NZIFF 2021’s Opening Night Film Revealed!

NZIFF 2021’s Opening Night Film Revealed!

We've had this one under wraps for a while ...

We're delighted to announce the opening night film for NZIFF 2021 is Dame Jane Campion’s latest masterpiece, The Power of the Dog

The film premiered at Venice International Film Festival earlier this month and at the weekend, Jane picked up the Silver Lion award for Best Director.

The Power of the Dog will open NZIFF 2021 in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

“Opening our 2021 festival with Jane Campion’s extraordinary new film The Power of the Dog so soon after its rapturous reception on the world stage at Venice Film Festival is a dream come true. Jane Campion is an incomparable storyteller, and this landmark film sees her working at the height of her powers.”: NZIFF Director Marten Rabarts. 

“It’s an honour to share Jane’s film with its complex characters so profoundly embedded and framed in the stark beauty of Aotearoa. The reflection of our own history in the rugged brutality of American frontier life depicted in the film will be inescapable to our Kiwi audiences.” 

“It’s taken months of careful negotiation with the support of the New Zealand Film Commission, Dame Jane Campion herself and the kind agreement of Netflix and Transmission films to secure The Power of the Dog for our opening night. We know it will be the red-hot, must-have ticket when we go on sale in early October and we’re grateful to all who’ve helped make this happen.” 

Made for Netflix with additional financial support from the New Zealand Film Commission and shot entirely at South Island locations in 2020, The Power of the Dog is brought to life by a star-studded line-up including Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee as well as Kiwi actress, Thomasin McKenzie. 

Based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage, two sons, edging into their 40s and unmarried, run the family’s successful cattle ranch. A long-established routine is disrupted when gentlemanly brother George (Plemons) unexpectedly brings home new wife Rose (Dunst) and her studious son Peter (Smit-McPhee). Rough-hewn, toxically male brother Phil Burbank (Cumberbatch) lashes out relentlessly, tormenting mother and son as unwelcome interlopers.

NZIFF 2021 will open with The Power of the Dog in Auckland on Thursday, October 28, Christchurch the following night, and Wellington and Dunedin the following week. Following its exclusive NZIFF premiere, Transmission Films will release the film theatrically across the country on 11 November, and globally on Netflix on December 1.

The Power of the Dog is a See-Saw Films, Bad Girl Creek and Max Films production in association with Brightstar, Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga – The New Zealand Film Commission, Cross City Films and BBC Films. The film is produced by Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier. The film was developed with BBC Film.

Latest News