We're fired up for the return of the Canterbury Film Society Film Quiz for 2023!
Hosted by the Canterbury Film Society
Master maverick filmmaker Rolf de Heer takes filmmakers inside his craft.
Hosted by the Wellington Film Society
Holy smoke! We're fired up for the return of the Wellington Film Society Film Quiz for 2023! Registry open now!
Christian Petzold braids desire, artistic insecurity and the looming threat of climate change in his smouldering comedy of manners set over the course of a hot summer holiday on a Baltic coastline beset with forest fires.
The special bond between a little French girl and her African nanny is tested during a last summer.
Anatomie d'une chute
This year’s Palme d’Or winner launches our Festival with a profound and galvanising reflection on truth, facts and fiction, pivoting around another extraordinary central performance from Sandra Hüller—familiar to audiences for her work in Toni Erdmann (NZIFF 2016) and In the Aisles, among other terrific films.
We’ve searched near and far, and high and low to collect this latest selection of short film delights, selected especially to charm and captivate our littlest film fans.
Recommended for ages 4+
Get ready for your annual wintery fix of animated inventiveness from all corners of our big wide world.
Wim Wenders takes us on an immersive 3D journey in this architectural exploration of the life and works of one of Germany’s most important post-war artists, Anselm Keifer.
Judy Blume’s ground-breaking novel about puberty—and so much more—gets a heartfelt and poignant pitch-perfect adaptation that captures the essence of growing up, self-discovery, and the quest for identity.
Arnon pen nakrian tuayang
A star student faces a stark choice of whether to succeed in a corrupt and hypocritical schooling system or to join in a real-life student movement that is re-shaping contemporary Thai society.
Wes Anderson goes sci fi in his latest colourful concoction, screening first at the Festival as a jaw-dropping A-list cast converge on the small desert town of Asteroid City for a space convention.
Authoritarian dictates masquerade as democratic reality in this slow burn Indo-thriller, and a young man must decide if it is worth discarding his values and losing his peace of mind for an affluent life.
This whimsical Sundance dark comedy charts the fraught relationship between a former child actress and her stunt performer daughter in a feature debut from Alice Englert.
Banel et Adama
First-time director Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s visually striking African fable depicting a clash between love and duty in a remote Senegalese village, premiered in Competition at Cannes.
In this astonishing, edge-of-the-seat chronicle, the camera follows audacious, high-risk quests to escape from North Korea, and the man who plans them, with a rare intimacy and emotional power.
A deep-dive into the audacious attempt by a trans-global criminal organisation to steal a billion dollars from the Bangladesh Central Bank, highlighting the vulnerability of even the world’s biggest corporations in cyberspace.
A closeted PE teacher living in Thatcher’s Britain strives to keep her work and private lives separate, but when a new pupil sees her on a night out, she must reckon with how she chooses to live her life as a queer woman.
An extraordinary story of a Ugandan pop-star politician who risks everything to take on a brutal autocrat, told with a rare and potent intimacy.
An eye-opening work which may change the way you look at movies, Nina Menkes’ documentary essay uses footage from hundreds of films to deconstruct and re-examine the male gaze in cinema.
Preston*Laing’s film adaptation of activist Sonja Davies’ autobiography beautifully captures the heart-breaking social and societal conditions of mid-century women in New Zealand.
Farmer, family man, and—unlikely leftist organiser. Director John Chrisstoffels has compiled a gentle portrait of an ordinary New Zealand farmer capturing extraordinary changes in global twentieth century politics.
Sensual and simmering with tension, Black Swan and Dune choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s debut feature reimagines classic opera Carmen for the modern era, a musical drama set in the hotbed of the America–Mexico border.
French documentarian Sébastien Lifshitz's poignant story about trans lives across time. Casa Susanna was a bungalow refuge for cross-dressing men in the 1960s, where they were free to be themselves.
