Auckland 14 – 31 July;
Wellington 22 July – 7 August;
Christchurch 28 July – 14 August;
Dunedin 4 – 21 August;
Nelson 3 – 21 August;
Timaru 11 – 21 August;
Gore 11 – 21 August;
Hamilton 17 August – 11 September;
Palmerston North 18 August – 4 September;
Tauranga 18 August – 11 September;
Masterton 31 August – 14 September;
Hawke’s Bay 1 – 18 September;
New Plymouth 1 – 18 September.
Who would be likely, or, more often, extremely likely to recommend NZIFF to friends and family? 97% of respondents in Auckland, that’s who, along with 99% of those in Wellington; and 100% in Christchurch. Do it, please! In Dunedin, Hamilton and Timaru the percentage was 95% or more. The lowest: 82% in Tauranga. Definitely an ‘A’ for Excellent. Yay. That was the really good news. This year there was no really bad news to cloud it, but nobody’s saying we’ve attained perfection just yet.
Website & ticketing
There was abundant love for our website, thank you again, CactusLab. Ditto the improved ticketing facilities the site (and Vista ticketing) provided for NZIFF in Wellington. (The rocky first day on this system drew some understandable complaints, but after that, only joy.) Nothing would suit us better than comparable service, minus the teething problems, in other centres too, and we received numerous pleas for just that. We won’t list the other great website add-ons suggested by various respondents, just in case they turn out to be impossibly complicated, but you can be sure we’re working on them.
How you select films
Festivalgoers still rate the free printed programme highly. For the first time it
The Toronto International Film Festival celebrated its 40th appearance this year. By no means North America’s oldest festival, TIFF is the biggest, bringing 399 programmes to an estimated audience of 500,000. Could the world ever produce that many great films in a single year? Guess not, but that’s never discouraged a dedicated Toronto public or the thousands of industry players and media who join them every September to make their city the teeming headquarters of the movie universe.
I tend to fossick around the margins of the programme, and the only World Premiere on my agenda was Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next. It turned out to be much more fun than seemed reasonable to expect. Though its title and sole promotional image imply a diatribe against US militarism, the film provides instead a ramble around some surviving — and apparently flourishing — bastions of welfare-state programs in Europe, Scandinavia and Tunisia.
Moore adopts the incredulous tone of a dyed-in-the-wool free marketer as he interrogates cops, teachers, prison inmates, school dieticians and other articulate proponents and beneficiaries of humane and effective education, employment, health care and criminal justice policies. As often with the crusading Moore, there are holes in some of his
A month after our final Auckland screening the action has moved to the provinces. At the NZIFF office in September we traffic in reports, not movies, passing on the news – most of it very good – to the many individuals and organisations who contributed to a bumper 2015. We’re keen to hear your reports too, while the weather’s still brisk and impressions are fresh.
In its 47th year NZIFF in Auckland hit an all-time record attendance at 105,406 admissions. That number might have been even more phenomenal if we’d properly assessed the allure of Peggy Guggenheim on our original schedule: as fast as we added sessions of this fascinating portrait, they filled up. It was in fact a Super Documentary year, with Amy dominating the spotlight – or maybe just lending it to us – from the moment we announced our screenings. The good word on the other big one, Sherpa, took a little longer to spread, but Jennifer Peedom’s breathtaking film had become a must-see by the time the Auckland screenings were over. (If you missed it at the Civic you may be waiting until next year for the release, buoyed, let’s hope, by the Oscar nomination it so richly deserves.)
The four winning shorts were announced at Auckland’s Civic Theatre on Saturday evening.
The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at NZIFF 2015 was awarded to The Tide Keeper, directed and written by Alyx Duncan. Congratulated in the jury’s citation for her singular personal vision and technical assurance, Alyx will take home a cash prize of $5,000.
The jury selected Michael Jonathan, director of the film Ow What!, for the Wallace Friends of the Civic Award for its originality and authenticity. The filmmaker receives a prize of $3,000 cash.
A special jury of cinematographers selected Grant McKinnon, cinematographer for Not Like Her as the winner of the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the New Zealand Cinematographers Society (NZCS), a prize that includes a cash prize of $2,000.
And the 2015 Audience Award, which will take home 25% of the box office takings from the screenings in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch, was awarded to Madam Black director Ivan Barge.
The three judges were New Zealand producer Fiona Copland, Australian photographer and performer William Yang and representative for Madman Entertainment, Michael Eldred.
Guest selector and filmmaker Christine Jeffs selected the six finalists from a shortlist