Master maverick filmmaker Rolf de Heer takes filmmakers inside his craft.
- American Sign Language
- Cape Verdean Creole
- Nigerian Pidgin
- No Dialogue
- Te reo Māori
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.