NZIFF Booklet

Films by Title

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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.

A

Adam

Maryam Touzani

Set in Casablanca’s Old Medina, this nuanced tale of female solidarity transcending temperamental difference captivates through the richly detailed performances of two superb actresses.

Amazing Grace

Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack

Rescued from 45 years in legal and technical limbo, this extraordinary music film capturing Aretha Franklin in full flight deserves your respect – and the biggest screen and sound system possible.

The Amazing Johnathan Documentary

Ben Berman

In the world of magic, nothing is what it seems as a terminally ill magician prepares for his swansong – and the ultimate trick on the maker of this bizarre documentary.

American Woman

Jake Scott

A sweeping character study centred on a teenager’s disappearance – and a mother’s determination to live through the tragedy – in blue collar Pennsylvania. With Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul and Christina Hendricks.

Andrei Rublev

Andrei Tarkovsky

Once censored, now revered, Stalker and Solaris director Andrei Tarkovsky’s medieval Russian epic demands – and commands – the big screen in this unmissable restoration.

Angelo

Markus Schleinzer

An arresting, crisply detailed period drama examining the legacy – and tainted freedom – of an African slave integrated into Viennese high society. Based on a true story.

Aniara

Pella Kågerman, Hugo Lilja

Darkly poetic and visually arresting, Swedish duo Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja’s sci-fi film follows the fate of a marooned colony vessel and its doomed passengers.

Animals

Sophie Hyde

Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) are thirty-something best friends in Dublin, where partying hard is still their way to have fun, but the reality of getting older is getting harder to ignore.

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

Animation for Kids 8+

We again alternate big themes and existential musings with essential hilarity, showcasing 12 terrific short films from all corners of our big wide world. Certain to stimulate and charm both sharp young minds and indie animation-loving grown-ups. — NM

Animation NOW! Dark Hearts

From the dark side, this bold, bracing collection of short films goes deeper and blacker than live-action will allow.

Animation NOW! Handmade

Drawings move, paintings come to life and puppets take the stage, one painstaking frame at a time.

Animation NOW! International Showcase

A celebratory showcase of some of the year’s best and brightest animated shorts. If you’re looking to sample the animation ecosystem in all its multicoloured, variously-shaped glories, there’s no better place to begin.

Animation NOW! Invert – Places

Marvel at the worlds created by animators whose imagination knows no bounds, in this celebration of animation’s power to transport.

Animation NOW! Rosto

A tribute to the late, great artist, musician and animator Rosto, whose singular animated films inspired many.

Apocalypse Now: Final Cut

Francis Ford Coppola

Welcome back to the jungle with Brando, Duvall, Fishburne and Hopper for Francis Ford Coppola’s final – and finest – version of the ultimate Vietnam War epic.

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.

The Art of Self-Defense

Riley Stearns

One of the most buzzed titles from this year’s SXSW fest, this jet-black deadpan comedy deploys a killer ensemble of Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots to deadly effect.

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.

B

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.

Bacurau

Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles

Fierce politics and top-notch furious filmmaking collide to potent effect in this Cannes-lauded portrait of a near-future fight for survival in the remote reaches of northern Brazil.

Beanpole

Dylda

Kantemir Balagov

Talented Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov won Best Director at Cannes (Un Certain Regard) for this hugely impressive account of post-war Leningrad, and the friendship of two women at its devastated centre.

Beats

Brian Welsh

As EDM and ecstasy-fuelled raves are targeted by 90s lawmakers, two downtrodden Glasgow teenagers are determined to taste the action. Director Brian Welsh (The Entire History of You) makes it a night to remember.

Bellbird

Hamish Bennett

Marshall Napier, Cohen Holloway and Rachel House shine in Hamish Bennett’s beautifully judged, poignantly funny drama of life and community on a struggling Northland family dairy farm.

