Festival Programme

Films by Venue

Isaac Theatre Royal

After Love

Aleem Khan

Deception abounds in this nuanced portrait of lies and loss when a middle-aged woman discovers her recently deceased husband led another life in France, contradictory to the pious Muslim home they built together in England.

Beau Travail

Claire Denis

This digital restoration of Claire Denis’ striking Beau Travail lends new crispness and intensity to not only one of the great films of the 1990s, but one of the greatest endings in all of cinema.

Bergman Island

Mia Hansen-Løve

A filmmaking couple navigate love, recognition and Ingmar Bergman in Mia Hansen-Løve's triple-layered Cannes darling, a serene and self-reflective ode to film and storytelling.

Compartment No. 6

Hytti nro 6

Juho Kuosmanen

Two strangers connect in the intimate confines of a train compartment in Juho Kuosmanen’s arresting sophomore feature.

Dear Comrades!

Dorogie tovarishchi!

Andrey Konchalovskiy

Andrey Konchalovsky’s tense political drama, a Venice prize-winner beautifully shot and rich with historical detail, tells the story of an infamous 1962 Soviet massacre and its attempted cover-up.

Escape from Mogadishu

Mogadisyu

Ryoo Seung-wan

Operatives from both sides of the Korean divide, working diplomatic jobs in Somalia, must come together to survive as Mogadishu descends into civil war in a political thriller from writer/director Ryoo Seung-wan.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Michael Showalter

Jessica Chastain shines in this biopic centred on the trials, tribulations and televangelical legacy of the larger-than-life Tammy Faye Bakker.

Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra

Wayne Blair, Nel Minchin

The unique power of Australia’s Bangarra Dance Theatre, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts organisation, fuels this artful documentary by Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin.

Flee

Jonas Poher Rasmussen

A thrilling tale of resilience, Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner Flee is just as interested in the quiet toll trauma takes on survivors as it is the extraordinary acts that ensured their survival.

The French Dispatch

Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson brings his signature style to this delightful comedic anthology, paying homage to French New Wave and The New Yorker’s golden age journalists of the 50s and 60s.

The Hand of God

È stata la mano di Dio

Paolo Sorrentino

Iconic Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino delivers a majestical memoir with this beautifully shot, ribald bout of nostalgia for growing up amongst the anarchy of 1980s Naples.

Happening

L’événement

Audrey Diwan

Winner of the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, Happening is a powerful and timely abortion drama, executed precisely by director Audrey Diwan.

A Hero

Ghahreman

Asghar Farhadi

Set against the vibrant backdrop of urban Shiraz, an affable but desperate prisoner is almost undone by a ‘selfless’ gesture that goes viral.

I'm Your Man

Ich bin dein Mensch

Maria Schrader

An archaeologist reluctantly agrees to test-run a humanoid love robot programmed to fulfil her desires in this poignant comedy starring Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens.

Limbo

Ben Sharrock

Melancholic, atmospheric and heartfelt, Ben Sharrock’s feature exploring immigrants awaiting asylum eschews conventional approaches to stories of the modern refugee crisis to create something profound and surprising.

The Lost Daughter

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Sensual, subversive and sun-drenched, “even mothers make mistakes” (Peter Debruge, Variety) in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s glittering directorial debut, the 2021 Venice Film Festival winner for Best Screenplay.

Mass

Fran Kranz

Fran Kranz’s highly accomplished debut feature takes an unflinching look at the endemic horror of school shootings in America and their lingering scars, through the eyes of the parents of the perpetrator and his victim.

Memoria

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Follow Tilda Swinton on a strange supernatural journey into the Colombian jungle, in this hypnotic new film from the director of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and Cemetery of Splendour.

MILKED

Amy Taylor

The biggest player in the New Zealand economy is put on notice in this spirited documentary that sees a young activist from rural Northland go up against the powerful dairy industry.

Millie Lies Low

Michelle Savill

After missing her flight to a prestigious internship, an anxiety-ridden architecture grad fakes being in New York while lying low in her home town scrounging for another ticket.

My Father and Me

Nick Broomfield

The life of British post-war photographer Maurice Broomfield is examined by his son, documentary veteran Nick Broomfield, whose own confrontational style lies at odds with his father’s steadfast pacifism.

My Salinger Year

Philippe Falardeau

Based on the 2014 memoir, My Salinger Year is The Devil Wears Prada for the literary world, a young woman’s coming of age as she balances her writing ambitions with her new job at a major New York City literary agency.

Night Raiders

Danis Goulet

A nail-biting rescue thriller wrapped up in a chilling vision of near-dystopia, this Kiwi-Canadian co-production tackles Canada’s dark colonial roots through strong genre craft.

