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Fresh Selections For Incredibly Strange Programme
The Hole in the Ground

Nine films feature in this year’s Incredibly Strange programme. Spanning themes of sex, redemption and cinephilia, and ranging from tales of sartorial obsession to suburban dystopia, the line-up once again promises to keep you wide awake and save NZIFF from respectability, courtesy of longtime programmer Ant Timpson.

Celebrating 25 years since the inception of the legendary Incredibly Strange Film Festival and 15 years as a part of NZIFF, Timpson says he’s “proud of a quarter of a century of hi-jinks and being able to push buttons and boundaries without ever losing a sense of humour.”

Films in the Incredibly Strange programme for 2019 are:


Georges, 44 years old, and his jacket, 100% deerskin, have grand plans in director Quentin Dupieux’s latest cinematic oddity, destined for cult status.

“Dupieux’s pitch-black sartorial satire [is]… wickedly funny… both hyperreal and resolutely deadpan… [and] nothing short of delicious.” — Ella Kemp, Little White Lies

Knife + Heart

Visually arresting and very adult, Swedish director Johannes Nyholm’s devilishly devised folktale focuses on a grieving couple’s infinite camping trip from hell.

“[Koko-di Koko-da] plays like the bastard offspring of Groundhog Day and The Babadook.” — Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter

Koko-di Koko-da

Visually arresting and very adult, Swedish

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Thursday 20 June 2019

Direct to you from Cannes
Les Misérables

We’re thrilled to share our prize collection of 25 highly anticipated Cannes films set premiere to New Zealand audiences at NZIFF.
From the thin blue line between cops and criminals in Jury Prize-winning Les Misérables, to the magnificent obsessions of French psychodrama Sibyl, to the deadpan musings of festival favourite Elia Suleiman’s It Must Be Heaven, to critical darling and Best Screenplay winner Portrait of a Lady on Fire, this year’s Cannes haul is second to none.

The Cannes Films are:

Fierce politics and top-notch furious filmmaking collide to potent effect in this Cannes-lauded portrait of a near-future fight for survival in the remote reaches of northern Brazil.

It Must Be Heaven
Palestinian director Elia Suleiman’s artfully composed, comedic contemplation of his place in the world discerns universal truths and absurdities in a shifting global context.

Les Misérables
In the crime-ridden suburbs of impoverished Paris, the line between corrupt cop and upstanding criminal is not so clearly defined, in this explosive, Cannes Jury Prize-winning thriller.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Winner of Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at Cannes, Céline Sciamma’s striking 18th-century tale of romance between a painter and her subject burns bright with female desire

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With scheduling in full swing, we’re taking a moment to celebrate our homegrown filmmakers.  

Rich in documentaries, this year’s selection of NZ films feature nine World and four New Zealand Premieres.   

Today’s reveal adds 12 new titles to the Aotearoa strand, completing the line-up with the already announced Kiwi documentary A Seat at the Table.  The diverse line-up of documentaries spans portraits of local talent such as renowned photographer Peter Peryer, master carver and Māori artist Rangi Hetet, and champion Kiwi boxer Billy Graham. Narrative features include a slice of life on a Northland dairy farm and a comedic family farce set in suburban Upper Hutt.

With less than a week until the full Auckland programme launch, we’re as excited as you are to dive into what the festival has to offer this winter.

The confirmed New Zealand films for 2019 are:

Capital in the 21st Century  

A sweeping – and sobering – account of the way that concentrated wealth has both shaped our past and is creating a deeply unequal future. Based on economist Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book.

For My Father's Kingdom
Pasifika filmmakers Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti direct this intimate, clear-eyed documentary centred on the faith, love and fatherhood

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Wednesday 12 June 2019

Varda by Agnès

This year, our annual showcase for film restoration celebrates the life and work of French New Wave filmmaking pioneer Agnès Varda. From the goings-on of a humble street in 1970s Paris to her most recent self-reflective documentary, the Vive la Varda! retrospective spans decades of groundbreaking cinema.

Varda’s experimental features are seminal works of feminist cinema, French New Wave and neorealist filmmaking. Her contributions to cinema have been widely applauded, especially since her last autobiographical documentary premiered at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival, shortly followed by her passing away in March 2019 at the age of 90.

NZIFF programmer Sandra Reid says “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the late Agnès Varda by presenting her final film, Varda by Agnès, accompanied by a mini retrospective spanning several decades of her career. Each title is a vibrant testament to the great filmmaker's radical and unique approach to cinema and it's terrific to have them in the programme.”


The five films featured in Vive la Varda! Retrospective are:

Varda by Agnès 

The late, great French filmmaking icon’s swansong is a magical self-reflection on art, movies, invention and Varda’s own lust for life inside and outside of the cinematic frame.

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This year's Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019 have been curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), Director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, and guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), Director of the Pollywood Film Festival.

The six films selected for Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts 2019 are listed below, along with notes from Leo and Craig in italics:

Our Atoll Speaks: Ko Talatala Mai Tō Mātou Wenua

A meditation on sustainability from the remote Pukapuka atoll in the Cook Islands. A serenade of narrative and captivating imagery – a political cry for help. — CF


A young Māori girl drifts into a world of make-believe when her mother leaves her – and her father – to fend for themselves. A tribute to the realities of solo parenting – touching and insightful. — CF


A court interpreter in colonial Samoa risks everything to help a wrongfully convicted chief. In the time of King George VI, it was a time for guardianship of indigenous history as truth. — LK

Ways to See

A young Māori girl trying to reconnect with her absent father reaches out to a mysterious stranger. Hine-nui-te-pō, in her intoxicating beauty and temptation, comes for a visit. — CF

A pregnant woman

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