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché

Pamela B. Green

Blending archival footage with interviews from A-listers Ava DuVernay, Geena Davis and Agnès Varda, among others, Green’s fizzy doco dives into the birth of motion pictures, and the pioneering woman who was there from the start.

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.

Billy and The Kids

Mark Albiston

An insightful look inside the boxing academies run by champion Kiwi boxer Billy Graham, through the eyes of the kids whose lives they have changed.

Births, Deaths & Marriages

Bea Joblin

Director Bea Joblin’s spirited debut feature boasts snappy dialogue and spot-on performances from a cast including Geraldine Brophy, Sophie Hambleton and Jamie McCaskill. A pungent kiwi slant on classic domestic farce.

Brittany Runs a Marathon

Paul Downs Colaizzo

Jillian Bell (Workaholics, Rough Night) stars in this Audience Award-winning Sundance comedy about a New York slacker who takes up running in the hopes of getting her life back on track.

By the Balls

Charlotte Purdy, Simon Coldrick

Sport and politics most definitely do mix in this gripping look back at a brutal and turbulent time for New Zealand rugby, told from the point of view of the players themselves including David Kirk and Buck Shelford.

By the Grace of God

Grâce à Dieu

François Ozon

Shining his spotlight on a recent French paedophile-priest case, François Ozon’s poignant, award-winning drama illuminates the brave struggle of victims in the face of institutional complicity, eschewing salacious exposé.

C

Capital in the 21st Century

Justin Pemberton

A sweeping – and sobering – account of the way that concentrated wealth has both shaped our past and is creating a deeply unequal future. Based on economist Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book.

Carmine Street Guitars

Ron Mann

Ron Mann’s absorbing documentary portrays a week in the life of old-school guitar maker Rick Kelly and his Greenwich Village workshop with its devoted clientele of rock royalty.

Celebration: Yves Saint Laurent

Célébration

Olivier Meyrou

A poignant, intimate portrait of Yves Saint Laurent in his twilight years takes us behind the scenes of the fabled fashion house and of the couturier’s complex relationship with business partner Pierre Bergé.

Celeste

Ben Hackworth

Radha Mitchell is radiant as a retiring diva in this intoxicating tale of love, betrayal and Schubert’s lieder set in a remote and beautiful enclave of bohemian community in the North Queensland rainforest.

Children of the Sea

Kaijou no kodomo

Watanabe Ayumu

With an enchanting attention to oceanic detail and the mysteries of the deep blue sea, this blissfully moody anime follows the journey of a teenage girl spirited away on a fantastic aquatic adventure.

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.

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.

Crystal Swan

Khrustal

Darya Zhuk

Determined to follow the siren’s call of house music and escape the confines of her 90s Eastern Bloc existence, a young DJ’s aspirations are dented when she’s forced to prove the reality of a bogus job on her visa form.

D

Daguerréotypes

Agnès Varda

Bakers, grocers, butchers and other local characters pose for this lovely documentary portrait of the residents of a humble street in Paris which Agnès Varda called home for over 25 years.

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan

Kriv Stenders

In this powerful war film, Vietnam, the forgotten conflict in ANZAC history, is remembered through the heroic deeds of Australian and New Zealand troops engaged in the brutal fight for Long Tan.

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.

The Day Shall Come

Chris Morris

Anna Kendrick plays a dysfunctional FBI agent tricking an idealistic preacher into plotting terror in The Day Shall Come, Chris Morris’ ballsy, very funny follow-up to festival hit Four Lions.

Deerskin

Le daim

Quentin Dupieux

Georges, 44 years old, and his jacket, 100% deerskin, have grand plans in director Quentin Dupieux’s latest cinematic oddity, destined for cult status.

Dilili in Paris

Dilili à Paris

Michel Ocelot

The great master of French animation, Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Kirikou and the Wild Beasts), returns with this enchanting new tale of brave young heroes, set in Paris during the Belle Epoque.