Nine Days

Edson Oda

What if you had to audition for your own life before being born? “A film of dizzying conceptual ambition – No Exit meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” — Variety

Nitram

Justin Kurzel

The first Australian film featured in Cannes’ Official Selection in a decade, Justin Kurzel’s disturbing dive into the tormented mind and soul of a mass-shooter is bolstered by four remarkable lead performances.

Nowhere Special

Uberto Pasolini

After learning he only has months to live, a working-class father reckons with guilt and grief as he searches for a replacement family for his young son.

One Second

Yi miao zhong

Zhang Yimou

One of China’s premier filmmakers delivers his love letter to cinema, set during the Cultural Revolution of his youth. Warm, funny and (despite rumoured political censorship) surprisingly sharp-edged.

Paris, 13th District

Les Olympiades

Jacques Audiard

Jacques Audiard’s charming exploration of the tangled work and love lives of three young Parisians is a beautifully-crafted love letter to the classics of French New Wave.

The Power of the Dog

Jane Campion

Dame Jane Campion returns with her Venice Silver Lion-Best Director winner; a rich, menacing neo-Western tackling cowboy brothers and the mother and son who come between them.

President

Camilla Nielsson

Moving with the breathless intensity of a political thriller, this disturbing document of potential voter fraud in the 2018 Zimbabwe election is elevated by astonishing access to key players behind-the-scenes.

Quo Vadis, Aida?

Jasmila Žbanić

This pressure-cooker Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film puts viewers on the frontlines of an impending massacre in the Bosnian genocide – with harrowing power.

Riders of Justice

Retfærdighedens ryttere

Anders Thomas Jensen

Recently widowed and grieving, army officer Markus (Mads Mikkelsen) proves vengeance is a dish best served bold in this dark — and comic — take on the revenge thriller from Oscar-winning Dane, Anders Thomas Jensen.

River

Jennifer Peedom

Let this exultant ode to the life-sustaining waterways that criss-cross our planet wash over you, captured in jaw-dropping imagery by Mountain director Jennifer Peedom.

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

Morgan Neville

The life of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was about so much more than just food, as affectionate documentary Roadrunner illustrates in interviews with those whose lives were touched by the curious, convivial rover.

Rosa's Wedding

La boda de Rosa

Icíar Bollaín

A tonic for the nerves, Rosa’s Wedding is an uplifting and spirited ode to loving thyself, drenched in the dreamy seaside sunshine of the Costa del Azahar.

Shiva Baby

Emma Seligman

Dizzying and captivating, Emma Seligman’s feature-length debut stars Rachel Sennott as a young woman who cannot escape her sugar daddy, her ex-girlfriend or her own lies at a family wake.

Snakeskin

Gillian Ashurst

Bill Gosden championed countless New Zealand films during his tenure as Festival Director, and not all the obvious ones, either. Maybe it was its lust for Americana, the protagonist’s escape from southern parochialism (Bill grew up in Dunedin), or Gillian Ashurst’s darkly cartoonish take on Goodbye Pork Pie’s road movie legacy, that made him regard Snakeskin with such fondness.

Fascinated, he wrote, “I wouldn’t be surprised if, played backwards, it turns out to contain the solutions to every unsolved murder in the South Island”.

Summer of 85

Été 85

François Ozon

This queer coming-of-age romance combines all the sensuality of François Ozon’s best with the infectious energy of a CW drama and how meeting one person can open you up and change the trajectory of your life.

Titane

Julia Ducournau

Titane is coming, and it’s coming to fuck you up." — Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

The Truffle Hunters

Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw

A love letter to a rapidly vanishing world: this gentle documentary follows a handful of elderly men who, with their beloved dogs, comb the forests of Northern Italy on the hunt for a rare culinary delicacy.

Undine

Christian Petzold

This captivating tale of fated lovers, drawing on myth and fantasy, is also a love song to Berlin.

Whetū Mārama – Bright Star

Toby Mills, Aileen O'Sullivan

What Sir Edmund Hillary did in conquering Everest, Sir Hekenukumai Busby has done in reclaiming the lost art of traditional Māori voyaging, sailing the vast Pacific navigating by the stars – restoring the past to carve our way into the future.

Written on the Wind

Douglas Sirk

Our Bill Gosden tribute wouldn’t be complete without a wall-to-wall Technicolor classic. Bill’s love of early cinema, vibrant studio-era musicals, and frankly anything starring Elvis could be felt throughout his retrospective programming, not least in the carefully curated Live Cinema events he looked forward to most. Douglas Sirk, Hollywood’s unrivalled melodramatist, influenced some of Bill’s absolute favourites — Fassbinder and Almodóvar, most famously — and this presentation of one of the director’s late masterpieces is a fitting occasion to luxuriate in larger-than-life filmmaking on the biggest screen available, as only Bill would have it.

Zola

Janicza Bravo

“Y'all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out???????? It's kind of long but full of suspense.” — @_zolarmoon