NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Staff Picks: Rebecca McMillan

I’m on maternity leave from my Communications Manager role for NZIFF 2019 but I’ve been previewing films and writing about a few of them. (See Martha: A Picture Story, Peter Peryer and Animals – all excellent films to add to your wishlist.) I’ll be there in spirit while Auckland audiences cheer on our very own Ant Timpson at The Civic for the New Zealand premiere of his debut film Come to Daddy. That’s going to be a big night. I already have FOMO. The New Zealand’s Best line-up is once again a very high bar of the best short films being made in this country. Our guest selector Jane Campion was very impressed. And while you’re looking at shorts programmes, take 60 minutes to go and see an Animation for Kids screening. The delight and vocal responses from those wee audience members will bring you joy, I promise. A huge congrats to the NZIFF crew for securing another outstanding line-up of films. — Rebecca McMillan, Communications Manager (on maternity leave)

The Farewell

Lulu Wang

Deft and deeply felt, with a star-making turn from Awkwafina, Lulu Wang’s widely praised drama tells the story of a Chinese American family paying their last respects to a mother and grandmother who doesn’t know she’s dying.

Come to Daddy

Ant Timpson

Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie and Madeleine Sami lead Kiwi director (and NZIFF/Incredibly Strange programmer) Ant Timpson’s deranged comic thriller about a father-son reunion that goes very, very south.

New Zealand’s Best 2019

Check out the year’s best New Zealand short films as chosen by this year’s guest selector Jane Campion, from a shortlist drawn up by NZIFF programmers from a total of 91 entries.

Varda by Agnès

Agnès Varda

The late, great French filmmaking icon’s swansong is a magical self-reflection on art, movies, invention and Varda’s own lust for life inside and outside of the cinematic frame.

Ask Dr. Ruth

Ryan White

As her 90th birthday approaches, irrepressible Dr Ruth, the famed American sex therapist, reflects on her life and career in a film as spirited as she is.

The River

Ozen

Emir Baigazin

Poetic and painterly, Emir Baigazin’s austere drama of familial struggle is as enigmatic as the river at its centre, as visually captivating as its tale is provocative.

Long Day’s Journey into Night

Di qiu zui hou de ye wan

Bi Gan

Part film noir, part dreamscape, this oneiric love mystery – acclaimed for its hour-long 3D sequence shot in a mesmerising unbroken take – intoxicatingly captures romantic obsession in southern China.

Vivarium

Lorcan Finnegan

Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots’ goal of becoming homeowners veers into strange and sinister territory in this smart and unexpected sci-fi horror.

Midnight Family

Luke Lorentzen

With visceral immediacy and an unerring sense of compassion, documentarian Luke Lorentzen places us in the passenger seat of a family-run ambulance on the chaotic streets of Mexico City.

Cold Case Hammarskjöld

Mads Brügger

What starts out as an investigation into the plane crash that killed UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961 soon spirals into something even darker under the direction of Danish provocateur Mads Brügger.

We Are Little Zombies

Nagahisa Makoto

Four teenage orphans form a kick-ass band to express their emotions and end up taking the world by storm in this visually dazzling triumph from first time director Nagahisa Makoto.

Animation for Kids 4+

Animation is such an engaging art form – perfect for inspiring the wide-open imaginations of our youngest NZIFF audience members. Not that the inspiration stops there – these eclectic and entertaining films are sure to appeal to both the young and young at heart. — NM