An appealingly twisted crime-thriller in which a poor rural family agree to a diabolical deal to shelter an Argentinian drug lord. This Brazilian debut feature delivers a wry, politically astute domestic psychodrama.
A complex, languorous tale of violence and desire drawing on French auteur Claire Denis’ own childhood growing up in colonial French Africa.
Found footage pioneers and pranksters Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher embark on a nationwide tour showcasing the very worst America has to offer and put their friendship (and legal team) to the ultimate test in this hilarious doco.
Roll up, roll up, the circus is in town. Live Cinema is back at NZIFF and what better way to celebrate than with the master himself—don’t miss The Circus featuring the 1969 score written by Sir Charlie Chaplin, performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and conducted by Vincent Hardaker.
This behind-the-scenes documentary follows the curators at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam as they put together the largest Vermeer exhibition ever attempted and discover what makes a Vermeer, truly a Vermeer.
In this engrossing study of US interventions since the cold war, a cast of senior White House figures across the decades revisit their decisions, set against a visceral catalogue of archival footage.
Visionary and confrontational, the mysteries of the body are dissected with surgical precision in an unforgettable, extremely close-up look at human bodies, those who care for them, and the system that rules them all.
A low effort heist could mean freedom or ruination for two plebeian bank workers fed up with the daily grind in this dreamy, entertaining enigma from New Argentine Cinema director Rodrigo Moreno.
Noir doesn’t get much darker than this widely fêted B-movie classic in which a fatalistic cross-country road trip goes catastrophically awry. Screening in new 4K restoration.
Franz Rogowski (Great Freedom, Transit) is thrilling as a foreign legionnaire fighting demons on the battlefront and urges on the dance floor in Giacomo Abbruzzese’s striking debut feature.
Dounia et la princesse d'Alep
A young girl’s brave journey to find the new home which—she is sure—is waiting for her somewhere, provides the road map for this enchanting philosophical story, brimming with music, magic and myth.
A pregnant single mother with two children in foster care fights an impossible system in this affecting debut feature from Savanah Leaf.
Using interviews and archival footage, a fascinating picture emerges of the eclectic collective Elephant 6 from talented filmmaker C.B. Stockfleth.
Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso NZIFF 1990) pays tribute to legendary composer Ennio Morricone and his prolific career that spanned over seven decades and included the scores to more than 70 award-winning films.
Strap in for an unforgettable, visionary trip, an Oscar-nominated journey that stunned Cannes with its cinematic flair. Your hosts? An octogenarian Polish auteur – and a donkey.
La memoria infinita
Oscar-nominated Chilean filmmaker Maite Alberdi documents a love story for the ages as a woman struggles to preserve the brilliant mind of her partner of 25 years who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Clyde Peterson’s documentary collaboration with drone metal legends Earth, perfectly melds their cinematic soundscape with grungy and timeless Super8 footage of the Pacific Northwest.
We close this year’s festival with the most delightful film from Cannes. Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki returns with a deadpan romantic crowdpleaser about two lost souls on a bumpy road to finding each other.
Leaping between Georges Méliès, Leni Riefenstahl, Ted Turner, YouTubers, and the Earth as a pale blue dot, this fascinating, foreboding documentary examines the world as we see it—and ourselves within it—through photography.
This deadpan delight from Iranian filmmaker Babak Jalali stars real-life Afghan refugee Anaita Wali Zada as a new US immigrant finding her place the eponymous Bay Area city. Also featuring comedian Gregg Turkington and The Bear breakout Jeremy Allen White.
After the death of their patriarch, a multigenerational Indigenous Taiwanese family must come together to retain their connection to their ancient culture against encroaching challenges in this moving award-winner.
Interweaving the inspirational activism of Australian Greens co-founder Bob Brown with the stories of the ancient trees he is fighting to save, this environmental documentary is a rousing call to action.
In this pitch-black Norwegian thriller, Sigrid thinks she's met her perfect match with the charming and handsome Christian, but there is one catch—he lives with a man who acts like his pet dog.
