NZIFF Booklet

Films by Section

Fresh

[CENSORED]

Sari Braithwaite

NZIFF guest, Melbourne archivist and filmmaker Sari Braithwaite’s provocative documentary is stitched together entirely from film footage cut by Australian censors.

American Animals

Bart Layton

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.

Apostasy

Daniel Kokotajlo

Himself a former Jehovah’s Witness, writer/director Daniel Kokotajlo provides an insider’s critique in this dramatic tale of mother and daughter torn between faith and instinct.

Border

Gräns

Ali Abbasi

An ingenious and twisted blend of crime drama and supernatural romance, this thrillingly unpredictable Swedish film from the writer of Let the Right One In delivers a fresh spin on Nordic mythology.

Cold Water

L’eau froide

Olivier Assayas

This early triumph from French director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper) centres on two doomed teenage lovers swept away by the nervous musical energy of 1970s countercultural Paris.

Diamantino

Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt

A universally adored, very loving but somewhat clueless Portuguese soccer star is co-opted for nefarious political ends in this outrageously bonkers satire of vacuous media and surging nationalism in Europe.

An Elephant Sitting Still

Da xiang xi di er zuo

Hu Bo

The first, and tragically only, film from Chinese novelist turned filmmaker Hu Bo is an ambitious and unforgettable film, reminiscent of the works of modern masters like Jia Zhangke and Béla Tarr.

Foxtrot

Samuel Maoz

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.

Good Manners

As boas maneiras

Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra

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.)

The Green Fog

Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson

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.

Holiday

Isabella Eklöf

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.

Keep the Change

Rachel Israel

Two autistic adults strike up a transformative relationship in Rachel Israel’s charming comedy, based on the romantic adventures of her unlikely star.

Madeline’s Madeline

Josephine Decker

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.

Milla

Valérie Massadian

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.

Rafiki

Wanuri Kahiu

Fresh and brave, Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu’s tender, exuberant teenage lesbian coming-out tale has been banned in Kenya and celebrated in Cannes.

Searching

Aneesh Chaganty

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.

Skate Kitchen

Crystal Moselle

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.

TERROR NULLIUS

Soda_Jerk

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.

Virus Tropical

Santiago Caicedo

A deftly made, delightfully illustrated, femme-focused animated film from Colombia about growing up in a decidedly unconventional family. Winner of the Audience Award for foreign films at SXSW 2018.

We the Animals

Jeremiah Zagar

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.