Festival 2020 FAQ

When does Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival 2020 happen?

Friday 24 July until Sunday 2 August, with some films available online until Saturday 8 August.

How will I know when films are on?

As with our usual Festival, films can be found by date, title, keyword, collection and more on our website —  see the Films and Schedule menus —  or browse our screen-friendly Digital Catalogue. Each film page gives you the screening time/s; either an Online Premiere date, an Online Rental period or both.

For screenings in cinemas, check the In Cinema page for information and updates.

Do I need to buy a ‘ticket’ and how much will it cost?

Yes, for online screenings there are four types of tickets. As is Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival policy, box office earnings are shared with filmmakers and we are committed to looking after our artists.

$10 – Online Rental: These tickets are available to buy from 25 July, with films available to stream for 48 hours* from time purchase. New Online Rentals are released each day of the festival at 10am and will be available to purchase for up to a week. *There are some exceptions. Please check details before purchasing.

$12 – Online Premiere: These tickets are available to buy from 10 July, with films streamed at a set time & date. This is the equivalent of an in-cinema premiere event, with audiences around the country watching together. Select Online Premieres will feature special guests, filmmaker appearance, or live Q&As on Facebook and YouTube.

$14 – Online One Night Only: An Online Premiere that will not be available as an Online Rental. This is your one chance to watch!

$20 – Group: If you’re watching any film with a group of 3+ friends or whānau this price is for you. Unlike many other film festivals, we are founded on the principle of sharing our box office takings with filmmakers and their agents. Where we’d normally charge individual ticket prices for in-cinema screenings, we’re asking our audiences to support filmmakers and the Festival by chipping in extra for mates watching with you.

For screenings in cinemas, ticket types and prices are at the discretion of the venues. Please check the In Cinema page for information and updates.

When can I buy and watch films?

Online Premieres are available to buy from 10 July, with films streamed at the advertised time & date. Online Rentals are available to buy starting 25 July. New Online Rentals are released each day at 10am and will be available to purchase for up to one week. Once purchased, you have 48 hours to watch the film, but please check details on the film’s page for some exceptions. 

How will I access it?

All films are listed on our website and in our digital programme.The Watch Now button next the film's session time will direct you to our streaming partner.  The Buy link in the digital programme will do the same. To watch films, you’ll need an account with our streaming partner at athome.nziff.co.nz, a NZ-registered credit or debit card, a broadband internet connection, and a screen to watch on. Check out How To – Online for more info.

How do I get the best video and sound quality?

Video: All of our films, unless otherwise indicated, are available in HD. Depending on your internet connection, the player will choose a lower bitrate when left on the default ‘Auto’ setting. You can select from the available resolutions by clicking the ‘Auto’ button in the player menu once you’ve started the film. 

Sound: Our films stream in either Stereo or 5.1 Surround Sound.  Where 5.1 is available and the audio device you’re using supports it, then 5.1 will play automatically. Otherwise, the film will play in Stereo. 

How does this differ from other films available for free on YouTube and elsewhere?

The films included in NZIFF At Home — Online will be New Zealand premieres, and in some cases will not be screened at any other time in New Zealand. We have carefully curated this online programme to reflect a festival atmosphere and ensure the best experience possible.

Why aren’t all films available for the length of the festival?

NZIFF At Home – Online brings a unique mix of living room comfort and exciting film events, and we aim to give you the best of both worlds. In working with filmmakers, distributors and rights holders, it was agreed that an Online Premiere event, followed by a period of rental was the best way to combine that festival feel we love and miss with the at-home experience. 

Will this be available outside New Zealand?

No. NZIFF At Home — Online is only available to New Zealand audiences. Sorry, Australia!

We’re in Level 1; why aren’t we back in cinemas?

Programming and organising the film festival takes more than six months work from a team of skilled and specialised people; the machinery of the festival is big and it’s complex.

As COVID-19 was spreading and bringing the country to a standstill back in March we had no wait and see option; we were faced with the hard decision to either cancel the festival or take it to an online format which is what we chose to do rather than have no festival at all in 2020. Our entire team has been working on the online edition since then and we’re fully ready to deliver.

However, with restrictions eased we are actively working towards bringing a selection of anticipated films to a number of the cinemas and venues around the country. Check for in-cinema updates on the website and on social media.

Will you be producing a printed catalogue?

With COVID-19 restrictions impacting both our resources and preparations for printing and distributing the programme to each Festival region around the country, we are unable to offer a printed catalogue at this current time.

Weve designed a special, screen-friendly digital catalogue instead, which ensures our traditional programme materials can reach everyone across New Zealand alongside their access to the online edition of the Festival from their homes.

In 2021, we will return with a new, improved printed catalogue, free for all in the usual manner.

Why doesn’t the Festival offer discounts or an all-access pass?

In bringing you a fabulous festival in an unusual year, we have had to put some of our usual offerings on hold. (Like the Ten-Trip Pass.) Even in normal years we cannot offer any form of automatic entry pass. We're committed to looking after our artists by sharing box office earnings with filmmakers and this successful revenue sharing model makes multi-entry passes prohibitively expensive to the running of the festival.  Our funding is derived largely (more than 80%) from ticket sales.

How can I submit a film?

We accept submissions from all over the world. Submission deadlines differ for New Zealand/Australia/Pacific Islands and international applicants. For information on rules and regulations, please visit the Submit a Film page. Queries can also be submitted to our Programme Manager Michael McDonnell .

When is the deadline for film entries?

Please visit the Submit a Film page for more information. Submission deadlines differ for New Zealand/Australia/Pacific Islands and international applicants.

Is there any fee to enter a film?

There is no fee for submission to Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival .

Is Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival a competitive festival?

Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival does not currently host a competitive category for feature length films. We do, however, host a short film competition for New Zealand’s Best short films each year. A jury will decide the winners of the New Zealand’s Best two main prizes – the Creative New Zealand Best Short Film Award (a cash prize of $4000) and the Madman Entertainment Emerging Talent Award (a cash prize of $2000). Audiences will select the Audience Award winner, who will a receive 25% share of the box office taking from New Zealand’s Best online screenings. Read more about this news here.

How can I volunteer for the festival?

We’re running a very tight ship this year, so unfortunately volunteer roles won’t be available this time. We miss you and hope you’ll consider volunteering with us again!