A stunning investigation into the money, influence, and alarming covert efforts of governments and private investors to gain control of the most vital resources on the planet – food and water.
Filmmaker Robin Greenberg celebrates the life and art of avant-garde New Zealand photographer and publisher Grant Sheehan and his creative Artificial Intelligence (AI) explorations
Cultural anarchists Soda Jerk remix hundreds of bootlegged clips into a gutbusting, memeified satire on the parlous period before and after the 2016 American elections.
A profoundly disturbing crime thriller about the so-called Spider Killer who terrorised sex workers in Iran and the lone journalist who strives for justice in a thoroughly misogynistic society.
Declining Kiwi backblocks set the stage for dirty deeds done with darkest humour as two brothers hatch a desperate plan to save their struggling butchery business by switching livestock for human lives.
Both hopeful and heart-breaking, Hong Kong Mixtape chronicles the change in the creative landscape of Hong Kong as the shadow of Beijing, and the draconian laws it imposes, looms large.
A tense eco-thriller from US director Daniel Goldhaber questions just how far its young activist protagonists are willing to go in order to confront their nation’s complicity in the climate crisis.
This stunning, neon-drenched debut from cinematographer-turned-director Molly Manning Walker about a trio of British teen girls on a wild booze-fuelled holiday wowed all comers at Cannes.
Love-letters to cinema are a dime a dozen, but not many can lay claim to having the heart and humour of Chandler Levack’s nostalgic, charming debut.
In this first Mongolian Official Selection at Cannes, a teenage boy dreams of winning a scholarship in a national physics competition but his hopes are jeopardized when his mother leaves him to care for his siblings alone.
Henry James’s 1898 novella Turn of the Screw is vividly adapted for the screen in Jack Clayton’s unnerving, gothic psychological chiller—among the eleven scariest horror films of all time according to Martin Scorsese.
The injustices of a patriarchal power system are laid bare in this Jordanian debut as a widow takes drastic measures in order to avoid losing her home and inheritance to her in-laws because she hasn’t conceived a son.
Willem Dafoe plays a thief trapped alone inside a luxury Manhattan apartment with a hi-tech security system and an invaluable art collection in this ingenious and incredibly immersive survival thriller.
Based on a true story, The Inspection follows a young US Marine from his life on the streets to his rise within the armed forces, all the while searching for his mother’s love and acceptance.
A disabled filmmaker sets out to find someone with a body just like hers, while painting a deeply authentic portrait of what it means to live a proudly disabled life in an ableist world.
Direct from Cannes this visually rich costume drama rips the jaw-dropping true story of the abduction of a young Jewish boy by the Catholic church from the pages of history.
Part personal video essay, part documentary, part creative intervention, Kim's Video charts the rise, the fall and the relocation of a New York video store improbably transplanted into the heart of Mafia country.
King Loser’s fractious farewell tour sets the stage for not just the career-spanning documentary the legendary 90s band deserve, but also a poignant and powerful meditation on the toll the rock and roll dream takes.
Winner of Audience awards in both Sundance and Berlin, this vibrant, taboo-busting, music-filled documentary invites us into the lives of four black trans sex workers in New York and Atlanta.
Set in 80s Tuscany Alice Rohrwacher’s enchanting new film stars The Crown’s Josh O’Connor as a lovelorn Englishman who teams with an eccentric gang of grave-robbers to plunder ancient Etruscan artefacts.
A dangerous romance ensues between a successful lawyer and her teenage stepson as Catherine Breillat returns for the first time in a decade having lost none of her propensity to transgress.
A live television broadcast on Halloween 1977 goes horribly wrong, as all hell literally breaks loose. This pitch perfect period recreation serves up an equal mix of 70s showbiz cheese and demonic thrills.
Revealing the black, queer origins of rock n’ roll and the complex genius of its conflicted originator, Little Richard, Lisa Cortés’ stirring documentary takes aim at the white-washed canon of popular music.
