Screened as part of NZIFF 2018

Blaze 2018

Directed by Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke turns director with this SXSW hit, a dramatic tribute to an Outlaw Country legend; both a love story and a requiem for a ramblin man, highlighted by singer Benjamin Dickey’s incredible turn as Blaze Foley.

USA In English
127 minutes DCP



Jake Seal
Ethan Hawke
John Sloss
Ryan Hawke


Ethan Hawke
Sybil Rosen


Steve Cosens


Jason Gourson

Production designer

Thomas Hayek

Costume designer

Lee Kyle


Blaze Foley
Townes Van Zandt


Ben Dickey (Blaze Foley)
Alia Shawkat (Sybil Rosen)
Josh Hamilton (Zee)
Charlie Sexton (Townes Van Zandt)


Sundance, SXSW 2018

It’s official: Ethan Hawke owns NZIFF18. Here he steps behind the camera to direct a fittingly unconventional biopic of singer-songwriter Blaze Foley, who went from living in a Georgia treehouse to befriending songwriter Townes Van Zandt and becoming the insider legend of the Outlaw Country Music movement.

“A belated but heartfelt eulogy for a songwriter who didn’t live long enough to drink himself to death like his most famous friend, Ethan Hawke’s Blaze will be the first introduction most viewers have to Blaze Foley… Hawke goes in search of his tender side and finds it in a big way, thanks in large part to a charismatic lead performance by musician Ben Dickey, a first-timer who doesn’t look it.

Merle Haggard, John Prine, Lyle Lovett and others have recorded Foley’s songs, and Lucinda Williams wrote a great one about him. But when he died of a gunshot wound in 1989, you wouldn’t have been able to find any of his music in stores… Foley’s cult may never grow as big as his most ardent fans would like. But Hawke and Sybil Rosen [Foley’s longtime partner and biographer] and Dickey have given the man something better than posthumous record sales.” — John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter