Celebrating New Zealand Filmmakers

Thursday 31 May 2018

Celebrating New Zealand Filmmakers
Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen

As we prepare to undertake the scheduling of NZIFF 2018, we take a moment to celebrate our homegrown filmmakers by adding a further seven films to our Early Announcements.

New Zealand stories are represented on screen with the world premiere tribute to pioneering Māori female filmmaker Merata Mita, sword fighting championships, and bringing a European interpretation of The Piano to the culture that inspired it, through to personal journeys of troubled upbringings that include frank conversations about sexual abuse, and suicide. Two features in the programme feature characters on very different adventures: a time-shifting crime thriller set in Thames, and a Man Alone story set in Central Otago.

NZIFF has worked long and hard to provide this platform for striking work made within our own shores and we salute the filmmakers and their commitment to putting New Zealand and New Zealanders on screen.

World premiere: Angie

Director: Costa Botes

Angie Meiklejohn, prominent and articulate Centrepoint survivor, is joined by her siblings in this lucid exploration of the legacy of sexual abuse, directed without a hint of sensationalism by Costa Botes. 

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World premiere: Bludgeon

Directors/Producers: Ryan Heron, Andy Deere 

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’.

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World premiere: The Heart Dances – the journey of The Piano: the ballet

Director: Rebecca Tansley 

This elegant new film from the director of Crossing Rachmaninoff takes us backstage at the Royal New Zealand Ballet as a brilliantly theatrical European interpretation of a New Zealand classic re-enters the culture that inspired it.

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World premiere: Māui’s Hook

Director: Paora Joseph 

The new film by Māori psychologist and filmmaker Paora Joseph (Tātarakihi: Children of Parihaka) invites open discussion of suicide through the brave testimony of five grieving families travelling to Cape Reinga.

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NZ premiere: Mega Time Squad

Director: Tim van Dammen 

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.

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World premiere: Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen

Director: Heperi Mita 

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.

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NZ Premiere: Stray

Director: Dustin Feneley  

Two damaged strangers fall into a complex intimate relationship in Dustin Feneley’s beautiful and rigorous debut feature film, shot in Otago against the breathtaking Southern Alps. 

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Two films with a New Zealand connection have already been announced for NZIFF 2018: Director Pietra Brettkelly’s Yellow is Forbidden, and Leave No Trace starring NZ actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie.


New Zealand films at NZIFF are proudly supported by Resene.

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