NZIFF Booklet

Films by Venue

The Civic Theatre

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.