NZIFF Booklet

Films by Language

English

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.