NZIFF Booklet

Films by Venue

ASB Waterfront Theatre

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.