Auckland 14 – 31 July;
Wellington 22 July – 7 August;
Christchurch 28 July – 14 August;
Dunedin 4 – 21 August;
Nelson 3 – 21 August;
Timaru 11 – 21 August;
Gore 11 – 21 August;
Hamilton 17 August – 11 September;
Palmerston North 18 August – 4 September;
Tauranga 18 August – 11 September;
Masterton 31 August – 14 September;
Hawke’s Bay 1 – 18 September;
New Plymouth 1 – 18 September.
Who would be likely, or, more often, extremely likely to recommend NZIFF to friends and family? 97% of respondents in Auckland, that’s who, along with 99% of those in Wellington; and 100% in Christchurch. Do it, please! In Dunedin, Hamilton and Timaru the percentage was 95% or more. The lowest: 82% in Tauranga. Definitely an ‘A’ for Excellent. Yay. That was the really good news. This year there was no really bad news to cloud it, but nobody’s saying we’ve attained perfection just yet.
Website & ticketing
There was abundant love for our website, thank you again, CactusLab. Ditto the improved ticketing facilities the site (and Vista ticketing) provided for NZIFF in Wellington. (The rocky first day on this system drew some understandable complaints, but after that, only joy.) Nothing would suit us better than comparable service, minus the teething problems, in other centres too, and we received numerous pleas for just that. We won’t list the other great website add-ons suggested by various respondents, just in case they turn out to be impossibly complicated, but you can be sure we’re working on them.
How you select films
Festivalgoers still rate the free printed programme highly. For the first time it
The Toronto International Film Festival celebrated its 40th appearance this year. By no means North America’s oldest festival, TIFF is the biggest, bringing 399 programmes to an estimated audience of 500,000. Could the world ever produce that many great films in a single year? Guess not, but that’s never discouraged a dedicated Toronto public or the thousands of industry players and media who join them every September to make their city the teeming headquarters of the movie universe.
I tend to fossick around the margins of the programme, and the only World Premiere on my agenda was Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next. It turned out to be much more fun than seemed reasonable to expect. Though its title and sole promotional image imply a diatribe against US militarism, the film provides instead a ramble around some surviving — and apparently flourishing — bastions of welfare-state programs in Europe, Scandinavia and Tunisia.
Moore adopts the incredulous tone of a dyed-in-the-wool free marketer as he interrogates cops, teachers, prison inmates, school dieticians and other articulate proponents and beneficiaries of humane and effective education, employment, health care and criminal justice policies. As often with the crusading Moore, there are holes in some of his
Supplementing our main venue, Event Cinemas New Plymouth, NZIFF 2015 will host screenings at the recently opened Len Lye Centre – the latest addition to the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. The 62-seat cinema at the Len Lye Centre will host 13 films in this year’s programme.
The full NZIFF programme is now available online, with printed programmes arriving throughout New Plymouth and at the venues in the coming days. NZIFF will open on Thursday 3 September with a screening of The Mafia Kills Only in Summer at 6.00pm at Event Cinemas.
This year’s Centrepiece screening is The Assassin, a beautiful foray into historical martial arts territory from Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien. The film won the Best Director Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
International documentary highlights include Asif Kapadia’s acclaimed Amy, a compelling portrait that tells Amy Winehouse’s story sensitively in all its highs and lows; Jennifer Peedom’s spectacular Sherpa captures the 2014 climbing season on Everest from the point of view of Sherpa Phurba Tashi, including the tragic avalanche and its aftermath; and The Wolfpack delves into the bizarrely sheltered lives of six brothers who were confined since birth to the tiny rooms of their Lower East Side apartment.
The four winning shorts were announced at Auckland’s Civic Theatre on Saturday evening.
The Madman Entertainment Jury Prize for the Best New Zealand Short Film at NZIFF 2015 was awarded to The Tide Keeper, directed and written by Alyx Duncan. Congratulated in the jury’s citation for her singular personal vision and technical assurance, Alyx will take home a cash prize of $5,000.
The jury selected Michael Jonathan, director of the film Ow What!, for the Wallace Friends of the Civic Award for its originality and authenticity. The filmmaker receives a prize of $3,000 cash.
A special jury of cinematographers selected Grant McKinnon, cinematographer for Not Like Her as the winner of the inaugural Allen Guilford Cinematography Award from the New Zealand Cinematographers Society (NZCS), a prize that includes a cash prize of $2,000.
And the 2015 Audience Award, which will take home 25% of the box office takings from the screenings in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch, was awarded to Madam Black director Ivan Barge.
The three judges were New Zealand producer Fiona Copland, Australian photographer and performer William Yang and representative for Madman Entertainment, Michael Eldred.
Guest selector and filmmaker Christine Jeffs selected the six finalists from a shortlist