A man on the verge of a nervous breakdown retreats to the bush, only to encounter other trampers—and someone or something else entirely—in this psychological thriller, a big screen first for comedian Tom Sainsbury.
Lau soey lok faa
After losing their own child, a married couple become foster parents, healing from their own grief and rediscovering parenthood in this deeply moving, award-winning debut.
Penélope Cruz delivers retro-glamour in this gorgeous 70-set Italian melodrama, starring as a wife in a failing marriage and the mother of three children, the eldest of which is questioning their sexual identity.
A man is trapped after falling down a manhole in this delightfully bonkers single-space survival thriller from Japan that keeps the twists and surprises coming thick and fast until the very end.
This dreamlike West African tale of a village, its water goddess and the men who desire to control her, was a deserving Sundance winner for its vivid black-and-white cinematography.
A private detective and her android partner track down a notorious hacker in the dark underbelly of a Martian metropolis in this superb cyber-punk-noir animated feature, packed with humour and action.
Natalie Portman shadows Julianne Moore in Todd Haynes’ salaciously entertaining metafictional psychodrama about an actress researching for a role in a film about a tabloid sex scandal.
Utilising a treasure trove of archival material, Eva Weber’s documentary delivers an intimate portrait of the long-serving German chancellor who became the most powerful woman in the world.
Two rookie midwives are thrown into the deep end in a chaotic, underfunded and understaffed maternity ward in director Léa Fehner’s compassionate French drama of triumph over adversity.
Straight from Cannes where its intricately composed script was deservedly awarded, Kore-eda Hirokazu’s latest is a deeply affecting and morally complex drama told from multiple perspectives.
As the nation plunges into pandemic, Gwen Isaac’s observational documentary delves into the trenches with Siouxsie Wiles, the fuchsia-haired microbiologist who emerged as a national hero and a satanic witch in the minds of a divided New Zealand.
Screening here for the first time in a stunning 4K restoration, one of Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu’s most elusive and under-viewed films, made working as a director-for-hire for Toho.
A young trans man must summon all his resilience to endure a whirlwind 24 hours in New York City as his foreign father, his straight ex-boyfriend and his 13-year-old sister are all thrust back into his life.
How do you make a documentary about Alfred Hitchcock in 2023? As this film from Mark Cousins reveals—by putting the words in the mouth of the auteur himself.
A thorough (and thoroughly enjoyable) deep dive into the life and work of Nam June Paik, the Korean visionary who brought the art world into the video age and coined the electronic superhighway decades before the Internet.
Set in 1940s Australia, an Aboriginal orphan arrives in the dead of night at a remote monastery run by a renegade nun (Cate Blanchett) in this spiritual thriller from Warwick Thornton.
Check out the year’s best New Zealand short films as chosen by guest selector, Niki Caro.
Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) is pleased to announce this year’s Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts selection.
True to its title, there is not a bear to be found in Jafar Panahi’s latest piece of surprisingly mirthful meta-fiction, and yet a looming sense of danger is as palpable in the film as in the reality it mirrors.
Goran Stolevski’s tender sophomore film is equal parts coming-of-age and coming-out story, as much a commentary on the pressures of masculinity and heteronormativity as it is a witty, sentimental romance set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Melbourne.
An invigorating tale of alleged witchcraft seeped in magical realism, director Baloji tackles grief and guilt as a Congolese man returns home in this Kinshasa set mind-bender.
Acclaimed French documentarian Nicolas Philibert (To Be and To Have NZIFF 2002) takes us aboard a floating day care centre for adults with mental health challenges in this quietly observed yet unflinching Golden Bear winner.
He bian de cuo wu
This stylish neo noir from upcoming Chinese director Wei Shujun finds a long-suffering detective questioning his methods and eventually his mind after a series of mysterious murders in a small rural town.
