NZIFF Booklet

Films by Section

Framing Reality

2040

Damon Gameau

In this inspiring vision of the future, That Sugar Film director Damon Gameau travels the world in search of technologies and practices that will reduce our dependence on carbon, pull people out of poverty and help create a better 2040.

Apollo 11

Todd Douglas Miller

An essential big screen experience, this spectacular documentary utilises a treasure trove of painstakingly restored footage to show us the Apollo 11 moon landing as it has never been seen before.

Aquarela

Victor Kossakovsky

The elemental power and glory of water is captured with high frame rate, ultra-definition cameras in film artist Victor Kossakovsky’s spectacular visual documentary.

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.

Backtrack Boys

Catherine Scott

A love for wild dogs and a love for wild kids inspire Australian Bernie Shakeshaft’s remarkable programme to transform the lives of both, intimately observed over two years in Catherine Scott’s acclaimed documentary.

The Biggest Little Farm

John Chester

A city slicker couple turned progressive eco-farmers transform a barren orchard into a thriving landscape in this inspirational sustainability documentary.

Chris the Swiss

Anja Kofmel

Recalling the work of Marjane Satrapi and Ari Folman, Anja Kofmel recreates the strange life and death of her war reporter cousin in a bold, moody hybrid of docu-portrait and animation.

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.

Dark Suns

Soleils noirs

Julien Elie

This striking black-and-white documentary criss-crosses Mexico, unearthing grassroots tales of grief, resilience and determined resistance in the wake of a decades-long drug war and political corruption.

For Sama

Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Shot over five years, Waad al-Kateab’s intimate, Cannes award-winning film addresses her baby daughter and delivers a harrowing account of the war in Aleppo, the devastation wrought on the city, its people and children.

Hail Satan?

Penny Lane

From America’s satanic panic to the battle of the Baphomet monument, Hail Satan? is an eye-opening comedic romp exploring the good – and sometimes not so good – work of The Satanic Temple.

In My Blood It Runs

Maya Newell

Told from the perspective of an insightful 10-year-old Aboriginal boy, this sensitive documentary considers the value of an education that balances the integrity of indigenous lifeways against persistent colonisation.

Jawline

Liza Mandelup

Charting the rise of aspiring star Austyn Tester, Liza Mandelup’s dreamy feature-length debut is a stranger-than-fiction portrait of wannabe online influencers. US Documentary Special Jury Award, Sundance 2019.

Leftover Women

Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia

Following three successful, determined and single women deemed sheng nu (leftover), directors Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia paint an affecting profile of finding and defining love in modern day China.

Meeting Gorbachev

Werner Herzog, André Singer

Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev gets his due in [Werner Herzog’s] engaging and touching valedictory to one of the most pivotal figures of the 20th century.” — Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

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.

Monrovia, Indiana

Frederick Wiseman

The small farming town of Monrovia, a stronghold of Republican voters and Midwestern values, is the subject of this quietly probing new documentary from the legendary Frederick Wiseman.

One Child Nation

Nanfu Wang, Jialing Zhang

A frank documentary about the wide-reaching impact of China’s one-child policy, Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang unearth the frightening reality of the regime they were raised under. Winner Grand Jury Prize, Sundance 2019.

Push

Fredrik Gertten

As rocketing urbanisation collides with stagnant wages and a lack of affordable housing around the world, Fredrik Gertten’s clarion call to arms shows how global finance giants turn homes into assets.

The State Against Mandela and the Others

L’État contre Mandela et les autres

Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte

Rare audio recordings alongside animated courtroom sketches bring to life the Rivonia trial in this enthralling snapshot of a pivotal chapter in Mandela and his co-defendants’ fight against apartheid.

Stuffed

Erin Derham

A fully rounded, elegantly observed documentary on the world of taxidermy, its dedicated practitioners and their empathy for the animals whose lives and beauty they lovingly preserve.

Up the Mountain

Huo Shan

Zhang Yang

This visually arresting film takes us to a mountaintop village in China, where the simple rituals and traditions of unhurried, everyday life are captured in vibrant folk paintings.

Where’s My Roy Cohn?

Matt Tyrnauer

A searing portrait of notoriously malicious lawyer Roy ‘don’t tell me about the law, just tell me who the judge is’ Cohn delves into the dark arts of American politics.