NZIFF Booklet

Films by Must See

Staff Picks: Emma Carter

There is a very bold dose of humanity in my 2019 selection, which showcases people of presence, in explorations of humility, love, hardship and impact. I hope there’s a story that will ring true for you in this list. Oh, and you can probably take a guess at my musical tastes… — Emma Carter, Audience Development Coordinator

Animals

Sophie Hyde

Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) are thirty-something best friends in Dublin, where partying hard is still their way to have fun, but the reality of getting older is getting harder to ignore.

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.

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.

Backtrack Boys

Catherine Scott

A love for wild dogs and a love for wild kids inspire Australian Bernie Shakeshaft’s remarkable programme to transform the lives of both, intimately observed over two years in Catherine Scott’s acclaimed documentary.

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.

For Sama

Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

Shot over five years, Waad al-Kateab’s intimate, Cannes award-winning film addresses her baby daughter and delivers a harrowing account of the war in Aleppo, the devastation wrought on the city, its people and children.

The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash

Thom Zimny

Springsteen on Broadway director Thom Zimny offers a defining, authorised documentary on Johnny Cash, capturing the icon’s singular voice as a musician while stripping back his legend to the most compelling essentials.

Inna de Yard

Peter Webber

Beyond Bob Marley, Inna de Yard dives deep into the soul of reggae music, the die-hard singers and songwriters who were there from the beginning, and the Jamaican sound and spirit.

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Nick Broomfield

A deep dive into the myth of Leonard Cohen, the singer’s defining relationship with Marianne Ihlen, and prolific documentarian Nick Broomfield’s own personal connection to Cohen’s famous lover and muse.

Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Richard Lowenstein

Richard Lowenstein, who directed Michael Hutchence in Dogs in Space, combines rare archive footage and intimate insights from the people who were close to the INXS rock icon, in this major documentary.

Walking on Water

Andrey Paounov

Octogenarian Christo wraps up a miraculous career with a spectacular network of fabric walkways over an Italian lake, in an oft-humorous closeup look at the process of creation, clashes of egos and perils of nature.

Working Woman

Isha Ovedet

Michal Aviad

Tense and full of real complexities, this Israeli workplace harassment drama follows Orna – a soldier, wife, mother and working woman pressured by her boss’ unorthodox demands.