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Wednesday 12 June 2019

Varda by Agnès

This year, our annual showcase for film restoration celebrates the life and work of French New Wave filmmaking pioneer Agnès Varda. From the goings-on of a humble street in 1970s Paris to her most recent self-reflective documentary, the Vive la Varda! retrospective spans decades of groundbreaking cinema.

Varda’s experimental features are seminal works of feminist cinema, French New Wave and neorealist filmmaking. Her contributions to cinema have been widely applauded, especially since her last autobiographical documentary premiered at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival, shortly followed by her passing away in March 2019 at the age of 90.

NZIFF programmer Sandra Reid says “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the late Agnès Varda by presenting her final film, Varda by Agnès, accompanied by a mini retrospective spanning several decades of her career. Each title is a vibrant testament to the great filmmaker's radical and unique approach to cinema and it's terrific to have them in the programme.”


The five films featured in Vive la Varda! Retrospective are:

Varda by Agnès 

The late, great French filmmaking icon’s swansong is a magical self-reflection on art, movies, invention and Varda’s own lust for life inside and outside of the cinematic frame.

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This year's Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019 have been curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), Director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, and guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), Director of the Pollywood Film Festival.

The six films selected for Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019 are listed below, along with notes from Leo and Craig in italics:

Our Atoll Speaks: Ko Talatala Mai Tō Mātou Wenua

A meditation on sustainability from the remote Pukapuka atoll in the Cook Islands. A serenade of narrative and captivating imagery – a political cry for help. — CF


A young Māori girl drifts into a world of make-believe when her mother leaves her – and her father – to fend for themselves. A tribute to the realities of solo parenting – touching and insightful. — CF


A court interpreter in colonial Samoa risks everything to help a wrongfully convicted chief. In the time of King George VI, it was a time for guardianship of indigenous history as truth. — LK

Ways to See

A young Māori girl trying to reconnect with her absent father reaches out to a mysterious stranger. Hine-nui-te-pō, in her intoxicating beauty and temptation, comes for a visit. — CF

A pregnant woman

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Animation NOW! Festival Returns to Auckland

Animation NOW! our international festival of animated shorts, is coming to Auckland for one weekend only on 9th to 11th August. Drawing on a massive influx of submitted films our programmer Malcolm Turner has packed a whole load of greatness into six unique collections.

3D animation, illustrations mixed with abstract shapes and thought-provoking narratives are packed into six distinct collections curated by NZIFF's animation programmer Malcom Turner.

“This year there seems to be a trend towards beautifully painted and hand-drawn work. With more than 4,000 submissions to choose from, we’ve put together a rich and diverse selection of work from the utterly eclectic world of independent animation,” says programmer Malcolm Turner.

The programme includes two animated shorts from New Zealand. Winter’s Blight, an intricate stop-motion animation about a reclusive elderly man living in Central Otago written and directed by Claire Campbell will screen as part of the Handmade collection. Trumpet-Trompette, a smooth and stylish musical meditation directed by Max Woodward, will feature in the International Showcase collection.

Shorts in five of the Animation NOW! collections will compete towards the Victoria University of Wellington School of Design Jury Prize which awards the best judged film with a $5,000 prize (shorts in

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Wednesday 5 June 2019

New Zealand's Best Shorts 2019

Six short films have been selected by Jane Campion as finalists for our annual New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition.

Finalists will compete for a total of four prizes, with winners to be announced at the closing night event of the Auckland leg of NZIFF. 

The six finalists are Nancy From Now On (dir: Keely Meechan), Krystal (dirBriar Grace-Smith), Egg Cup Requiem (dirs: Prisca Bouchet, Nick Mayow), Golden Boy (dir: Alex Plumb), Our Father (dir: Esther Mauga) and Hinekura (dir: Becs Arahanga).

“It was moving and invigorating to watch the 12 shortlisted short films and experience their energy, raw talent and the occasional truly sophisticated achievement” says Jane Campion. 

Audiences at the New Zealand’s Best screenings in Auckland and Wellington will be asked to vote for their favourite short. The Audience Award winner takes away a 25% share of the box office takings from the New Zealand's Best screenings in the four main centres. In 2018 this prize was valued at $4,800.

Madman Entertainment will again support the title award, the Madman Entertainment Best Short Film Award. The cash prize of $5,000 is donated by the Australasian distribution company. The winner will be chosen by a three-person jury appointed

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Jane Campion NZ's Best Guest Selector
Jane Campion

Jane Campion, a New Zealand film veteran and recipient of prestigious film awards, has accepted our invitation to be Guest Selector for the New Zealand’s Best short film competition.

Six shorts from Aotearoa will premiere in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch, with audiences in Auckland and Wellington able to vote for their favourite short from Campion’s shortlist. The role of Guest Selector has been filled most recently by filmmakers Leon Narbey (2018) and Gaylene Preston (2017).

Jane Campion, a celebrated Kiwi director, producer and screenwriter, holds the title of the only female director to be awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993, as well as one of four women to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, in 1994 for The Piano. Having studied at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, Jane has gone on to win a plethora of awards and to direct a dazzling range of projects including her Palme d’Or-winning short film Peel (1982), The Portrait of a Lady (1996) and Bright Star (NZIFF09). She executive produced, co-wrote and co-directed Top of the Lake (2012), a lauded mini-series for the BBC and Sundance Channel. The second series, China Girl

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