E

Escher: Journey into Infinity

Escher: Het oneindige zoeken

Robin Lutz

This vivid portrait explores M.C. Escher’s life and imaginative world through his own words and visions. Narrated by Stephen Fry.

F

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.

Fire Will Come

O que arde

Oliver Laxe

Oliver Laxe’s slow-burn Cannes gem combines arresting landscapes with the smouldering inner life of a reticent ex-con whose return to his mother’s home in the Galician countryside sparks tension.

Florianópolis Dream

Sueño Florianópolis

Ana Katz

Argentinian actor-turned-director Ana Katz helms this Brazilian family holiday comedy that strikes deeper chords in its exploration of independence, marriage and aging, at a beach paradise.

Fly By Night

Sebelum pagi berakhir

Zahir Omar

This gripping heist-thriller… depicting a dark underbelly of Kuala Lumpur teeming with violent triads and corrupt cops… raises the bar of Malaysian genre cinema.” — New York Asian Film Festival

For My Father’s Kingdom

Vea Mafile’o, Jeremiah Tauamiti

Pasifika filmmakers Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti direct this intimate, clear-eyed documentary centred on the faith, love and fatherhood of Saia Mafile’o, and his four children.

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.

G

The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil

Ak-in-jeon

Lee Won-tae

Bruising Korean box office star Ma Dong-seok is in full beast mode in this seriously entertaining action thriller, which pits a burly mob boss and an unhinged detective against a maurading serial killer.

Genesis

Genèse

Philippe Lesage

Beautifully shot and expertly edited, Philippe Lesage’s artfully told chronicle of young love bristles with tension and overflows with compassion.

The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash

Thom Zimny

Springsteen on Broadway director Thom Zimny offers a defining, authorised documentary on Johnny Cash, capturing the icon’s singular voice as a musician while stripping back his legend to the most compelling essentials.

God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya

Gospod postoi, imeto i’ e Petrunija

Teona Strugar Mitevska

Teona Strugar Mitevska’s Macedonia-set satire charts the empowering, thought-provoking journey of a woman who challenges patriarchy and gender equality while finding herself in the process.

H

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.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

RaMell Ross

This artful and poetic study of ordinary black lives from acclaimed photographer-turned-filmmaker RaMell Ross competed for Best Documentary Feature at this year’s Academy Awards.

Halston

Frédéric Tcheng

The astounding career and chequered business history of the American design genius who revolutionised fashion in the 1970s are recalled in this fittingly epic new documentary from the director of Dior and I.

Helen Kelly – Together

Tony Sutorius

An intimate, inspirational portrait of Helen Kelly in the last year of her life, Together tells the story of a woman whose advocacy and generosity changed the lives of countless New Zealanders.

Herbs: Songs of Freedom

Tearepa Kahi

Director Tearepa Kahi’s follow-up to the infectious Poi E is a rousing celebration of Pacific reggae legends Herbs, the band’s members and its action as an inspiring musical front for social rights and harmony.

High Life

Claire Denis

A forbidding spaceship carrying death row inmates hurtles towards oblivion in Claire Denis’s long-awaited, intensely hypnotic sci-fi opus.

The Hole in the Ground

Lee Cronin

Paranoia takes hold of a single mother after her son, feared missing in the woods near an ominous sinkhole, returns unharmed yet with a disturbingly changed demeanour.

I

In Fabric

Peter Strickland

A cross between Suspiria and an old Farmers catalogue, the latest from retro genre stylist Peter Strickland, centring on a demonic dress at a posh department store, gleefully satirises fashion and consumerism.

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.

Inna de Yard

Peter Webber

Beyond Bob Marley, Inna de Yard dives deep into the soul of reggae music, the die-hard singers and songwriters who were there from the beginning, and the Jamaican sound and spirit.

Inventing Tomorrow

Laura Nix

An empowering celebration of young thinkers channelling their energy, passion, creativity and super smarts towards serious environmental change, while navigating the inevitable doubts and insecurities of teenhood.

