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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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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

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Award-winning Actress & Filmmaker Kerry Fox takes on role of Guest Selector for NZIFF’s short film competition

We're delighted that acclaimed actress and filmmaker Kerry Fox will be the Guest Selector for New Zealand’s Best short film competition at NZIFF 2021!

Fox has selected six short films for New Zealand's Best which will screen nationwide. Previous Guest Selectors have included Tusi Tamasese (2020), Jane Campion (2019), Leon Narbey (2018) and Gaylene Preston (2017). 

One of New Zealand’s most internationally successful actors, Fox was propelled to global prominence following her award-winning portrayal of writer Janet Frame in Jane Campion's An Angel at My Table. The actress went on to work with world-renowned directors, including Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave) and Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo) and earned a Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival for her role in Patrice Chéreau’s Intimacy.

In 2009, Fox reunited with Campion for Bright Star, for which she received Best Supporting Actress nominations from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards and the British Independent Film Awards. While much of Fox’s career takes her offshore, the Wellingtonian has returned to Aotearoa to star in locally produced films, including Mr Pip and The Rehearsal.

117 submissions were received this year with the NZIFF programming team shortlisting 12 films for Fox to

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