2021 News

New Zealand's Best Shorts are back for 2021!
Hot Mother

Six short films have been selected by this year’s Guest Selector, award-winning actress and filmmaker Kerry Fox, as finalists for Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival’s (NZIFF) New Zealand’s Best Short Film Competition.

Finalists will compete for a total of four prizes, with winners to be announced at the premiere screening of New Zealand’s Best 2021 in Auckland.

The six finalists are Datsun (dir: Mark Albiston), Hot Mother (dir: Lucy Knox), Only F**ks Pat Me On The Head (dirs: Steph Miller, Paul Wolfram), Tūī (dir: Awa Puna), Washday (dir: Kath Akuhata-Brown) and When We Were Kids (dir: Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu). 

Guest Selector Kerry Fox selected the six finalists from a shortlist of 12. NZIFF Head of Programming Michael McDonnell, and Senior Programmer Sandra Reid, viewed 117 submissions to prepare the shortlist.

"Naturally, I’m going to lean towards films that deliver courageous, rich, original and truthful performances – these are the criteria I believe are essential to the whole creation of cinematic drama,” said Fox. 

“The films that I felt most succeeded in their specific intentions were those that tackled their chosen dramas with courage – being prepared to face something that frightens – and wit, displaying inventive thought and delivery. Rich conflict

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Matakana Cinemas - our latest venue!
Inside the Tivoli at Matakana Cinemas 

Matakana Cinemas to host NZIFF films in 2021!

We 're delighted to announce our newest venue for 2021 — the gorgeous (they really have to be seen to be believed) Matakana Cinemas will be part of NZIFF 2021 with films screening 4–14 November.

Situated just 50 minutes north east of Auckland, this is a lovely
three-theatre boutique cinema located in the heart of Matakana Village.

More unmissable films from the NZIFF 2021 programme
Bergman Island

We have another 10 exciting international films to announce from our 2021 programme!

Film fans around the country can look forward to in impressive array of critically acclaimed cinematic offerings at the festival this year with today’s announcement including more hot ticket films.

Hot from Cannes Film Festival comes Bergman Island, a melancholic meditation on love and creativity from French auteur Mia Hansen-Løve, starring Tim Roth and Mia Wasikowska, and Iranian filmmaker Panah Panahi’s Director’s Fortnight triumph, Hit the Road, a touching and humorous story following a chaotic family road trip with undercurrents.

Indigenous dystopian drama Night Raiders will have its New Zealand premiere following runs at both Berlin and Toronto film festivals where it earned rave reviews. The Canadian-New Zealand co-production, whose producers include New Zealanders Chelsea Winstanley, Ainsley Gardiner and Georgina Allison Conder with Taika Waititi as Executive Producer, marks the feature film directorial debut of award-winning Saskatchewan-born Cree- Métis writer and director Danis Goulet.

From the Incredibly Strange strand of the programme, comes Censor, a thrilling psychodrama about a film censor set amid the infamous 'Video Nasty' furore of the 1980s, named by NME as 2021’s most striking horror film.

Academy Award-winning 20 Feet from Stardom director

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Announcing 12 New Zealand films screening at NZIFF 2021

Homegrown features films join the NZIFF 2021 line-up

An impressive 12 feature-length New Zealand films have been selected to screen at the film festival this year ... with more to come!

Portraits of disruptors and change-makers, explorations of cures for climate change and cancer, reflections on revolutionary moments of modern history, and tales of deep-seated traditions are just some of the themes explored by the films to screen at the festival.

“NZIFF has a long history of supporting New Zealand filmmakers and we’re extremely proud to provide a platform that brings their world-class films to audiences around Aotearoa,” – NZIFF Director Marten Rabarts.

The New Zealand films announced today include eight documentaries, two dramas and two retrospective films, and seven films will have their world premieres at NZIFF 2021, including Michelle Savill’s drama Millie Lies Low, while Jan Oliver Lucks' There Is No I in Threesome has its theatrical world premiere following its critically acclaimed US premiere on HBO Max. 

The line-up of documentaries spans an examination of the legacy of artist Theo Schoon, a profile of “Super Samoan” MMA fighter Mark Hunt, the story of how women made a stand against nuclear proliferation and changed the world, alongside a sensitive

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New Zealand International Film Festival announces first films

Our first films announced today!

Today we are excited to announce the first films from the highly anticipated NZIFF 2021 programme! It's been a while in the making, but we think it's been worth the wait.

Fiona Clark: Unafraid, Flee, Memoria, Nine Days, Undine and Zola are the first of many extraordinary international and local films set to entertain you when we bring our celebration of cinema to 13 towns and cities around the country this spring opening in Auckland on 28 October with Christchurch opening on the following day, Wellington and Dunedin running from 5 November and the remaining nine centres to follow.

“Decorated critic favourites from Cannes and Sundance, Memoria, Flee and Nine Days will make their eagerly awaited New Zealand premieres, as will much-hyped off-beat comedy Zola and Christian Petzold’s mythical romance Undine. In addition to these international titles, we’re also proud to present the world premiere of Lula Cucchiara‘s fascinating documentary, Fiona Clark: Unafraid – an intimate portrait of the ground-breaking New Zealand photographer.” - Director Marten Rabarts.

We present our first six films for the 2021 programme:

Fiona Clark: Unafraid (World Premiere)
Photographer Fiona Clark shocked 1970s New Zealand with her documentary images of Auckland’s burgeoning

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