The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão

A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão

Karim Aïnouz

A saga of sisterhood for the ages, Madame Sata director Karim Aïnouz’s sensual ‘tropical melodrama’ won top prize at this year’s Cannes Un Certain Regard section.

It Must Be Heaven

Elia Suleiman

Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s artfully composed, comedic contemplation of his place in the world discerns universal truths and absurdities in the minutiae.

J

Jacquot de Nantes

Agnès Varda

An affecting, gorgeously rendered cinematic love letter from Agnès Varda to her husband, the great The Umbrellas of Cherbourg director Jacques Demy.

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.

Judy & Punch

Mirrah Foulkes

Punch & Judy’s traditional puppet theatre receives an offbeat and subversive twist in this deliciously dark tale of revenge starring Mia Wasikowska.

K

Kind Hearts and Coronets

Robert Hamer

The classic, quintessentially British comedy of bad manners returns in a superb digital restoration. With Dennis Price as the most elegantly murderous of social climbers and Alec Guinness as all eight of his victims.

Knife+Heart

Un couteau dans le coeur

Yann Gonzalez

A third-rate porn producer’s most ambitious film yet may also be her most costly in this murderously kitschy homage to giallo, Grand Guignol and old school slasher movies.

Koko-di Koko-da

Johannes Nyholm

Visually arresting and very adult, Swedish director Johannes Nyholm’s devilishly devised folktale focuses on a grieving couple’s infinite camping trip from hell.

Koyaanisqatsi

Godfrey Reggio

As big as big-screen experiences get, Godfrey Reggio’s dialogue-free epic meditation on nature and man showcases a phenomenal Philip Glass score and stunning time-lapse photography from across the globe.

L

La Belle Époque

Nicolas Bedos

A striking conceit and stellar cast mix winningly in this compulsively watchable, superbly executed French romantic comedy, where it’s never too late to relive the best day of your life again. And again. And again...

La Flor: Part I

Mariano Llinás

Spanning international espionage, torch song melodrama, supernatural horror and silent film homage, Mariano Llinás’ eccentric and expansive narrative epic is a Herculean film creation – and at 14 hours, a record-breaking one. Screening in three parts.

La Flor: Part II

Mariano Llinás

Spanning international espionage, torch song melodrama, supernatural horror and silent film homage, Mariano Llinás’ eccentric and expansive narrative epic is a Herculean film creation – and at 14 hours, a record-breaking one. Screening in three parts.

La Flor: Part III

Mariano Llinás

Spanning international espionage, torch song melodrama, supernatural horror and silent film homage, Mariano Llinás’ eccentric and expansive narrative epic is a Herculean film creation – and at 14 hours, a record-breaking one. Screening in three parts.

Le Bonheur

Agnès Varda

Agnès Varda’s beautiful, quietly unsettling depiction of a young marriage strained by an affair examines the complexities of love and happiness.

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.

Les Misérables

Ladj Ly

In the crime-ridden suburbs of impoverished Paris, the line between corrupt cop and upstanding criminal is not so clearly defined, in this explosive, Cannes Jury Prize-winning French thriller.

Lil’ Buck: Real Swan

Louis Wallecan

The worlds of street dancing and ballet collide in this energetic doco following the rise of the astonishing Lil’ Buck, who has toured with Madonna and collaborated with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma and Damian Woetzel.

Litigante

Franco Lolli

Set in Bogotá, Colombia, Franco Lolli’s excellent character study focuses on a lawyer struggling to care for her young son and ailing mother amidst a developing scandal at work.

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog

Alfred Hitchcock

Celebrate Alfred Hitchcock’s 120th birthday with “the first true Hitchcock movie,” an atmospheric thriller set in the London fog. Accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra performing Neil Brand’s brilliant new score, conducted by Peter Scholes.

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.

