Image: Wellington school children attend a special NZIFF screening at the Embassy Theatre (Photo credit Ambrose Hickman). View our visual summary of the survey feedback over on our Facebook page.
Deciding What to See
“My wife chose the movies and I was happy with her choices”.
We enjoyed lavish praise for the new website, but note that the printed brochure still takes prime place as a guide to film selection. In 2015 we’ll be acting on the numerous requests for a PDF of the printed publication on our site. We were surprised and relieved to see how few people admitted to seeing the film still in the programme as a key influence. (You’d be amazed how many producers continue to sell themselves short by providing lacklustre stills.)
Rotten Tomatoes was named so often as an external source of guidance that we’d like to drill further: is it the audience ratings there or the critics’ approval rankings that hold sway? We were pleased to note the high use of two sponsor sites too: Flicks.co.nz and Letterboxd.
One respondent noted that we weren’t always on the ball about getting trailers on to our site. We’ve often booked films before the trailers have
The queues aside – and how genial and orderly they invariably are – VIFF is the festival that reminds me the most of our own, until I am reminded by the announcement at every screening that VIFF must secure $3 of grant, donation or sponsorship income for every $1 taken at the box office. (At NZIFF we’d probably be happy with $1 for every $5 if you’d like to help out.)
Nonetheless VIFF gives off every indication of being an audience-driven extravaganza, with big crowds eagerly engaging with every film and Q and A I have seen. Those queues, btw, are very social; reputedly the scene of many a life-changing encounter. How better to open a new chapter in your life than with a witty remark to a complete stranger about the duration of the new Nuri Bilge Ceylan movie or by confessing your ambivalence about the colour-blind casting gag in the new Kristen Wiig movie, Welcome to Me? That seemed to be working yesterday for the guy behind me.
VIFF is my third consecutive festival since NZIFF this year. I have now seen a great many not-so-great films at TIFF, attended press screenings for the NYFF, and traded tales with various
Horomona Horo is a composer and practitioner of taonga pūoro, the traditional instruments of the Māori. He has worked with Richard Nunns, archivist, researcher, composer and performer of taonga pūoro, and both subjects feature in the new film from director Paul Wolffram.
Horo will attend the Tuesday 9 September screening of Voices of the Land: Ngā Reo o te Whenua at the Lido Cinema. There will be a question and answer session at the conclusion of the film.
Sunday 7 September 11.00 am, Lido Hamilton
Tuesday 9 September 2.15 pm, Lido Hamilton
Tickets are on sale directly from the Lido Hamilton.
About Voices of the Land
Paul Wolffram’s fascinating and eloquent doco about Māori instrumental traditions accompanies Richard Nunns and Horomona Horo as they perform in a series of remarkable South Island wilderness settings.
“It's a consistently impressive exercise in editing and sound design, using form to build our understanding of taongapūoro in new and enchanting ways.” — Adam Goodall, The Wireless
Alister Barry is a member of the filmmaking collective Vanguard Films and has worked on New Zealand films since the 1970s. His directorial work includes Someone Else’s Country, a feature on the new right revolution in New Zealand, and The Hollow Men, a feature documentary of the Nicky Hager book of the same name.
Barry introduced his new feature documentary Hot Air, co-directed with Abi King-Jones, to audiences at the Lido Cinema. A question and answer session followed at the conclusion of each film screening.
About Hot Air
Directed by Alister Barry and Abi King-Jones.
In the years since New Zealand politicians began to grapple with climate change our greenhouse gas emissions have burgeoned. Alister Barry’s doco draws on TV archives and interviews with key participants to find out why.
The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film was awarded to Ross & Beth, directed and written by Hamish Bennett and produced by Orlando Stewart.
The jury selected Abigail Greenwood, director of the film Eleven, for The Friends of the Civic Short Film Award for distinctive creative achievement.
A special jury of cinematographers selected Grant McKinnon, cinematographer for Ross & Beth as the winner of the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the New Zealand Cinematographers Society (NZCS).
And the 2014 Audience Award, voted by viewers in Auckland and Wellington, went to Ross & Beth.
The three judges were Eleanor Catton, 2013 Man Booker prize winner and author of The Luminaries, visiting filmmaker Rolf de Heer (Charlie’s Country,Ten Canoes) and Michael Eldred, representative for Madman Entertainment. The jury statement reads as follows:
"The jurors were united in their admiration for the shorts presented, their variety and the standard of film making contained within them. Each of the shorts, in giving us something to admire, was a worthy finalist.
For fluid, effective story-telling with both camera and performance, the Friends of the Civic Award goes to Abigail Greenwood for Eleven.
For its completeness as a short film, its mastery of