Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival is a national event to enhance the appreciation of, and engagement with, global art and culture by providing access to a diverse range of high-quality film.

A programme of between 150-170 features is presented in Auckland and Wellington. The Festival opens in Auckland one weekend and gets underway in Wellington the next, overlapping for 10 of their respective 17-day seasons. A smaller programme then travels to 11 further centres. The consolidation of several separately evolved Festivals into a single event known as The New Zealand International Film Festival occurred for the first time in 2009.

In 2020, the Festival was rebranded Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival.

In 2020, due to the impact of the global pandemic COVID-19, the Festival was delivered online with limited screenings in cinemas and venues in eight centres.

In 2021, the Festival featured 174 films in 11 centres with physical distancing limitations due to Covid-19 Protection Framework 'Level 2' setting. Due to the ongoing 'Level 3' setting in Auckland and Hamilton during the Festival dates, we were unable to present NZIFF 2021 in those two cities.

In 2022, the NZFFT was able to present NZIFF in all our selected regions again, including Auckland and Hamilton.

For 2023, NZIFF was spread across the country in 16 regions and at 30 venues, opening on the 19th of July – 10th September 2023.

Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival is operated by the New Zealand Film Festival Trust, a non-profit, registered charitable trust.

Auckland Film Festival

Founded in 1969 as a component of the Auckland Festival, the Auckland International Film Festival in time became a fund-raising event subsidising live arts. Rescued from this role by the intervention of the New Zealand Federation of Film Societies in 1984, the Festival achieved an audience in excess of 100,000 for the first time in 2005. The year 2000 marked NZIFF’s return to the fabulously refurbished Civic Theatre, the South Pacific’s most insanely beautiful picture palace.

Find out more about the beginnings of the Auckland Film Festival.

Celebrating 50 years in Auckland

On the occasion of our 50th Festival in Auckland in 2018, we invited selected Aucklanders and long-time associates of the Festival to relate Festival-related stories. We received some funny and wonderful recollections of the way we were. Continue Reading...

Wellington Film Festival

The Wellington Film Festival was inaugurated by Lindsay Shelton and the Wellington Film Society with seven films in 1972 to supplement the meagre options of Wellington filmgoers. Thirty years later those options were not at all meagre, but the Festival continued to grow, showing over 150 programmes to audiences in excess of 71,000. NZIFF has a long tradition of supporting New Zealand filmmakers. The main venue is the magnificent Embassy Theatre. NZIFF has played a major role in the theatre’s rehabilitation and continuing refurbishment.

Find out more about the beginnings of the Wellington Film Festival.

Celebrating 40 in Wellington

Celebrating the 40th Wellington Film Festival in 2012, we invited selected Wellingtonians and long-time associates of the Festival to relate Festival-related stories. We collected some funny and wonderful recollections of the way we were.

Continue reading...

Dunedin Film Festival

Founded in 1977, the Dunedin manifestation of NZIFF presents a highlights package of approx seventy-five features - plus shorts - in the small and beautiful South Island university city of Dunedin. A superbly preserved venue, Dunedins Regent Theatre combines the spacious elegance of a ‘20s movie palace with state-of-the-art projection and sound. The world's southernmost Film Festival is not only a very popular local event; it is also one of the best places in the world to see and hear your film! 

Christchurch Film Festival

Founded along with the Dunedin event in 1977, the Christchurch Festival in the South Island’s largest city presents substantially the same highlights programme. Christchurch is a city of avid moviegoers for whom NZIFF functions as a popular showcase sample of the international Festival circuit. Following Dunedin and Christchurch, a selection of up to thirty films travels to twelve provincial cities, beginning with the university towns of Hamilton and Palmerston North.