Loro

Paolo Sorrentino

Toni Servillo as Silvio Berlusconi plays the role of his life in Paolo Sorrentino’s satirical account of the former prime minister of Italy, famous for his fortunes and scandals as well as his ad personam policies.

M

Maiden

Alex Holmes

Utilising a treasure trove of archival footage, director Alex Holmes celebrates the history of Maiden Great Britain, the first all-female crew to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race.

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound

Midge Costin

An ear-opening and revelatory history lesson on the unsung power of sound in cinema, Making Waves interposes fascinating interviews with dissected scenes to educate and exhilarate even the seasoned cinephile.

Manta Ray

Kraben rahu

Phuttiphong Aroonpheng

Winner of the Horizons Prize at the Venice Film Festival, this dreamlike Thai film centres on the friendship that blossoms between a fisherman and the refugee he rescues from the swamp.

Maria by Callas

Tom Volf

This adoring documentary captures the life, art – and, above all, spine-tingling talents – of a diva extraordinaire revered by opera devotees and ripe for discovery by everyone who’s not.

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Nick Broomfield

A deep dive into the myth of Leonard Cohen, the singer’s defining relationship with Marianne Ihlen, and prolific documentarian Nick Broomfield’s own personal connection to Cohen’s famous lover and muse.

Martha: A Picture Story

Selina Miles

Meet New York’s legendary-yet-unlikely street art photographer who influenced a whole generation of graffiti artists – and at the age of 75, is still capturing beauty on the fringes, with verve.

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

mid90s

Jonah Hill

Actor Jonah Hill directs with dead-on authenticity and unruly spirit this throwback to ’90s skate culture, based on his teenage years as a troublemaking skater in downtown LA.

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.

Midsommar

Ari Aster

Ari Aster’s buzzworthy follow-up to the terrifying Hereditary centres on an American couple whose festive encounter with Swedish pagan cultists slowly but surely descends into madness. Late confirmation.

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson’s rich and multifaceted biography of legendary jazz musician Miles Davis delivers a clear-eyed portrait of the man behind the music.

The Miracle of The Little Prince

Het Wonder van Le Petit Prince

Marjoleine Boonstra

The Miracle of the Little Prince profiles dedicated translators who use Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s timeless and overwhelmingly emotional novella to help keep dying, frequently less spoken and documented languages alive.

Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1

Chisana eiyu: Kani to tamago to tomei ningen

Yonebayashi Hiromasa, Momose Yoshiyuki, Yamashita Akihiko

Good things come in small packages in this impressive three film anthology from Studio Ponoc, highlighting the creative power of short-form animation – and showcasing Japan’s finest animators at work.

Monos

Alejandro Landes

Like Lord of the Flies by way of Yorgos Lanthimos, this bold, bizarro Sundance sensation takes the feral power struggles of youth gone wild to the misty mountains and lush jungles of Colombia.

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.

Mope

Lucas Heyne

Boogie Nights meets Pain & Gain in this tragic, oddly compelling story of two low-end porn actors who sought fame but gained infamy, all based on real events.

MO TE IWI – Carving for the People

Robin Greenberg

An intimate journey through the life and work of master carver Rangi Hetet and a celebration of his lifelong devotion to the traditions of Māori carving and Māori art.

Mr Jones

Agnieszka Holland

Soaring across Poland, Scotland and the Ukraine, Agnieszka Holland’s absorbing biopic illuminates the exploits of unsung Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, who bravely investigated the Soviet famine of 1932–33.

Mrs Lowry & Son

Adrian Noble

Timothy Spall plays English painter L.S. Lowry – here a frustrated artist in 1930s Lancashire – and Vanessa Redgrave his bed-ridden, domineering mother, in this popular play-turned-biopic.

Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Richard Lowenstein

Richard Lowenstein, who directed Michael Hutchence in Dogs in Space, combines rare archive footage and intimate insights from the people who were close to the INXS rock icon, in this major documentary.

