NZIFF Booklet

Films by Section

Music & Dance

Blaze

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke turns director with this SXSW hit, a dramatic tribute to an Outlaw Country legend; both a love story and a requiem for a ramblin man, highlighted by singer Benjamin Dickey’s incredible turn as Blaze Foley.

Chulas Fronteras

Les Blank

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. 

Gurrumul

Paul Damien Williams

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.

The Ice King

James Erskine

The life and artistry of trailblazing Olympic figure skater and dancer John Curry are revisited in this timely doco which sheds light on his enduring legacy, featuring rare footage of his legendary performances.

If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd

Stephen Kijak

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.

I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story

Jessica Leski

Bursting with colour, music and boyband adoration, Jessica Leski’s documentary is a celebration of women coming of age and navigating adulthood through the music and romantic appeal of their beloved boybands.

The King

Eugene Jarecki

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.

Le Grand Bal

Laetitia Carton

Filmmaker Laetitia Carton draws us into the beating heart of the traditional dance festival that attracts dancers and musicians from across Europe every summer to Gennetines in central France.

Leto

Kirill Serebrennikov

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.

Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.

Steve Loveridge

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.

Monterey Pop

D.A. Pennebaker

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.

Nico, 1988

Susanna Nicchiarelli

The last years and final performances of legendary singer Nico – who did not want to be remembered as Lou Reed’s femme fatale – are brought vividly to the screen by Danish actress Trine Dyrholm.

Ryuichi Sakamoto: async at the Park Avenue Armory

Stephen Nomura Schible

Filmed during the production of Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, this concert marked the first public unveiling of Sakamoto’s new opus async, widely hailed as one of the best albums of the last year.

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda

Stephen Nomura Schible

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.

Shut Up and Play the Piano

Philipp Jedicke

Rapper, piano virtuoso, performance artist, gifted collaborator or evil, smirking genius, Jason Beck aka Chilly Gonzales crowd-surfs the academy and puts on a hell of a show in the year’s wildest, funniest music doco.

Sign O’ the Times

Prince

Thirty years after its Film Festival debut, Prince’s legendary concert movie escapes music rights limbo just in time to make the perfect late addition to our lineup.

The Song Keepers

Naina Sen

Director Naina Sen embeds with the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir as they prepare a repertoire of Baroque hymns, taught by 19th-century Lutheran missionaries, and take it back to amazed audiences in Germany.