2024 News

All We Imagine As Light

Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival is pleased to announce the selection of 16 films in the 2024 programme which are coming to the festival straight off the back of this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival. It is a showcase of the very best of international cinema, and includes celebrated directors and award-winning performances.

“These films represent a pinnacle of global cinema,” says NZIFF 2024 Artistic Director Paolo Bertolin. “We are excited to bring such a rich and varied selection to Aotearoa, and we know these films will inspire, challenge, and enchant our festival-goers.”

Featuring in the 'Big Nights' strand as the Closing Night Film of NZIFF 2024 is The Substance, a satirical feminist body horror by Coralie Fargeat. Starring Demi Moore, Margaret Qualley, and Dennis Quaid, the film, which won Best Screenplay at Cannes, tells the story of a fading celebrity who uses a black-market drug to temporarily create a younger, better version of herself.

The programme’s 'Fresh' strand features films from Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and Un Certain Regard sections. Good One by India Donaldson (daughter of New Zealand cinema legend Roger Donaldson) captures the dynamics of a father-daughter relationship during a backpacking trip in the Catskill Mountains.

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We Were Dangerous

Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) is delighted to announce the line-up of exceptional New Zealand-made feature films, documentaries, and shorts in the 2024 programme, showcasing the increasingly rich talent and diverse storytelling in New Zealand filmmaking.

Twelve full-length films and 19 shorts make up the Māhutonga strand of our programme – a selection of stand-out New Zealand features and documentaries curated by 2024 Artistic Director Paolo Bertolin, Head of Programming Michael McDonnell, and Junior Programmers Amanda Jane Robinson and Huia Haupapa, and shorts selected by long-time co-curators Leo Koziol and Craig Fasi, and 2024 guest selector Gerard Johnstone. The Māhutonga programme is proudly supported by Creative New Zealand.

Bertolin says, “Aotearoa cinema has reached a defining crossroad. The twelve features and four combined programmes of shorts in Māhutonga reflect the diversity and wealth of subjects and styles in local storytelling. With their films, New Zealand filmmakers provide a vibrant kaleidoscope that enables audiences to look at the past and the present through distinctive perspectives.

In this selection, our audiences will discover films that are entertaining, thought-provoking, and deeply affecting. Most of all, they will find a space for conversation and exchange on the beauty and complexity of life

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Festival Trust Refresh Complete
Kaine Thompson

The New Zealand Film Festival Trust Board has completed a film festival refresh with appointments of a new Chair and a new Deputy Chair.

Catherine Fitzgerald ONZM, Chair for more than 20 years, indicated her intention to step aside during 2023 as part of a planned refresh which included a revised strategy, Te Ahua o te Whānau Mārama – a 10-year approach – appointment of a new Artistic Director, and refreshed Trust Board membership.

Fitzgerald is succeeded by Kaine Thompson. Thompson joined the Trust Board in April 2023, with Sharon Menzies and Toby Manhire. Thompson sits on a number of national and local arts and social services boards including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Sharon Menzies was confirmed as Deputy Chair and also brings significant screen sector governance experience both in New Zealand and Australia and a proven track record in film financing.    

Thompson says, “We are grateful to Catherine for her deeply committed service as Chair, particularly through extremely challenging times. We are also grateful both Catherine and Robin continue their association with the Film Festival by accepting appointments as Trustees for another term.”

Film-makers, Fitzgerald and fellow long-serving trustee Robin Laing have both accepted appointments for a further term alongside

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First Films of NZIFF 2024 and New Strands Announced Today

The new film by an Academy-Award winning director, a Best International Feature Academy Award nominee, a widely acclaimed teen-vampire horror-comedy, an immersive journey into the work of a music legend, an Iranian meditation on love, loss and loneliness, and a portrait of a ground-breaking CNN camerawoman from Te Tairāwhiti are among the first announced films set to delight Kiwi audiences at this year’s Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) when it screens around the country this winter.

NZIFF 2024 Artistic Director Paolo Bertolin says, "A film festival is a space for encounter and dialogue. The communal experience of watching a film in a theatre brings together bodies and minds, sparking a conversation between the works of filmmakers and their audiences. Curating the programme of an international film festival does not simply mean choosing the best films available across the world at that time, it is a mission in facilitating a meeting between a film and its audience, providing opportunities for discovery, entertainment, and reflection. It is an equally exciting and challenging task.”

The 2024 NZIFF programme is made up of 10 strands, or sections. This structure provides audiences with clear insight of the cinematic experiences they can expect

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NZIFF to present psychological thriller Foreign Body at Cannes Marché du Film
Foreign Body

Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival will proudly present psychological thriller Foreign Body at Cannes Marché du Film’s prestigious Fantastic 7 finance market next month. 

Now in its sixth year, Fantastic 7 invites film festivals from around the world to showcase seven exciting works-in-progress from the global genre industry to an international network of investors, distributors, sales agents, and genre film enthusiasts during the Cannes Film Festival. 

The aim of the Fantastic 7 program is to nurture and promote these exciting rising talents, connecting them with potential business partners who could provide crucial funding and help extend their reach to broader audiences.  

In addition to NZIFF, other festivals represented in Fantastic 7 include SXSW Film & TV Festival (USA), Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (Spain), Cairo International Film Festival (Egypt), Guadalajara International Film Festival (Mexico), Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (Estonia), and Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (South Korea). 

Directed by Tom Sainsbury, and produced in New Zealand by Gabe Lunte, Milon Tesiram, and Jonathan Potton, Foreign Body is a psychological horror that follows Eduard, a European gap-year student who moves in with a New Zealand family to experience their ‘culture’, but quickly discovers the psychologically damaged and

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