N

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.

Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019

A collection of Māori and Pasifika short films curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, with guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), director of the Pollywood Film Festival. Curators’ comments on each film appear in italics.

The Nightingale

Jennifer Kent

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, Jennifer Kent’s brutal revenge saga is an unrelenting reckoning with white male oppression – and not for the faint of heart.

Nina Wu

Zhuo ren mi mi

Midi Z

This fiery Cannes title challenges the #MeToo movement’s popular discourse with a confronting and complicated tale of consent and abuse, based on its lead actress’ own experiences in the movie industry.

Non-Fiction

Doubles vies

Olivier Assayas

The murky line between reality and fiction goes under the microscope – and the sheets – in Olivier Assayas’s chatty, up-to-the minute treatment of the French literary world, with Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet.

O

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.

The Orphanage

Parwareshgah

Shahrbanoo Sadat

A touch of Bollywood fantasy enlivens this moving story of a savvy Afghan teen living in a Soviet-run orphanage in the late 1980s while a destructive war rages through the country.

P

Peterloo

Mike Leigh

Four years after Waterloo a different kind of battle was fought on British soil, Mike Leigh delivers a passionate and forceful historical drama about the time when the working class began to fight for their rights.

Peter Peryer: The Art of Seeing

Shirley Horrocks

Shirley Horrocks’ richly illustrated portrait of the life and career of one of New Zealand’s most important photographers, who dedicated his life to seeing and making works of art out of the everyday.

Photograph

Ritesh Batra

A street photographer convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancée in this sweet and tender romance that unfolds amongst the chaotic streets of Mumbai. From the director of The Lunchbox.

PJ Harvey: A Dog Called Money

Seamus Murphy

PJ Harvey gathers lyrical and musical inspiration in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Washington DC, an unorthodox collection of raw material fused together in a London studio for her 2016 album, The Hope Six Demolition Project.

Port Authority

Danielle Lessovitz

Debuting writer-director Danielle Lessovitz weaves a boy-meets-trans girl romance about identity and belonging around the New York underground ballroom scene.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

Céline Sciamma

Winner of Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at Cannes, Céline Sciamma’s striking 18th-century tale of romantic obsession burns bright with female desire and the craft of a masterful filmmaker.

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.

R

Ray & Liz

Richard Billingham

Turner prize-nominated artist Richard Billingham directs with visual lyricism and intelligence this tough, transfixing autobiographical drama of working-class life in Thatcher’s England.

The Realm

El reino

Rodrigo Sorogoyen

With a crisp, kinetic visual style and a surplus of tension, Spanish helmer Rodrigo Sorogoyen skewers the corrupt politicos of his home country with this razor-sharp suspense thriller.

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.

Ruben Brandt, Collector

Ruben Brandt, a gyűjtő

Milorad Krstić

Boasting batshit surreal imagery, fist-pumping action sequences and a wall-to-wall shrine of art and cinema references, Ruben Brandt, Collector is a new milestone for animated invention.

S

A Seat at the Table

David Nash, Simon Mark-Brown

Savour 100 minutes of eye-popping camera work, picturesque vineyards and gratuitous grape-fondling shots in this glorious toast to the talent and the stories behind New Zealand’s world-famous wine industry.

Shooting the Mafia

Kim Longinotto

Veteran documentarian Kim Longinotto turns her lens on legendary photographer Letizia Battaglia, who reflects on a life lived to the fullest amidst violence in mob-controlled Sicily.

Short Connections

Five new Kiwi shorts that all examine the different ways we connect (and disconnect) with each other. From cross-cultural relationships that develop in a surprising manner, to intimate relationships that have drifted apart, these films are linked by the ties that bind all of us together.

Sibyl

Justine Triet

Exploring psychotherapy, boundaries and obsession, Justine Triet’s film deliciously portrays the creative crisis of a shrink-wannabe-author, who steals her actress patient’s story for a novel.

