- Newshub: The 12 Most Exciting Films at NZIFF
- Staff Picks: Alice Vilardel
- Staff Picks: Ant Timpson
- Staff Picks: Bex Shannon
- Staff Picks: Bill Gosden
- Staff Picks: Camila Araos-Elevancini
- Staff Picks: Ina Kinski
- Staff Picks: Jane Simons
- Staff Picks: Jean Teng
- Staff Picks: Kailey Carruthers
- Staff Picks: Karen Cartwright
- Staff Picks: Liam Reid
- Staff Picks: Matt Wilshere
- Staff Picks: Megan Andrews
- Staff Picks: Michael McDonnell
- Staff Picks: Nick Paris
- Staff Picks: Rebecca McMillan
- Staff Picks: Sally Woodfield
- Staff Picks: Sandra Reid
- Staff Picks: Sharon Byrne
- Staff Picks: Tim Wong
- Staff Picks: Zoe Pattinson Fan
- Wellington Film Society
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.
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.
This year’s surprise Cannes Palme d’Or winner is one of Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s finest films, about a loving, unconventional family making ends meet on the margins of Tokyo.
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
Winner of the Cannes Best Director award, Paweł Pawlikowski (Ida) has crafted a brilliant, kaleidoscopic vision of 1950s Europe, bursting with music, dance and the turbulent love of two musicians caught between East and West.
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.
A love triangle and mystery based on a Murakami Haruki short story, Korean great Lee Chang-dong’s (Secret Sunshine, Poetry) latest was the best-reviewed film at Cannes, an unforgettable now-or-never must-see on the giant Civic screen.
An Israeli family wrestles with loss as soldiers at a remote checkpoint battle ennui in this daring, visionary tragidrama from the director of Lebanon. Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize.
Muchos hijos, un mono y un castillo
This highly entertaining portrait follows the changing fortunes of a Spanish family headed by an eccentric matriarch, whose improbable teenage dreams came true. A popular hit and award winner at home and abroad.
Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s latest follows a would-be writer’s reluctant return to his small-town fold, spinning an extensive series of encounters into a typically rich, wry, melancholic mood-piece.
Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah) returns to the scene of the crime with this jaw-dropping, based-on-fact tale of a timid dog lover driven to terrifying extremes when he hitches his star to a human beast he cannot control.
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.
Jusqu’à la garde
“Deftly pivoting from tense realism to outright horror, Xavier Legrand’s broken-family chamber drama deservedly won the first-time feature director the Venice Film Festival’s Best Director award.” — Sight & Sound
This thrillingly flamboyant film explores British designer Alexander McQueen’s humble beginnings, his tight knit band of collaborators, his creative genius – and exalts the disturbing splendour of his work.
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.
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.
Anchored by deeply lived-in performances from Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny and newcomer Charlie Plummer, Lean on Pete is a profoundly moving account of life on the margins of America.
A suspended police officer assigned to dispatcher duty is caught in a web of intrigue in this pulsating Danish thriller, jam-packed with mystery and suspense despite never leaving a cramped emergency call centre.
‘Stranger than fiction’ doesn’t come close. In an age of hot takes and hype machinery, this mind-blowing doco is the rare WTF true story entirely worthy of its breathless hyperbole.
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.
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.
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+
A soaring, evocative audio-visual journey into the life, culture and landscapes of one of Australia's most beloved singers – the late Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.
Direct from Cannes, the latest sensation from French cinema’s premier provocateur Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void) is his best yet, an exhilarating 1990s techno dance musical that spins out into collective freak-out.
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.)
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.
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.
Rachel Weisz stars as a black sheep drawn back to her London Orthodox Jewish home, rekindling sparks with a childhood friend (Rachel McAdams) in the English-language debut of the director of Gloria and A Fantastic Woman.
The armour is heavy and the stakes are high in this warm-hearted and charmingly offbeat documentary about a group of modern knights competing to represent New Zealand in the brutal sport of ‘medieval combat’.
The Oscar-winning Japanese composer (The Last Emperor; Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence), synth-pop pioneer, electronica experimentalist and environmentalist reflects on his work and influences in this intimate portrait.
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.
An exhilarating exploration of freedom under restraint from a director under house arrest, this resonant, exuberant picture of musicianship and band life is based on the lives of two stars of pre-perestroika Leningrad rock.
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.
A cult film in the making, Jim Hosking’s wildly absurdist follow-up to The Greasy Stranger stars Aubrey Plaza and Jemaine Clement as small-town oddballs with best laid plans.
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.
In this illuminating documentary portrait, Sir Ian McKellen looks back at the six decades of his glittering career, from his early success on UK stages through to his towering performances in film.
Merata Mita, pioneering Māori filmmaker and international champion of women in indigenous film, is celebrated by her youngest son, archivist Heperi Mita, collaborating with his siblings to deliver a richly personal portrait.
Writer/director Tim van Dammen’s follow-up to the trailer trash romance Romeo and Juliet: A Love Song is a wild smash-up of parochial Kiwi comedy and mind-bending time travel crime-thriller.
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.