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Rising stars Barry Keoghan (The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and Evan Peters (American Horror Story) lead this enthralling true-crime thriller that is as thematically probing as it is straight-up propulsive.
NZIFF recommends this programme for children aged 4+
NZIFF recommends this programme for children aged 8+
A wild and otherworldly programme of animation at its craziest and most creative.
A powerful collection of animation exploring the singular creative visions of artists in touch with the dark side of the human condition.
An inspiring selection of new, award-winning animated works from around the world. This is where animation is right now.
The impossible and improbable comes to life in this kinetic collection of animation that not only pushes the envelope, but busts it wide open.
This snowbound endurance thriller, shot spectacularly on location in Iceland, stars Mads Mikkelsen as the sole survivor of an air crash, stranded somewhere in the barren wastlelands of the Arctic.
A taut, twisty hostage thriller with shades of Le Carré, Beirut brings Jon Hamm and his brand of suave, world-weary charisma to war-torn Lebanon. Co-starring Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).
History repeats itself in this lyrical, emotionally resonant doco on the centenary of the Bisbee Deportation, in which thousands of immigrant miners were transported into the New Mexico desert and left to fend for themselves.
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.
From the team behind Beasts of the Southern Wild, this euphoric and immersive documentary drops us in the middle of a dazzling, dangerous fireworks festival with astonishing results.
A beautiful, timely restoration of Chulas Fronteras (meaning ‘Beautiful Borders’), folklorist/cine-poet Les Blank’s classic ode to Norteña music and the migrant culture that exists along the Texas–Mexican border.
Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost) revisits the infamous Clutter family murders to interrogate the history and the small Kansas town known to the world through Truman Capote’s bestseller In Cold Blood.
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.
Standing in for libraries everywhere, the magnificent New York Public Library is explored and extolled in the great Frederick Wiseman’s latest ode to the importance of essential institutions in politically tumultuous times.
This fascinating account of Stanley Kubrick at work from the point of view of right-hand man Leon Vitali offers rare insights into the elusive filmmaking legend – and the total dedication he inspired.
A country priest (Ethan Hawke) questions his faith after an unnerving encounter with a radical environmentalist in this searing thriller from the writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.
“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
Buster Keaton, the stone-faced genius of silent-era comedy, at his funniest and most thrilling in an exquisite new digital restoration of the most serenely locomotive movie ever made. Accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra performing Carl Davis’ excellent score, conducted by Peter Scholes.
Guy Maddin’s latest cinematic fever dream is a madcap medley of excerpts from Hollywood movies and TV shows, re-edited into a lost surrealist melodrama inspired by Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
From the swamps of Florida to a tragic end in a plane that should never have taken off, Stephen Kijak’s doco follows the wild trajectory of the original band, archetypal Southern boys who rocked the 1970s.
Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd are perfectly cast in this romcom, based on Nick Hornby’s novel about an indie rock obsession that leads to romance.
Two autistic adults strike up a transformative relationship in Rachel Israel’s charming comedy, based on the romantic adventures of her unlikely star.
It’s Halloween and Jake wants to be Rapunzel. Claire Danes and Jim Parsons are sensational as a Brooklyn couple with divergent responses to their four-year-old’s ‘gender-variant play’ in Silas Howard’s comedy-drama.
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.
Has America entered its Fat Elvis phase? Director Eugene Jarecki takes a road trip in the King’s Rolls-Royce, explores his question with celebrity passengers and Elvis experts – and records some fine musicians en route.
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.
Stunningly restored after years of neglect, the quintessential cult item of 1982 drills into a gender fluid New York New Wave club scene of fashionista warfare, hard drugs and extra-terrestrial visitation.
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.
After an idiosyncratic career of iconic roles for everyone from Wim Wenders to David Lynch, the late Harry Dean Stanton hangs up his hat with this wryly funny, affecting character study.
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.
“Panos Cosmatos’ follow-up to Beyond the Black Rainbow is a gloriously lurid mock-80s revenge quest that aims a raging, roaring Nicolas Cage at villains from another dimension.” — Katherine McLaughlin, Sight & Sound
From refugee daughter of a Tamil revolutionary and aspiring filmmaker to pop stardom and controversy magnet: this stimulating documentary about Sri Lankan musician M.I.A. dances to its own idiosyncratic beat.
This electric time-lapse portrait of three skateboarders dropping into manhood bears all the hallmarks of its executive producer Steve James (Hoop Dreams): empathetic, unsentimental and profoundly involving.
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 first true rock-doc – and still the best – blazes with breakout performance from Hendrix, Joplin, The Who, Otis Redding, The Animals and more. Looking and sounding better than ever in this 50th anniversary 4K restoration.
A collection of Māori and Pasifika short films curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), Director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, with guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), Director of the Pollywood Film Festival.
“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
Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) directs Christopher Abbott and Mia Wasikowska in this stylish, fiendishly audacious murder ballet. Based on Murakami Ryu’s cult novel.
How did the contemporary art market become so lucrative? In this hilarious and unnerving documentary filmmaker Nathaniel Kahn (My Architect) elicits revealing answers from buyers, sellers, critics and the artists themselves.
When Agnes (Kelly Macdonald) receives a jigsaw for her birthday, it opens a surprising new avenue in her life and leads her to meet Robert (Irrfan Khan), an avid competitive puzzler who triggers a reassessment of her situation.
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+
Not the first film to unfold completely on computer screens, just the most exciting and emotionally resonant, this crime thriller takes us on a father’s (John Cho) frantic online search for his missing daughter.
Thirty years after its Auckland International Film Festival debut, Prince’s legendary concert movie escapes music rights limbo just in time to make the perfect late addition to our 50th birthday celebration.
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.
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 beautifully photographed, captivating expression of hardscrabble family life and a sensitive boy’s growing self-awareness, this inspired adaptation of a remarkable book evokes memory and imagination in equal effect.
In Paul Dano’s ace directing debut, Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal capture the cracks that occur in a marriage when a young wife kicks against the constraints of 1950s domesticity.