Song Without a Name

Canción sin nombre

Melina León

Replete with starkly beautiful black and white photography, this affecting arthouse thriller from first time Peruvian director Melina León is based on a real-life case of child trafficking.

Sorry We Missed You

Ken Loach

A most worthy follow-up to I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach’s new social-realist drama zeroes in on life as an average British family at the mercy of the modern day ‘gig economy’.

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.

T

Take Me Somewhere Nice

Ena Sendijarevic

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Rotterdam, this delightfully absurdist road movie channels Jarmusch and Kaurismäki in telling the story of a young woman visiting Bosnia to find her estranged father.

The Third Wife

Ash Mayfair

Inspired by her family history, Ash Mayfield’s directorial debut is a delicate and sensuous journey of a young Vietnamese girl torn between duty to her much older husband and her blossoming sexuality.

This Changes Everything

Tom Donahue

You thought #TimesUp was a new initiative? Think again. This Changes Everything is the rallying cry lovers of cinema, supporters of women, and those who just aspire to see a fairer, more equitable industry have been waiting for.

U

Under the Silver Lake

David Robert Mitchell

Deadbeat slacker Andrew Garfield delves into the labyrinthine mysteries of La La Land on the hunt for a missing girl in David Robert Mitchell’s oddball neo-noir thriller.

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.

V

Vagabond

Sans toit ni loi

Agnès Varda

An unforgettable Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César, and Agnès Varda Venice Film Festival’s top prize, in this defiantly feminist masterpiece.

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.

Violence Voyager

Baiorensu boija

Ujicha

Twisted visions of childhood don’t come more unhinged than Ujicha’s delightfully macabre animated misadventure. Inventive genre thrills and spills abound: who knew cardboard viscera could be so disturbing?

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.

W

Walking on Water

Andrey Paounov

Octogenarian Christo wraps up a miraculous career with a spectacular network of fabric walkways over an Italian lake, in an oft-humorous closeup look at the process of creation, clashes of egos and perils of nature.

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.

What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

Rob Garver

Wittily illustrated and packed with quotations from her film reviews (read by Sarah Jessica Parker), Rob Garver’s doco explores New Yorker writer Pauline Kael’s evolution from failed playwright and struggling single mother to critical powerhouse.

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.

The Whistlers

La Gomera

Corneliu Porumboiu

Breathing new life into the Romanian New Wave, Corneliu Porumboiu crafts a rollicking genre movie set in sun-soaked Spain, where the best laid plans of a bent cop hinge on learning a secret local whistling dialect.

A White, White Day

Hvítur, Hvítur Dagur

Hlynur Pálmason

Evidence of a deceased wife’s affair tips a grieving ex-cop in remote Iceland over the edge, leading to a shocking spiral of events in search of the truth.

Who You Think I Am

Celle que vous croyez

Safy Nebbou

Juliette Binoche is terrific in director Safy Nebbou’s intriguing cautionary tale about a divorced university professor who reinvents herself as a younger, more desirable woman online.

The Wild Goose Lake

Nan fang che zhan de ju hui

Diao Yinan

Gangland subterfuge tumbles into a dazzling nocturnal manhunt in Chinese director Diao Yinan’s film noir par excellence – a modern genre classic in the making.

Working Woman

Isha Ovedet

Michal Aviad

Tense and full of real complexities, this Israeli workplace harassment drama follows Orna – a soldier, wife, mother and working woman pressured by her boss’ unorthodox demands.

Y

You Don’t Nomi

Jeffrey McHale

This shameless celebration of Paul Verhoeven’s much-maligned Showgirls explores the film’s complicated afterlife, from disastrous release to cult adoration and extraordinary redemption.

Yuli

Icíar Bollaín

Moving between fiction and reality, and harnessing the power of both drama and dance, Cuban ballet dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta shares his life story, from a barely interested kid to one of the greats.