Films by Strand

Bill Gosden Tribute

This very special retrospective pays tribute to the late Bill Gosden, ONZM, NZIFF’s director and public face for nearly 40 years. While it can in no way do justice to the breadth and diversity of his vision and personal film taste, we hope this modest collection of past Festival highlights captures a morsel of what he loved about movies, the filmmakers he held in highest esteem and what he looked for – and stood for – as a curator of cinema.

Not every film we wanted to show in Bill’s memory was available to us – such is the nature of programming, which we know Bill of all people would’ve understood. Where possible, we’ve selected films he wrote original programme notes for (and these are included) or was openly passionate about.

Most of these films and their directors also appear in The Gosden Years, a book conceived by Bill during the last months of his life on the Festival’s storied history, its major role in Aotearoa film culture, and the artists and personnel who were a part of his remarkable run at the helm. Our screenings coincide with the book’s release and the one-year anniversary of Bill’s death in November.

If you’d like to leave your own tribute to Bill, visit

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.