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Thursday 20 June 2019

Direct to you from Cannes
Les Misérables

We’re thrilled to share our prize collection of 25 highly anticipated Cannes films set to premiere to New Zealand audiences at NZIFF.

From the thin blue line between cops and criminals in Jury Prize-winning Les Misérables, to the magnificent obsessions of French psychodrama Sibyl, to the deadpan musings of festival favourite Elia Suleiman’s It Must Be Heaven, to critical darling and Best Screenplay winner Portrait of a Lady on Fire, this year’s Cannes haul is second to none.

The Cannes Films are:

Bacurau

Fierce politics and top-notch furious filmmaking collide to potent effect in this Cannes-lauded portrait of a near-future fight for survival in the remote reaches of northern Brazil.

It Must Be Heaven

Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s artfully composed, comedic contemplation of his place in the world discerns universal truths and absurdities in a shifting global context.

Les Misérables

In the crime-ridden suburbs of impoverished Paris, the line between corrupt cop and upstanding criminal is not so clearly defined, in this explosive, Cannes Jury Prize-winning thriller.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Winner of Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at Cannes, Céline Sciamma’s striking 18th-century tale of romance between a painter and her subject burns bright with female

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Bellbird

With scheduling in full swing, we’re taking a moment to celebrate our homegrown filmmakers.  

Rich in documentaries, this year’s selection of NZ films feature nine World and four New Zealand Premieres.   

Today’s reveal adds 12 new titles to the Aotearoa strand, completing the line-up with the already announced Kiwi documentary A Seat at the Table.  The diverse line-up of documentaries spans portraits of local talent such as renowned photographer Peter Peryer, master carver and Māori artist Rangi Hetet, and champion Kiwi boxer Billy Graham. Narrative features include a slice of life on a Northland dairy farm and a comedic family farce set in suburban Upper Hutt.

With less than a week until the full Auckland programme launch, we’re as excited as you are to dive into what the festival has to offer this winter.

The confirmed New Zealand films for 2019 are:

Capital in the 21st Century  

A sweeping – and sobering – account of the way that concentrated wealth has both shaped our past and is creating a deeply unequal future. Based on economist Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book.

For My Father's Kingdom

Pasifika filmmakers Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti direct this intimate, clear-eyed documentary centred on the faith, love and fatherhood

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Liliu

This year's Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019 have been curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), Director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, and guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), Director of the Pollywood Film Festival.

The six films selected for Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019 are listed below, along with notes from Leo and Craig in italics:

Our Atoll Speaks: Ko Talatala Mai Tō Mātou Wenua

A meditation on sustainability from the remote Pukapuka atoll in the Cook Islands. A serenade of narrative and captivating imagery – a political cry for help. — CF

Ani

A young Māori girl drifts into a world of make-believe when her mother leaves her – and her father – to fend for themselves. A tribute to the realities of solo parenting – touching and insightful. — CF

Liliu

A court interpreter in colonial Samoa risks everything to help a wrongfully convicted chief. In the time of King George VI, it was a time for guardianship of indigenous history as truth. — LK

Ways to See

A young Māori girl trying to reconnect with her absent father reaches out to a mysterious stranger. Hine-nui-te-pō, in her intoxicating beauty and temptation, comes for a visit. — CF

A pregnant woman

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Wednesday 5 June 2019

New Zealand's Best Shorts 2019
Hinekura

Six short films have been selected by Jane Campion as finalists for our annual New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition.

Finalists will compete for a total of four prizes, with winners to be announced at the closing night event of the Auckland leg of NZIFF. 

The six finalists are Nancy From Now On (dir: Keely Meechan), Krystal (dirBriar Grace-Smith), Egg Cup Requiem (dirs: Prisca Bouchet, Nick Mayow), Golden Boy (dir: Alex Plumb), Our Father (dir: Esther Mauga) and Hinekura (dir: Becs Arahanga).

“It was moving and invigorating to watch the 12 shortlisted short films and experience their energy, raw talent and the occasional truly sophisticated achievement” says Jane Campion. 

Audiences at the New Zealand’s Best screenings in Auckland and Wellington will be asked to vote for their favourite short. The Audience Award winner takes away a 25% share of the box office takings from the New Zealand's Best screenings in the four main centres. In 2018 this prize was valued at $4,800.

Madman Entertainment will again support the title award, the Madman Entertainment Best Short Film Award. The cash prize of $5,000 is donated by the Australasian distribution company. The winner will be chosen by a three-person jury appointed

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Jane Campion NZ's Best Guest Selector
Jane Campion

Jane Campion, a New Zealand film veteran and recipient of prestigious film awards, has accepted our invitation to be Guest Selector for the New Zealand’s Best short film competition.

Six shorts from Aotearoa will premiere in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch, with audiences in Auckland and Wellington able to vote for their favourite short from Campion’s shortlist. The role of Guest Selector has been filled most recently by filmmakers Leon Narbey (2018) and Gaylene Preston (2017).

Jane Campion, a celebrated Kiwi director, producer and screenwriter, holds the title of the only female director to be awarded the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993, as well as one of four women to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, in 1994 for The Piano. Having studied at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, Jane has gone on to win a plethora of awards and to direct a dazzling range of projects including her Palme d’Or-winning short film Peel (1982), The Portrait of a Lady (1996) and Bright Star (NZIFF09). She executive produced, co-wrote and co-directed Top of the Lake (2012), a lauded mini-series for the BBC and Sundance Channel. The second series, China Girl

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