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Leon Narbey to select New Zealand's Best Short Films
Leon Narbey

Leon Narbey will be the Guest Selector for our only competition strand, the New Zealand’s Best short film competition.

Five to six selected New Zealand shorts will premiere in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch where audiences are encouraged to vote for their favourite short from Narbey’s shortlist. Previous Guest Selectors have included Gaylene Preston (2017), Lee Tamahori (2016), Christine Jeffs (2015), Andrew Adamson (2014), Alison Maclean (2013) and Roger Donaldson (2012).

Leon Narbey is one of New Zealand’s finest cinematographers and has worked closely with many of New Zealand’s greatest filmmakers. After studying Sculpture and Lighting at Elam School of Fine Arts his first films Room 2 and A Film of Real Time were completed in 1968 and 1971 respectively. He went on to shoot TV news and then he collaborated on important early documentaries Te Matakite O Aotearoa: The Maori Land March (Geoff Steven) and then Bastion Point: Day 507 (with Merata Mita and Gerd Pohlmann) before making his own Man of the Trees questioning the destruction of the world’s forests. In 1987 he directed his award-winning feature Illustrious Energy. As a cinematographer Narbey has shot many feature films and documentaries including Desperate Remedies, The Price of Milk, Whale

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Thursday 10 May 2018

You Asked and We Shall Deliver

Your requests have been heard and we are delighted to reveal a further five films joining our Early Announcements. Featuring three female-helmed films – including Lynne Ramsay's Cannes award-winner You Were Never Really Here and Lucrecia Martel's Zama – alongside the highly anticipated Lucky, this year's line-up is already proving to be a bountiful bouquet of fine cinema.

Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in Disobedience

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.

“A quietly profound exploration of identity, sacrifice, and the connection all human beings long for, whether or not their God or their family or their community approves.” — Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Read more about Disobedience

Farewell Harry Dean Stanton: Lucky

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 in Lucky.

“Everything Harry Dean Stanton has done in his career, and his life, has brought him to his moment of triumph in Lucky, an unassumingly wonderful little film about

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Presenting the 2018 NZIFF Poster Artwork

Buckets of splendour, exotic and native, and a typically discriminating NZIFF patron are celebrated in our artwork for 2018. Illustrator Ken Samonte, inspired by New Yorker covers and the work of Hayao Miyazaki, also references the previous NZIFF illustration style of artist Tom Simpson. Ken worked closely with the Ocean Design team to deliver a bright bouquet of beauty that celebrates the diverse range of films in bloom at NZIFF this year.

“The Film Festival was one of our foundation clients when Ocean was established as a design company back in 1988,” says Ocean Design’s Blair Mainwaring. “That it is Auckland’s 50th New Zealand International Film Festival and Ocean’s 30th anniversary seems particularly apt. 

“We are enormously proud of our creative collaboration with NZIFF, in what must surely be one of New Zealand's longest client/agency partnerships. We’ve also gained enormous pleasure in working alongside Bill and his team to bring his vision to life over the last thirty years. 

“This year’s poster image, designed and art directed by Matt Bluett, has quickly become a favourite in the studio. The metaphor it represents and Ken's visual style makes for a very charming image (we think). We hope you like it!”


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Tuesday 1 May 2018

The Way We Were
El Topo

"A motion picture no one will ever forget”, promised the adline in the Auckland Star for our first ever Opening Night film on Sunday September 14, 1969. (The motion picture was Hunger, directed by Henning Carlsen based on a novel by Knut Hamsun, and winner of a Cannes accolade in 1966 for actor Per Oscarsson.) Maintaining the spirit of no one ever forgetting, we’ve invited numerous participants to share memories and anecdotes of festivals past. We are posting them here from now until July. You’re invited too. If you have a story you would like to share, email us at .

Here’s what Wynne Colgan, chairman of the Auckland Division of the first Adelaide/Auckland International Film Festival in the N.Z. Listener had to say after the inaugural edition. “Auckland is far from making the Berlin-Cannes-Moscow league. Given time, though, it could join places like Cork, Karlovy Vary and San Francisco as a non-competitive showcase for the 20th-century’s most exciting art form. In this city of 600,000 there are young people intelligent, interested and informed enough to make the venture well worthwhile. 16,000 paid admissions prove it."

Two years later Adelaide was out of the equation. The Auckland International Film Festival

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Our First Film Announcements for 2018
Yellow is Forbidden

NZIFF celebrates Kiwi brilliance behind the camera and in front of it – along with a pair of documentary portraits that, seen together, might provoke comparisons between the appetite for brainy women in popular entertainment then and now: in the Hollywood studio era vs. the presumably more enlightened 21st century.

NZ Premiere: Yellow is Forbidden

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.

“Compelling and stimulating… an intimate, involving portrait of Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei.”  — Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter

Read more about Yellow is Forbidden

NZ Premiere: Leave No Trace

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.

“Something deeply compassionate, a story of a father and daughter that speaks truths about some large things.” — Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

Read more about Leave No Trace

NZ Premiere: Matangi / Maya / M.I.A

From refugee daughter of a Tamil revolutionary and aspiring filmmaker to pop stardom and controversy magnet: this

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