2014 News

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Image: Wellington school children attend a special NZIFF screening at the Embassy Theatre (Photo credit Ambrose Hickman). View our visual summary of the survey feedback over on our Facebook page.


Deciding What to See

“My wife chose the movies and I was happy with her choices”.

We enjoyed lavish praise for the new website, but note that the printed brochure still takes prime place as a guide to film selection. In 2015 we’ll be acting on the numerous requests for a PDF of the printed publication on our site. We were surprised and relieved to see how few people admitted to seeing the film still in the programme as a key influence. (You’d be amazed how many producers continue to sell themselves short by providing lacklustre stills.)

Rotten Tomatoes was named so often as an external source of guidance that we’d like to drill further: is it the audience ratings there or the critics’ approval rankings that hold sway? We were pleased to note the high use of two sponsor sites too: Flicks.co.nz and Letterboxd.

One respondent noted that we weren’t always on the ball about getting trailers on to our site. We’ve often booked films before the trailers have

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Reporting from North America

The queues aside – and how genial and orderly they invariably are – VIFF is the festival that reminds me the most of our own, until I am reminded by the announcement at every screening that VIFF must secure $3 of grant, donation or sponsorship income for every $1 taken at the box office. (At NZIFF we’d probably be happy with $1 for every $5 if you’d like to help out.)

Nonetheless VIFF gives off every indication of being an audience-driven extravaganza, with big crowds eagerly engaging with every film and Q and A I have seen. Those queues, btw, are very social; reputedly the scene of many a life-changing encounter. How better to open a new chapter in your life than with a witty remark to a complete stranger about the duration of the new Nuri Bilge Ceylan movie or by confessing your ambivalence about the colour-blind casting gag in the new Kristen Wiig movie, Welcome to Me? That seemed to be working yesterday for the guy behind me.

VIFF is my third consecutive festival since NZIFF this year. I have now seen a great many not-so-great films at TIFF, attended press screenings for the NYFF, and traded tales with various

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The September Issue

Suddenly it’s September, and time for me to embark on the search for NZIFF 2015. Toronto calls, before we’ve had time to take stock of what we learned at NZIFF 2014. We invite you to assist us with this process. But it’s not too early to offer a few observations from the flight deck.

With a record number of films on offer, NZIFF in Christchurch held its own this year topping 16,000 admissions, even without a local megahit on the scale of last year’s Antarctica: A Year on Ice. (The two Christchurch filmmakers on show, Gerard Smyth with Aunty and the Star People and Margaret Gordon with Into the Void nonetheless contributed generously to our total.)

Boyhood, The Lunchbox and 20,000 Days on Earth were our top films in Christchurch and it’s no surprise that all three have been whisked into release after being roundly celebrated by NZIFF audiences.

And how about the New Zealand films? We couldn’t be happier about jump-starting the exhilarating ride that is Housebound with director Gerard Johnstone and  actress Rima Te Wiata treating the audience to a lively and funny post-traumatic Q+A. A stellar procession of Kiwi documentary makers added illumination to their Christchurch NZIFF

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New Zealand's Best 2014 winners announced

The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film was awarded to Ross & Beth, directed and written by Hamish Bennett and produced by Orlando Stewart. 

The jury selected Abigail Greenwood, director of the film Eleven, for The Friends of the Civic Short Film Award for distinctive creative achievement. 

A special jury of cinematographers selected Grant McKinnon, cinematographer for Ross & Beth as the winner of the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the New Zealand Cinematographers Society (NZCS).
And the 2014 Audience Award, voted by viewers in Auckland and Wellington, went to Ross & Beth
The three judges were Eleanor Catton, 2013 Man Booker prize winner and author of The Luminaries, visiting filmmaker Rolf de Heer (Charlie’s Country,Ten Canoes) and Michael Eldred, representative for Madman Entertainment. The jury statement reads as follows:
"The jurors were united in their admiration for the shorts presented, their variety and the standard of film making contained within them. Each of the shorts, in giving us something to admire, was a worthy finalist.
For fluid, effective story-telling with both camera and performance, the Friends of the Civic Award goes to Abigail Greenwood for Eleven.
For its completeness as a short film, its mastery of

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Programmes will be delivered to the following locations this week:

  • $10 Cuts, Riccarton
  • $10 Cuts, Sydenham
  • Addington Coffee, Addington
  • Addington Net, Addington
  • Alice in Videoland, CBD
  • Annas Café, Tower Junction
  • Arcadia Cafe, Rangiora
  • BB’s Cafe, Riccarton
  • BB’s Cafe, Merivale
  • Beat Street Cafe, CBD
  • Bennetts Books, CBD
  • Bishopdale Bakery, Bishopdale
  • Black Betty’s, CBD
  • Blockbuster, Kaiapoi
  • Blockbuster, Papanui
  • Blue Dolphin, Bishopdale
  • Breads of Europe, Sydenham
  • Brewers Arms, Merivale
  • Browsers Cafe, Riccarton
  • Burger Stop, Sumner
  • Café Calypso, New Brighton
  • Café Metro, Merivale Boutique
  • Cafe Mint, Wairakei
  • Caffeine Lab, CBD
  • Canterbury Cutz, Wairakei
  • Canterbury Library Distribution Centre, CBD
  • Channel X, Rangiora
  • Chinos Café, Kaiapoi
  • Civic Video, Kaiapoi
  • Civic Video, Rangiora
  • Cosmic Corner, CBD
  • CPIT CPSA Building, CBD
  • CPIT Library, CBD
  • CPIT Rakaia Centre, CBD
  • Crafted Coffee, CBD
  • Crema Café, Rangiora
  • Crisp Cafe, Ilam
  • CU Cafe 101, Ilam
  • CU Cafe 1894, Ilam
  • CU Lecture A, Ilam
  • CU Library, Ilam
  • CU Undercroft, Ilam
  • Decant Café and Wine Bar, Riccarton
  • Dose café, CBD
  • Dux Live, Addington
  • Ed Hopper Books, Riccarton
  • Escarto, CBD
  • Good Street Deli, Rangiora
  • Hell Pizza, Bishopdale
  • Hells Pizza, Riccarton
  • Hells Pizza, Sydenham
  • Hollywood Cinems, Sumner
  • Honey Pott Café, Sydenham
  • Hoppers Books, Riccarton
  • Hummingbird, CBD
  • Hunters and Collectors, CBD
  • Ilam Meat, Ilam
  • Jacob’s Bakery, Kaiapoi

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