NZIFF Booklet

Films by Section

World

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).

Animation NOW! 2017

A celebratory showcase of some of the year’s brightest and best animated shorts. If you’re looking to sample the animation ecosystem in all of its multi-coloured, variously shaped glories, there’s no better place to begin.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Desert Bride

La novia del desierto

Cecilia Atán, Valeria Pivato

Paulina García (Gloria) plays an uprooted woman who stumbles into a new-found freedom with help from Claudio Rissi’s friendly stranger in this delicate and charming Argentinean debut feature.

The Distinguished Citizen

El ciudadano ilustre

Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat

In this dark, slyly observed comedy an internationally successful writer is feted by – and confronted with – the people of the small town in Argentina that bred him and informed his life’s work.

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.

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.

A Fantastic Woman

Una mujer fantástica

Sebastián Lelio

Rising Chilean director Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) celebrates the endurance of a woman under suspicion of murder in a film that heralds a stellar debut for transgender actress Daniela Vega.

Félicité

Alain Gomis

A singer living in the Congo city of Kinshasa, Félicité looks the world in the eye every time she sets foot on a bar stage. When her son is involved in a motorbike accident her defiant stance as a single woman is on the line.

Frantz

François Ozon

This elegantly mounted drama explores regeneration in the aftermath of World War I through the complex relationship of a young German woman (Anna Beer) and a French soldier (Pierre Niney) brought together by shared loss.

A Gentle Creature

Krotkaya

Sergei Loznitsa

Ukrainian feature and documentary maker Sergei Loznitsa’s new dramatic film is a glowering state-of-the-nation fable, a bitter mix of tragedy, farce and road movie soaked in the sardonic spirit of Gogol and Dostoyevsky.

God’s Own Country

Francis Lee

Filmed on the Yorkshire Dales where he grew up, Francis Lee’s debut tells the poignant story of a hard-drinking lad who keeps his emotions in check until a handsome Romanian immigrant comes to work on the family farm.

Happy End

Michael Haneke

Jean-Louis Trintignant is the failing patriarch and Isabelle Huppert his daughter in this satirical dissection of a powerful French construction dynasty from Austrian director Michael Haneke (Amour, Caché).

Heal the Living

Réparer les vivants

Katell Quillévéré

A catastrophic accident leaves one family in ruins and bestows another with precious hope in a hospital drama immeasurably enhanced by the delicate sensitivity of Katell Quillévéré’s script and the poetic force of her direction.

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.

In Times of Fading Light

In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts

Matti Geschonneck

The cracks in a crumbling regime are exposed as an elite family gather in East Berlin to celebrate their failing patriarch’s 90th. Absorbing, richly detailed historical tragicomedy based on a German bestseller.

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.

Kiki, Love to Love

Kiki, el amor se hace

Paco Léon

Anyone for harpaxophilia? How about somnophilia? In five intertwined mini-romcoms, a scorching summer heatwave intensifies the very particular desires of a collection of Madrid lovers. A major hit at the Spanish box office.

Let the Sunshine In

Un beau soleil interieur

Claire Denis

Juliette Binoche lights up every frame of Claire Denis’ frank and rueful dramedy of romantic hope springing eternal, written in collaboration with the controversially confessional novelist and playwright Christine Angot.

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.

Maliglutit (Searchers)

Zacharias Kunuk

Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner) returns with this Arctic epic about a vengeful husband who sets off in pursuit of the violent men who kidnapped his wife and destroyed his home.

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.

Menashe

Joshua Z. Weinstein

A young widower struggles to appease Orthodox tradition and raise his son without a mother in this touching and funny observational drama, shot in Yiddish in a camera-shy Hassidic neighbourhood in Brooklyn.

The Midwife

Sage femme

Martin Provost

Catherine Frot stars as a conscientious midwife reluctantly reconnecting with Catherine Deneuve as the flamboyant step-mother who absconded 30 years earlier, in this lively drama from writer/director Martin Provost (Séraphine)

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.

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.

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

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.

Sami Blood

Sameblod

Amanda Kernell

This clear-eyed coming-of-age tale follows a headstrong Sami teenager who attempts to abandon her indigenous heritage and pass as Swedish in a 1930s society rife with prejudice and discrimination.

Summer 1993

Estiu 1993

Carla Simón

Catalan director Carla Simón’s award-winning dramatisation of her own experience as a six-year-old orphan adjusting to a new life in the country features the most remarkable and mesmerising child performances in years.

The Summer Is Gone

Ba yue

Zhang Dalei

Zhang Dalei’s luscious, black-and-white, drama recalls a country boy’s last summer vacation before entering high school, oblivious to political change and the new market economy overturning his parents’ world.

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.

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.

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.

Yourself and Yours

Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot

Hong Sang-soo

Hong Sang-soo’s sardonic romantic comedy teases confusion and bountiful amusement out of doppelgängers who may not be doppelgängers and lapses in memory that may or may not be genuine.