Festival FAQs

When will Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival 2023 happen?

NZIFF 2023 will take place in 17 towns and cities from 19 July – 10 September 2023 across Aotearoa. Region-specific dates have been confirmed for the following centres:

  • Whangarei: 17 – 27 August
  • Matakana: 10 – 27 August
  • Auckland: 19 July to 6 August
  • Hamilton: 9 – 29 August
  • Tauranga: 10 – 27 August
  • Gisborne: 24 August to 3 September
  • Napier: 10 – 27 August
  • Havelock North: 17 August to 3 September
  • New Plymouth: 17 August to 3 September
  • Palmerston North: 17 August to 3 September
  • Masterton: 16 – 30 August
  • Wellington: 27 July to 13 August
  • Nelson: 23 August to 10 September
  • Christchurch: 10 – 27 August
  • Timaru: 24 August to 3 September
  • Dunedin: 3 – 20 August

Will there be a printed programme this year?

Yes – there will be a printed programme catalogue. You will also be able to read the catalogue on the website and download your own copy as a PDF.

How do I purchase tickets?

At present, individual tickets for 2023 are not available, however multi-trip passes for Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch for 2023 can be purchased online now from our NZIFF store. To visit the store or for more information, please click here. Multi-Trip Pass benefits include discounted tickets and advanced access to tickets for all sessions. Auckland multi-trip passes are available through Ticketmaster here.

Why is the film festival not in the town where I live?

NZIFF 2023 will be presented in 16 towns and cities around New Zealand and we will be looking at adding other centres in 2024.

Will there be an online option this year?

We will not be presenting the film festival in 2023 online. The online presentation in 2020 was a one-off in response to the situation around Covid-19. At the heart of NZIFF is the collective experience of watching a film together. 
There are also a number of complex issues around presenting online:
- Except for a very small number of retro films and an even smaller number of special exceptions, films programmed at NZIFF are New Zealand premieres. Additionally films which have further release plans or which already have streaming agreements would not be available for us to screen online.
- NZ simply does not have the population base which enabled other film festivals around the world to present online (eg Sundance was available for the whole of the US, though it is now back to a fully in-person event) and gearing up an online platform that is accessible to our whole audience for the volume of streams we might achieve, was not viable. 
- An online option would be in competition with all of our beautiful partner venues and cinemas across the motu, who also need support during this difficult time for the industry. Our filmmakers have made their work for the big screen, and the focus for our team is to present their works as best we can, in person.

Will you be having international filmmakers coming as guests?

We are looking at options to bring a small number of international filmmakers to join us at the 2023 festival. We will also be celebrating a wide range of New Zealand filmmakers in the festival and including Q&As and other events in the programme to enable audiences to meet filmmakers.

How can I volunteer for the festival?

We have our full complement of volunteers in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for NZIFF 2023. We will be seeking volunteers for NZIFF 2024 from May 2024. Register your interest at

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, have two short film competitions within the festival: New Zealand’s Best short films, and Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts. Details on submitting for these collections can be found here.

How can I submit a film?

We accept submissions from all over the world. For information, please visit the Submit a Film page.

Is there any fee to enter a film?

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

When is the deadline for film entries?

Please visit the Submit a Film page for more information. Submission deadlines have now closed for NZIFF 2023 and we expect to open again for submissions in November 2023.

What is the festival's policy on COVID-19?

New Zealand currently has no COVID-19 requirements around mask use or isolation. As such, NZIFF does not have any specific rules around COVID-19, contact specific venues for further details. Please do not attend your screening if you test positive for the virus.

You can check restrictions and health updates on the Unite against COVID-19 website here.