Orlando, ma biographie politique
Documentary, film essay, biography and performance piece meld together in Paul B. Preciado’s avant-garde, ruffed reclamation of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. This award-winning exploration of trans lives re-imagines the past and asks who are in the present.
Tourment sur les îles
Art cinema maverick Albert Serra takes us on an unsettling tour of the French Polynesian tropics with his latest anti-epic, a tale of political paranoia set to a backdrop of disquieting picture postcard sunsets.
This bold, semi-autobiographical debut from American director Jamie Dack is a tense coming-of-age drama that navigates the insidious and all too real threat of stranger danger.
The spirit of shoestring-budget, seat-of-your-pants filmmaking of the most inventive sort is alive in Aotearoa, in this homegrown psychedelic fantasy courtesy of Kiwi filmmaker Michael Duignan.
Three months after surviving a terror attack in a Paris bistro, translator Mia retraces her steps in an effort to disentangle her fragmented memories of that traumatic night in Alice Winocur’s incisive portrait of survival.
A gay couple’s marriage spirals into chaos when one of them begins an affair with a younger woman in Ira Sach’s seductive and bitterly amusing Paris-set drama. Starring Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw and Adèle Exarchopoulos.
Celine Song’s gorgeous, intensely bittersweet romance ruminates on the lives and loves of two childhood friends fleetingly reunited after decades apart – a remarkable debut feature that was the talk of Sundance.
Wim Wenders hits the sweet spot with this deceptively simple character study chronicling the daily life of a Tokyo cleaner, which is emotionally resonant in its stunning attention to detail and filmic poetry.
Set in Japanese-occupied Korea in 1933, five people are held captive by a security chief determined to find the spy “Phantom” in this stylish, highly entertaining thriller.
Festival fave Kleber Mendonça Filho delivers a delightful cinematic love letter to his childhood home in Recife, the many old picture houses he used to frequent downtown and his lifelong passion for film.
This quietly devastating debut depicts a dystopian near-future Japan where the government implements a programme of voluntary euthanasia for those over 75 as the solution for a rapidly aging population.
Journalist Sinéad O’Shea delivers a powerful portrait of those who resisted the Catholic Church’s historic abuse of women and children in small-town Ireland ranging from corporal punishment and oppressive mother-and-baby homes.
This rousing crowdpleaser starring Eugenio Derbez (CODA) as a Mexican teacher who thinks outside the box picked up the top Audience Award at this year’s Sundance film festival.
Anchored by a remarkable performance from Sydney Sweeney, Reality reconstructs the interrogation and arrest of American whistleblower Reality Winner in real-time, to disturbing, pulse-pounding effect.
Drawing on extensive archival material, Annie Goldson has pulled together a raucous and entertaining portrait of the radical and boundary-pushing New Zealand theatre troupe Red Mole.
A Korean single mother immigrates to Canada with her young son in the 1990s and must navigate the challenges of motherhood and adapting to a new world in this poignant award-winning coming of age drama.
The team behind festival hit Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (NZIFF 2021) return with an ingenious comedy in which the staff at a traditional hot springs hotel are trapped in a time loop that repeats every two minutes.
A beautifully ambiguous story of friendship, love and loss. At times heart-warming, at others heart-wrenching, this wordless fable explores what happens when the closest of bonds are weathered away by time and circumstance.
A trove of archival footage accompanies this whirlwind overview of the life of Rock Hudson, one of the Hollywood studio system’s brightest stars and closeted member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Drawing on a tragic true event, this multi-awarded and mesmerising, stately courtroom drama upends notions of race, cultural heritage, class and female agency, and the mythologies and social prejudices underpinning received ideas.
There are shoemakers, and then there's Salvatore Ferragamo—whose glittering life is explored in this affectionate, glam-packed documentary film by award-winning Italian director Luca Guadagnino.
Set over one night in one hotel room, this psychosexual thriller–cum-romantic comedy charts the ever-shifting power plays between a wealthy heir and his long-time dominatrix.
