2020 News

Meet The Stars of Our 'At Home - Online' Campaign
Pietra Brettkelly and Joanna Paul

In a nationwide photo shoot, we photographed 16 film festival whānau in their own homes ready for NZIFF At Home - Online.

With family, with friends, in their slippers or glammed up ... read the stories behind the faces of our film festival poster campaign (and watch out for the posters popping up on streets in your city or town).

Film Festival to Make Hybrid History with 'Your Festival – Your Cinema' Offering
Kore-eda Hirokazu's The Truth - one of 26 films to screen in cinema and online

New Zealand leads upcoming hybrid editions of Venice, TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival ) and Locarno film festivals confirmed for August and September 2020. 

The unique situation has come about since New Zealand’s COVID-19 restrictions eased, and cinemas and venues have been able to reopen, resulting in 15 cinemas in eight cities around the country accepting the film festival’s invitation to offer screenings to their dedicated local audiences.

Festival Director Marten Rabarts says: “This has been enormously complex to bring together and we are thankful to the independent filmmakers, international distributors and sales agents who have been flexible and enabled us to put together a capsule selection of films which we were then able to offer to cinemas.

“We are very pleased to be able deliver this unique option for film lovers around the country, who let us know loud and clear they would welcome a return of the festival to cinemas alongside our innovative online edition.” 

However, Marten added that all films would still be available online.

“In April when we announced that the film festival would be presented online, we made a commitment to present a programme of New Zealand premiere films available to anyone with a broadband

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Announcing Programme for 2020 Festival: At Home — Online

Here it is – the full programme for Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival has been revealed with 79 feature films and seven collections of short films from 41 countries screening online and in selected cinemas and venues from 24 July to 2 August.

The 2020 Festival will open with the Australian film, True History of the Kelly Gang screening in cinema at ASB Waterfront Theatre in Auckland concurrently with the online premiere on Friday 24 July. The film, directed by Justin Kurzel (Snowtown NZIFF11) and based on the Booker Prize winning novel by Peter Carey, is a surreal adaptation of the outlaw legend featuring high-profile New Zealand actors including Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace, NZIFF18), musician Marlon Williams and Russell Crowe.

And this year features a new cooperation between European Film Promotion and Sydney Film Festival with seven films in a special collection EUROPE!: Voices of Women in Film.

Other programme highlights include Mardi Gras Film Festival 2020 Audience Award winner Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt) featuring New Zealand actor Rachel House (Bellbird, NZIFF19), Ai Weiwei’s latest documentary Vivos, Iranian blockbuster and Tokyo International Film Festival Best Director winner Just 6.5, Sundance Film Festival 2020 Audience Award (World

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Announcing New Zealand's Best Short Film Finalists and Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts Selections
Pain

In 2020, Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts will, for the first time, be recognised as a competitive section in the Festival.

Festival Director Marten Rabarts says: “Extraordinary short films have so often announced the arrival of our new cinematic voices including Jane Campion, Taika Waititi, Alison McLean, Niki Caro, Katie Wolfe, Sima Urale and so many others, that curating our shorts programmes feels like opening a window on the future of cinema in New Zealand and the Pacific. This years’ short films confirm that future is in very good hands indeed.” 

The finalists in New Zealand’s Best will compete for three prizes with winners of the two Jury Prizes to be announced at an in-cinema screening of the short films in Auckland on Saturday 25 July. The winner of the Audience Award will be announced at the close of the Festival on Sunday 2 August.

The six finalists are Daddy’s Girl (Kōtiro) (director Cian Elyse White), Daniel (director: Claire Van Beek), Love is Real! (director: Calvin Sang), Oranges and Lemons (director: Robyn Grace), Pain (director: Anna Duckworth), and Safety Net (director: Anthea Williams).

“Overall, these films illustrate and reveal a range of human experiences and emotions,” Guest Selector Tusi Tamasese

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Five New Zealand Films Announced
LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears

Four New Zealand documentaries will have their World Premiere screenings as part of Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival 2020 At Home – Online, and at selected cinema screenings across the country.

And, for the first time ever the Festival will screen a Web Series in its entirety. 

Festival Director Marten Rabarts said programming New Zealand films for the 2020 Festival has been challenging due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions which brought shooting and post-production on a number of films to a halt or caused significant delay. 

“We’re very proud to present this programme of films from Aotearoa for this year’s Festival. We’ve worked closely with all the filmmakers to ensure these films can be part of the Festival.”

Marten adds that as well as screening online as part of NZIFF At Home – Online, all five Aotearoa films will also be screened in cinemas.

“As COVID-19 restrictions began lifting in New Zealand, we have been exploring options to present a selection of films in many of our favourite cinemas and venues, and this includes the five Aotearoa films. We expect to reach agreement in the coming days as to which cinemas will be welcoming us for the 2020 hybrid

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