The Best of Cannes at NZIFF

Thursday 21 June 2018

The Best of Cannes at NZIFF
The Wild Pear Tree

We’re delighted to share with you our prize collection of 30 highly anticipated Cannes films that will premiere to New Zealand audiences at NZIFF.

These films represent the best of the best from around the world and we’re beyond excited to offer you the chance to view these cinematic spectacles in our own far-flung corner of the globe.

From psychotropic dance movie Climax to the beauty of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree, to the striking debut lesbian drama Rafiki – that has come out of a country where homosexuality is illegal – or the deeply humane and moving Palme d’Or winner, Shoplifters, you’ll be left spellbound, moved, enlightened, and challenged by the diverse collection of feature length films we’ve accessed for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s six reasons to start creating your own shortlist:

Start your NZIFF with a disconcerting blend of thriller and ancient legend

This year’s NZIFF opens with Birds of Passage – the opening night film from the 2018 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight – in which a vibrant Colombian indigenous culture takes on the 1970s drug trade.

Be the first to see 11 films from the In Competition section of the premier festival

This year’s line-up includes the captivating Japanese-directed Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters, Jury Prize winner Capharnaüm and Best Screenplay winners (tied) 3 Faces and Happy As Lazzaro.

See stunning breakout performances by two talented teens

Wellington schoolgirl Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie turned heads at Cannes with her debut feature film lead in Leave No Trace, and Belgian-born Victor Polster’s performance as an aspiring transgender ballerina in Girl has been hailed as outstanding.

Read the books, see the films

Five of this year’s Cannes titles are based on existing short stories and books, so now’s your chance to read the literature before you catch the full cinema experience:

  • Rafiki: based on the short story Jaumbula Tree by Monica Arac de Nyeko’s
  • Leave No Trace: loosely based on My Abandonment by Peter Rock
  • Wildlife: based on the book by Richard Ford
  • Burning: based on the short story Barn Burning by Haruki Murakami
  • Border: based on the short story of the same name by John Aivide Lindqvist

See Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book

At 87 years of age, Jean-Luc Godard looks at the world and does not like what he sees.  As described by Stephanie Zacharek of Time, this one is sure to divide audiences: “Disjointed and direct, exhilarating and soporific, cerebral and squirrelly… just watching [The Image Book] is a strange, melancholy pleasure, and an open window into the world of things that worry its creator”.

Be spellbound by the swirl of music, dance and true love in the dazzling Cold War

The new film from the director of Ida won him the Cannes Best Director award and closes this year’s NZIFF.

Explore the full Cannes collection on our Films page.


The full Wellington programme will be online from 7pm on Thursday 28 June and on the streets Friday 29 June with tickets on sale from 5 July.

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