NZIFF guest, Melbourne archivist and filmmaker Sari Braithwaite’s provocative documentary is stitched together entirely from film footage cut by Australian censors.
- Based on Books
- Coming of Age
- Films about Films
- For All Ages
- Found Footage
- Human Rights
- Love Stories
- Social History
- War Zones
- Women Make Movies
A single mother turned border guard and a refugee from Guinea-Bissau form an unlikely bond in this intimate Icelandic drama about two people literally and figuratively trapped on the edge of the world.
Jia nian hua
“In an intriguing film noir full of white light reflecting off virginal dresses, polished surfaces and sparkling sand, director Vivian Qu probes the status of girls in Chinese society.” — Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail
This alarming contemporary coming-of-age tale of a fiercely independent teenage girl at odds with her conservative Tehran school is based on the experiences of Iranian expat writer/director Sadaf Foroughi.
Pájaros de verano
The ancient traditions of Colombia’s indigenous Wayuu are shaped by an ambitious matriarch to stake a place for her clan in the burgeoning drug economy of the 1970s.
A mysterious high-school girl dives headfirst into the vices of teenage life, while undergoing a radical and uncontrollable transformation of her own, in Lisa Brühlmann’s formidable debut feature.
Alexandra Dean’s debut documentary is a revelatory and entertaining portrait of an adventurous woman and talented inventor better known to the world as the embodiment of Hollywood sex and glamour.
A runaway boy sues his parents for bringing him into the world in this sprawling tale of against-the-odds resilience. “Nadine Labaki’s journey through the slums of Lebanon thrills with compassion and heart.” — Anna Smith, Time Out
Amanda Millar’s moving documentary celebrates the enduring legacy of Celia Lashlie, a passionate advocate for social interventions that equipped those long deprived of choice with the tools for responsible decision making.
The landmark lesbian love story returns to the giant screen as vibrant, beautiful and celebratory as ever.
Championed by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and consumer activist Erin Brockovich, Stephanie Soechtig’s documentary is an enraging portrait of corporate greed honed to get into your blood.
With an array of prickly locals and the pictorial beauty of Cape Verde serving as backdrop, this amiable African odyssey of a son in search of his father is a breezy, Grogue-fueled delight.
Four at-risk teenagers from Christchurch’s eastern suburbs get to experience the Coast to Coast up close as both competitors and support crew with the assistance of several multisport legends.
“An unusually rich art-doc with an old-New York twang… Sasha Waters Freyer assesses the artist and the man in her documentary about photographer Garry Winogrand.” — John Defore, Hollywood Reporter
As boas maneiras
Social satire meets secret love meets beastly fairy tale in this wickedly assured shape-shifter from Brazil. (To guarantee maximum viewing pleasure, avoid the year’s most spoiler-ridden trailer. Seriously.)
Direct from Cannes where it shared the Best Screenplay award for its amazingly inventive script, Alice Rohrwacher’s seductive rural fable applies fairy-tale logic to explore the troubled soul of Italy.
This elegant new film from the director of Crossing Rachmaninoff takes us backstage at the Royal New Zealand Ballet as a brilliantly theatrical European interpretation of a New Zealand classic re-enters the culture that inspired it.
In this shimmering, controversy-stoking debut from Danish director Isabella Eklöf a gangster’s trophy girlfriend puts her body on the line for an Aegean holiday, bling, boats – and maybe a hand on the tiller.
Christmas Island’s notorious immigration detention centre is the focal point of this impressionistic documentary, beautifully and innovatively framed around the island’s workers, wildlife and dark past.
Bursting with colour, music and boyband adoration, Jessica Leski’s documentary is a celebration of women coming of age and navigating adulthood through the music and romantic appeal of their beloved boybands.
Two autistic adults strike up a transformative relationship in Rachel Israel’s charming comedy, based on the romantic adventures of her unlikely star.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is riveting as a teacher and aspiring poet thrown off kilter by the conviction that only she can guard and nurture the lyric talent of a gifted five-year-old student.
Now, at 89 years old the top-selling female artist in the world, Yayoi Kusama overcame family opposition, sexism, racism and mental illness to bring her radical artistic vision to the world stage.
New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie is mesmerising as 13-year-old Tom living off the grid with her war vet father (Ben Foster) in this haunting new film from the director of Winter’s Bone.
Filmmaker Laetitia Carton draws us into the beating heart of the traditional dance festival that attracts dancers and musicians from across Europe every summer to Gennetines in central France.