Set in on the remote frontier in early 20th-century Chile, first-time filmmaker Felipe Gálvez’s exhilarating and provocative revisionist Western takes a sidelong glance at Chile’s dark colonial past.
Sieben Winter in Teheran
A nineteen-year-old is sentenced to death for stabbing the man who tried to assault her—this footage, smuggled illegally out of Iran, follows the seven years she spent in prison and her family’s fight for justice.
An irony-free kaiju blockbuster that simultaneously pays respectful homage to the original Ultraman mythos while re-energising the beloved character with kinetic high-tech filmmaking.
A sculptor preparing to open a new show must balance her creative life with the daily dramas of family and friends, in Kelly Reichardt's vibrant and captivatingly funny portrait of art and craft.
A one-man death squad will go to outrageous lengths to get his gold back—even if it means killing every last Nazi in his path. Jalmari Helander’s gleefully entertaining actioner delivers gory mayhem by the bucketload.
This Sundance award winner brings new meaning to the healing powers of sisterhood, following a group of Estonian women who gather in a traditional log-cabin sauna to share naked truths.
An Indigenous girl seeks revenge for her father’s death and finds solace in a secret cabal of witches. This enigmatic folktale of supernatural resistance provides a haunting portrayal of Chile’s colonial past.
The Longest Goodbye
An absorbing look at the modern-day realities of space travel that goes beyond the nuts and bolts to probe the most unpredictable element of cosmic exploration: the vulnerability of the human mind.
Anton Corbijn’s wildly entertaining doco profiles Hipgnosis, the designers behind the most iconic album covers in rock history for acts like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and many more.
A close-up portrait of Roger Stone, Trump’s disgraced political “fixer” and architect of the January 2021 insurrection. A compelling, frightening image of unbridled power and how far people will go to hang on to it.
Rebecca Tansley brings us a dramatic, moving interpretation of NZ Opera’s contemporary chamber opera inspired by a pivotal event in the life of New Zealand writer Janet Frame.
The subjects of famous documentaries (The Staircase, Hoop Dreams, Capturing the Friedmans) talk about how the experience changed their lives—for better and worse.
Australian maverick Rolf de Heer’s new post-apocalyptic meditation reveals the full spectrum of humanity: from the shadows of discriminatory violence to sparks of redeeming kindness, all told through the journey of one lone traveller, “BlackWoman".
Trailblazing Chinese director Lou Ye's vivid, kaleidoscopic tale of doomed lovers lost in the fog and filth of Shanghai's canals receives a stunning new restoration.
Set in Australia’s remote Pilbara, Jub Clerc’s multi award-winning debut feature is a triumphant coming-of-age road movie that honours the power of country, community and art to transform lives.
This rollicking mockumentary set at a scrappy theatre camp in upstate New York is an affectionate look at a ragtag troupe of eccentric misfits who just want to sing and dance.
Winner of the Grand Prize of Critics’ Week at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, a 12-year-old girl watches her body undergo a terrifying transformation in this irreverent art-horror debut from Malaysia.
Fans of dub musician Tiki Taane are in for a treat with the film of his one-off 2021 concert extravaganza, ‘Otautahi Proud’.
A revealing, personal exploration of the new frontier in China’s surveillance state—and the reality for those who challenge it.
This semi-autobiographical sophomore feature from Mexican director Lila Avilés follows one family’s journey through grief and loss, experienced through the eyes of a young girl.
This thrilling and playful story of stolen brass and the L.A. deaf community explores new possibilities in cinematic expression through creative sound design, deft editing and stunning photography.
Dreams, lack of means, and poodle schemes on the rez! Aided by their community, two young men push back against deprivation and systemic discrimination to forge their own paths.
Kapag wala nang mga alon
In this haunting, grotesquely comedic thriller from Filipino art cinema hero Lav Diaz, violence, political unrest, and the dire state of a nation are the grand themes behind a tale of rival cops with a mutual death wish.