Festival Programme

Films by Country

Aotearoa New Zealand

Alien Weaponry: Kua Tupu Te Ara

Kent Belcher

Even if you’re not a fan of heavy metal, you can’t help but admire Alien Weaponry. If not for their rise to fame on an international scale, then for being the first band of the genre to sing in te reo Māori.


Sasha Rainbow

Mean Girls  meets  Face/Off   to absolutely wild results in Sasha Rainbow’s gory and uniquely Kiwi black comedy about a Chinese student who finds a new way of achieving popularity one body at a time.

The Haka Party Incident

Katie Wolfe

In 1979, group of young Māori and Pasifika activists sought to stop Pākehā students at the University of Auckland performing a parody of haka each capping week. Unfortunately, the consequences for those activists were severe – many were convicted of crimes. Director Katie Wolfe uncovers this largely forgotten event in our history with interviews from both in this resonant and thought-provoking documentary.

Head South

Jonathan Ogilvie

Christchurch-born filmmaker Jonathan Ogilvie returns home for this evocative coming-of-age story that brilliantly captures the feeling of growing up weird in the Garden City. Starring Ed Oxenbould, Márton Csókás and featuring Stella Bennett aka Benee in her acting debut, Head South will be our Opening Night film for the Christchurch leg of the festival.

Heavenly Creatures

Peter Jackson

Returning to the Festival is Peter Jackson’s sublime 1994 film about the notorious Parker-Hulme murder drew rapturous acclaim and brought the former splatter king a newfound mainstream respectability.

The House Within

Joshua Prendeville

Filmmaker Joshua Prendeville’s sterling documentary holds a delicate lens to the fascinating life and work of one of Aotearoa’s literary treasures, Dame Fiona Kidman.

I Am a Dark River

Tessa Mitchell

Tess Mitchell seeks to fully understand her infamous grandfather, printmaker and publisher Bob Lowry. Using the unconventional medium of performance documentary, she uncovers the story of a troubled but truly revolutionary New Zealander.


Paul Wolffram

Paul Wolffram’s urgent documentary takes us into the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea and one indigenous woman’s fight against the insidious influence of sanguma – sorcery violence.

A Mistake

Christine Jeffs

On the eve of a move towards greater public health data reporting, a medical error throws life into a spin for a respected surgeon and her surgical team; the downward spiral threatening all in her orbit.

Naughty Little Peeptoe

Garth Maxwell, Peter Wells

Garth Maxwell and Peter Wells' deeply personal ode to friend, fashionista and foot-fetishist Doug George who narrates the story of how high heels saved his life. Recently selected by MoMA for its permanent film collection.

Never Look Away

Lucy Lawless

Lucy Lawless makes her directorial debut with a raucous documentary exploring the life of another warrior princess – fierce and fearless Kiwi war video journalist Margaret Moth.

Night Piece

Bridget Sutherland

Bridget Sutherland documents the confronting career of Peter Roche, one of Aotearoa’s most electrifying conceptual artists, in this affectionately assembled portrait.

Short Connections 2024

Five new Aotearoa shorts examine the ways we connect with each other. From strangers uniting to stand up for what is right to fleeting moments of understanding between loved ones, these films deftly capture the bonds and binds between us.

Taki Rua Theatre - Breaking Barriers

Whetū Fala

What began as an experience in biculturalism between Māori and Pākehā grew into Taki Rua Theatre, the unofficial national Māori theatre company. As we tour the motu with the latest ensemble of young artists, we witness the deeply personal and politically visionary story of the 30-year struggle to create a truly bicultural force, and the wāhine toa who agitated for change.

We Were Dangerous

Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu

Earning director Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu the Special Jury Prize for Filmmaking at SXSW this year, this electric debut launches our festival with a fiery trio of delinquent schoolgirls railing against the colonial system in 1950s New Zealand.