First Films of NZIFF 2024 and New Strands Announced Today

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 and of the artistic identity of the selected films. While the full programme will be revealed in July, a flagship title has been released today for each section.

Māhutonga: Illuminating the pathway to the storytellers from Aotearoa is our constellation of Māhutonga - lighting up the Southern Skies via the Southern Cross.

            Never Look Away (directed by Lucy Lawless, New Zealand) 

Presented in association with NewstalkZB.

Fresh: First narrative features from brand new voices of international cinema. 

            Brief History of a Family (directed by Lin Jianjie, China) 

Frames: Works that explore and expand the language of documentary filmmaking. 

            The Speedway Murders (directed by Luke Rynderman and Adam Kamien, Australia) 

Portraits: Character-driven narrative and documentary films that draw us into the lives of ordinary and extraordinary people. 

            My Favourite Cake (directed by Behtash Sanaeeha, Maryam Moghadam, Iran)

Widescreen: Narrative and documentary films that provide snapshots from diverse realities from across the globe. 

            The Teachers' Lounge (directed by Ilker Çatak, Germany)

Presented in association with Goethe-Institut.

Nocturnal: An evening strand devoted to irreverent genre and out-of-the-box films. 

            Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person (directed by Ariane Louis-Seize, Canada) 

Rhythms: Narrative and documentary films centered around music and its forms 

            In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon (directed by Alex Gibney, USA) 

Presented in association with Coast.

Visions: Works showcasing the distinct cinematic style of revered masters and emerging talents. 

            Evil Does Not Exist (directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Japan) 

Journeys: Presenting films from specific countries or regions, beginning in The Himalayas.

            The Monk and the Gun (directed by Pawo Choyning Dorji, Bhutan) 

Treasures: A section of hand-picked classics and recently restored films. 

            Days of Heaven (directed by Terrence Malick, USA) 

New this year are two competitive sections, the Fresh and Frames competitions. The winning films in both sections will be determined by votes from Wellington and Auckland audiences. All audience members participating in the ballot will have the chance to enter a draw and win yearly subscriptions to Wellington Film Society or Auckland Film Society.

Joining Artistic Director Paolo Bertolin in programming the 2024 festival is long-standing Head of Programming Michael McDonnell, co-curators of Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts Leo Koziol and Craig Fasi, and two newly appointed Junior Programmers, Huia Haupapa and Amanda Jane Robinson. Both Haupapa and Robinson hail from the ranks of the core delivery team of the festival, as they also work as Marketing Leads in Wellington and Auckland respectively.

I am grateful to work with Michael, a pillar in the NZIFF team who has a wealth of knowledge about films, and look forward to working with Leo and Craig who similarly bring a lot of wisdom and experience. Huia and Amanda’s contribution to the programming team is of extreme value, too, as they aptly emphasise the connections between the artistic value of films and their impact on audiences,” says Bertolin.

As I take on the position of Artistic Director for Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival 2024, I envision the festival as an important component in the ecosystem of Aotearoa filmmaking. It should provide an essential nexus between filmmakers and professionals and their audiences, offering a platform to amplify the impact of both contemporary and historical New Zealand cinema.”

NZIFF 2024 opens in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on 31 July before screening in nine other centres around the motu throughout August and until 4 September. 

NZIFF 2024 will screen at The Embassy, Roxy Cinema and Light House Cinema Cuba in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington (31 July – 11 August), The Civic, Hollywood Avondale and ASB Auckland Waterfront Theatre in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (7 – 18 August), The Regent Theatre in Ōtepoti Dunedin (14 – 25 August), State Cinemas in Whakatū Nelson (14 – 25 August), Lumière Cinemas in Ōtautahi Christchurch (15 August – 1 September), Luxe Cinemas in Tauranga Moana (15 – 28 August), MTG Century Theatre in Ahuriri Napier (21 August – 1 September), LIDO Cinema in Kirikiriroa Hamilton (21 August – 4 September), Len Lye Cinema in Ngāmotu New Plymouth (21 August – 4 September), and Regent 3 in Whakaoriori Masterton (21 August – 4 September). 

Latest News