Laissez bronzer les cadavres
“Stylish swagger goes full-tilt boogie in Let the Corpses Tan, the latest delirious exercise in lovingly retro pastiche from (NZIFF guests) Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani.” — Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter
Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok) and Lily James are terrific as adoptive sisters running pharmaceuticals across the border to keep their heads above water in this gripping backwoods thriller from writer/director Nia DaCosta.
With intricate storytelling and exquisite imagery, Iranian artist Shirin Neshat considers the life and enduring power of Oum Kulthum, ‘the voice of Egypt’, widely considered the Arab world’s greatest vocalist.
Bracingly fresh and riotously entertaining, this portrait of a talented young actress torn between her overbearing mother and an ambitious director stars Miranda July, Molly Parker and striking newcomer Helena Howard.
This beautifully observed account of love, loss and renewal eschews drama to contemplate the everyday world of a young woman on the economic fringes, and tenderly extols her stoic capacity for love and happiness.
Chloë Grace Moretz delivers a heartbreaking and nuanced performance as a queer teen shipped off to a gay conversion camp in Desiree Akhavan’s touching drama, this year’s Sundance Grand Jury winner.
The last years and final performances of legendary singer Nico – who did not want to be remembered as Lou Reed’s femme fatale – are brought vividly to the screen by Danish actress Trine Dyrholm.
Tilda Swinton strides through four centuries of history, switching genders as she goes, in Sally Potter’s gorgeous, playful subversion of British Heritage cinema. With Billy Zane, and Quentin Crisp as Elizabeth I.
Shirley Horrocks, cine-biographer of many notable New Zealand artists, delivers an invaluable survey of the work and legacy of one of our most exceptional scientists and public figures.
“Puppies rule in Dana Nachman and Don Hardy’s seriously cute account of the breeding and training program that prepares service dogs to become guides for the visually impaired.” — Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter
Fresh and brave, Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu’s tender, exuberant teenage lesbian coming-out tale has been banned in Kenya and celebrated in Cannes.
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring her exceptional life and career.
Chloé Zhao directs “this poetic, laconic and ineffably beautiful drama [with] an unerring feel for its subject, a young cowboy struggling against his implacable fate in the American West.” — Joe Morgenstern, Wall St Journal
Festival Favourite Award winner at Sundance, this immensely engaging doco shares the lively personalities and inspiring projects of nine teenage scientists as they converge at a major international competition in LA. Recommended for audiences 10+
Drawing upon the rich cultural traditions of Bali, this mesmerisingly beautiful film invites us into the magical and mysterious dream world shared by a young girl and her seriously ill twin brother.
The Wolfpack director Crystal Moselle returns with a free wheeling, often funny fiction debut about young female skateboarders in New York City, featuring real-life crew Skate Kitchen.
Charlotte a du fun
With the vibrant and hilarious Slut in a Good Way, filmmaker Sophie Lorain, a veteran actress in her native Quebec, reframes the raunchy teen-comedy formula with an honest, adolescent woman’s point-of-view.
Director Naina Sen embeds with the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir as they prepare a repertoire of Baroque hymns, taught by 19th-century Lutheran missionaries, and take it back to amazed audiences in Germany.
A controversy magnet across the ditch, this savage pop culture remix by art collective duo Soda_Jerk flies fearlessly in the face of Australia’s sanctioned history and national identity.
In this searing close-up chronicle of the battle to impeach Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, Maria Augusta Ramos shines a light on the bitter divisions in a country where politics, commerce and corruption appear inextricable.
In Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown’s performance-driven doco, African-American communities across the US battle in a racially charged environment to save a vital roller-skate subculture.
A traditional family wedding in Palestine puts strain on the relationship between an old school father and his cosmopolitan expat son in this wry family drama.
A fast, funny documentary on the life, looks and times of the British fashion designer, business woman, environmental activist – and unreconstructed punk – Vivienne Westwood.
Kiwi director Pietra Brettkelly takes us into the opulent world of show-stopping Chinese designer Guo Pei as she prepares to make her Paris debut and seeks admission into the exclusive club of haute couture.
Lynne Ramsay, director of Ratcatcher and We Need to Talk About Kevin, teams with Joaquin Phoenix for a startling, nerve-shredding thriller about a brutal hitman contracted to save an abducted teen.
The brilliant Argentinian auteur Lucrecia Martel returns with a feverish, formally sophisticated period piece about a Spanish officer’s personal hell in colonial South America.