comedy teases confusion and bountiful amusement out of doppelgängers who may not be doppelgängers and lapses in memory that may or may not be genuine.