News

2016 News

Wednesday 9 November 2016

What You Said About Us
The Handmaiden was an audience favourite. 

Need we admit that all eyes at NZIFF HQ headed first to our approval ratings? Happily for all concerned 97% of participants indicated that they were likely or very likely to attend NZIFF 2017. 95% were either very satisfied or satisfied with their experience of NZIFF this year. We are guessing that the 24 souls who characterised themselves as very dissatisfied were the same 24 who won’t be joining us next year or recommending that anyone else make that mistake.

It’s great to be able to report to our local body funders (or potential funders) how highly NZIFF rated with respondents as a contributor to civic pride. And our key sponsors will surely be pleased to learn that their presence was appreciated by so many NZIFF patrons.

Few opportunities to file a comment were left untaken. Reading every line has been engrossing, informative, entertaining and occasionally bruising. This summary concentrates on some recurrent themes in the great welter of feedback – and a few of the more vividly expressed words of approval or advice. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the lively and overwhelmingly positive survey.

Information Services

Our printed programme and website still rule when it comes to sourcing

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Wednesday 12 October 2016

La La for Venice
La La Land

I had to sprint to make the plane, but it was worth a little sweat to get to the world’s most insanely beautiful city at the end of August for the 73rd edition of the world’s longest running Film Festival. Little over a week after introducing the Closing Night screening of Elle in Dunedin I was taking my seat for the perfect Opening Night film in Venice.

A big screen musical that’s determinedly contemporary while seamlessly sampling many Hollywood classics, La La Land is a bittersweet valentine to showbiz dreams. Its opening blast, with a cast of thousands bounding about a traffic-jammed LA flyover, threatens overkill. Happily the initial overload ends as suddenly as it began, give or take the odd subsequent mega-orchestral intrusion.

The true pleasures are in smaller things, not least the sinuous long takes that give the choreography full frame. Emma Stone, as a wannabe actress and Ryan Gosling as an earnestly retro jazz pianist, seem perfectly in character when they sing and dance; he lightly and warily, she much less guarded. Though writer/director Damien Chazelle has eschewed the macho clamour of his earlier Whiplash, he once more puts the artistry of his male lead at the

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Embrace Rated More Accessible in NZ Than Australia
Embrace director Taryn Brumfitt

The New Zealand Classification Office today advised that the documentary Embrace, due to screen at NZIFF in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin has been classified as “Unrestricted M: suitable for mature audiences 16 years of age and over”, with a descriptive note for “offensive language and nudity”.

A recent Australian Classification Board rating of MA15+ meant that NZIFF had to submit the documentary for classification in New Zealand, temporarily restricting ticket sales to 18 years and older, after earlier planning to screen it as exempt.

“We are thrilled that this rating decision does not restrict anyone from attending the festival screenings of this film. Embrace provides an empowering alternative to the predominantly unhealthy and unrealistic messages targeting women. The NZ classification decision means that this educational documentary can reach the people who need to see and hear body positive messages the most. New Zealanders of all ages can decide for themselves whether they are mature enough to see the film and understand the themes that it raises: themes of body positivity and representation of women in the media,” says Rebecca McMillan, NZIFF Publicity and Communications Manager.

“We’re encouraged that the Classification Office considers New Zealanders more culturally aware and willing

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Embrace Rated More Accessible in NZ Than Australia
Embrace director Taryn Brumfitt

The New Zealand Classification Office today advised that the documentary Embrace, due to screen at NZIFF has been classified as “Unrestricted M: suitable for mature audiences 16 years of age and over”, with a descriptive note for “offensive language and nudity”.

A recent Australian Classification Board rating of MA15+ meant that NZIFF had to submit the documentary for classification in New Zealand, temporarily restricting ticket sales to 18 years and older, after earlier planning to screen it as exempt.

“We are thrilled that this rating decision does not restrict anyone from attending the festival screenings of this film. Embrace provides an empowering alternative to the predominantly unhealthy and unrealistic messages targeting women. The NZ classification decision means that this educational documentary can reach the people who need to see and hear body positive messages the most. New Zealanders of all ages can decide for themselves whether they are mature enough to see the film and understand the themes that it raises: themes of body positivity and representation of women in the media,” says Rebecca McMillan, NZIFF Publicity and Communications Manager.

“We’re encouraged that the Classification Office considers New Zealanders more culturally aware and willing to have these conversations with our

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Direct from Cannes Films Confirmed for NZIFF 2016
I, Daniel Blake

The confirmed films from Cannes are:

In Competition

I, Daniel Blake (Palme d’Or winner for Ken Loach)
This often funny and ultimately intensely moving tale of the friendship between an out-of-work Newcastle carpenter and a young single mother won for Britain’s Ken Loach a second Palme d’Or for Best Film at Cannes this year.

Paterson
Jim Jarmusch’s beautifully calibrated ode to art and ordinariness stars Adam Driver as a New Jersey bus driver who writes poetry in his downtime and Golshifteh Farahani as his cupcake chef wife.

Un Certain Regard

The Dancer
French singer Soko and Lily-Rose Depp star in this exquisitely dressed, spectacularly danced drama inspired by the true story of two rival pioneers of modern dance in late 19th-century Paris.

The Red Turtle (Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize)
Studio Ghibli’s first international co-production is a ravishing castaway fable that combines beauty, mystery, drama and heartbreak – with not a word spoken. It’s a triumph for animator Michael Dudok de Wit.

Directors’ Fortnight

Like Crazy
“This high-energy romp is a superb showcase for its two lead actresses as they impetuously extend a group outing from the residential clinic into a two-character outlaw adventure.” — Lisa Nesselson, Screendaily