Festival Programme

Films by Strand

Widescreen

A panorama of the best and brightest films that drew our attention on the world stage during our intense engagement with international cinema on the festival circuit this year.

We’ve had an incredibly wide palette to choose from, with the selection from Cannes Film Festival yielding some of our most exciting choices in the frantic fortnight before we closed our schedule.

Aftersun

Charlotte Wells

A critical hit in Cannes, Charlotte Wells infuses her exquisite debut with nostalgia and tenderness as she teases out the melancholic undercurrents of a loving father-daughter relationship.

Alcarràs

Carla Simón

A Catalonian, peach-growing family face upheaval in this moving and nuanced reflection on identity, place and time by Carla Simón (Summer 1993 NZIFF 2017), awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2022.

Ali & Ava

Clio Barnard

This refreshingly authentic depiction of finding love right on your doorstep, and from unlikely directions, abounds with humour and the transformative power of song.

Animation NOW! 2022

Curated by Malcolm Turner, animation programmer at NZIFF since 1988, and director of the Melbourne International Animation Festival.

The Blue Caftan

Le bleu du caftan

Maryam Touzani

A master tailor’s wife watches on as her closeted husband falls in love with his apprentice in this sensuous second feature from Maryam Touzani, as elegant and finely crafted as the beautiful garments in her film.

Both Sides of the Blade

Avec amour et acharnement

Claire Denis

Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon and Gregoire Colin form a turbulent love triangle as old flames endure in Claire Denis’ sexy and volatile relationship drama.

Boy from Heaven

Walad min al janna

Tarik Saleh

Tarik Saleh deftly explores the tangled state of modern-day Egypt through his firebrand thriller set in Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the country’s most respected religious teaching institution.

Corsage

Marie Kreutzer

Marie Kreutzer’s bold and subversive costume drama features an imperious Vicky Krieps as the restless Empress Elisabeth of Austria, struggling to break free from the restrictive confines of courtly life.

Crimes of the Future

David Cronenberg

Pain is the ultimate pleasure and surgery the new sex in David Cronenberg’s latest provocation, a throwback to his squeamish body-horrors that shocked and delighted NZIFF audiences decades ago.

Dual

Riley Stearns

Karen Gillan delivers two knockout performances in Riley Stearns’ hilarious, ultra-deadpan comedy about a woman and her nightmarishly perfect clone who must battle it out to be the last one standing.

Emily the Criminal

John Patton Ford

An art-school-dropout drowning in student debt, Aubrey Plaza discovers she has a talent for credit card fraud in this gripping Sundance breakout from first-time writer/director John Patton Ford.

Flux Gourmet

Peter Strickland

Cult favourite Peter Strickland channels Spinal Tap in this deliciously outlandish send-up of artistic pretension at an institute dedicated to the culinary arts. “A feast of hilarity and horror.” — Time Out

The Forgiven

John Michael McDonagh

Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain headline a star cast dealing with the fallout from a debauched weekend in Morocco in John Michael McDonagh’s blackly comic skewering of privilege.

Full Time

À plein temps

Éric Gravel

Single mum Julie (Laure Calamy, Call My Agent!) races against time in this forceful, authentic drama underpinned by a thriller momentum.

Godland

Vanskabte Land/Volaða Land

Hlynur Pálmason

Icelandic filmmaker Hlynur Pálmason follows up A White, White Day (NZIFF 2019) with this stunning historical epic which recalls the grandeur and madness of Herzog at his best.

The Humans

Stephen Karam

A family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving in a rundown lower Manhattan apartment, Stephen Karam’s piercingly haunting adaptation of his own play explores the hidden dread beneath family bonds.

Joyland

Saim Sadiq

A married man falls for a glamorous trans dancer in this daring and emotionally intense love story from Pakistani first-time writer-director Saim Sadiq.

Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon

Ana Lily Amirpour

A young woman with dangerous powers escapes a mental asylum and lets loose on the seedy neon-lit streets of New Orleans in this mind-bending fantasy-adventure from the director of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (NZIFF 2015).

Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams

Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman’s one-of-a-kind feature is an Afro-futurist science-fiction musical centred on a grieving coltan miner and an intersex hacker who find liberation through technology.

One Fine Morning

Un beau matin

Mia Hansen-Løve

Léa Seydoux stars as a busy single mom, juggling caring for her daughter and her ailing father, who finds love in unexpected circumstances in Mia Hansen-Løve’s nimble romantic drama.

The Passengers of the Night

Les passagers de la nuit

Mikhaël Hers

A heart-warming 80s-set family drama starring Charlotte Gainsbourg as a recently single mother who finds a new lease of life working for a late night talkback show where she crosses paths with a young drifter.

Un monde

Laura Wendel

A 7-year-old child becomes caught in a conflict of loyalty after her beloved brother falls victim to brutal schoolyard bullying.

Return to Seoul

Retour à Séoul

Davy Chou

A French-Korean adoptee returns to Seoul, a home she has never known, and over the course of several visits begins to process her complicated relationship with her biological family and country of birth.

Robe of Gems

Manto de gemas

Natalia López Gallardo

A missing-person case draws three women into an inescapable web in this unsettling narco-thriller from first-time director (but experienced editor) Natalia López Gallardo.

Sick of Myself

Syk pike

Kristoffer Borgli

This blacker-than-black Norwegian comedy takes toxic behaviour to the next level as über self-absorbed Signe attempts to one-up her pretentious artist boyfriend by deliberately sabotaging her health.

Stars at Noon

Claire Denis

Based on Denis Johnson’s cult novel, Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn star in this heady and alluring romantic thriller from NZIFF fave Claire Denis, directing her second English-language feature.

The Stranger

Thomas M. Wright

Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris deliver brooding performances as predator becomes prey in up-and-coming director Thomas M. Wright’s dark and intense Australian true crime drama.

A Tale of Love and Desire

Une histoire d’amour et de désir

Leyla Bouzid

Leyla Bouzid’s tender coming-of-age romance throws young student Ahmed’s world off-balance as he falls for the confidently self-assured Farah who challenges his cultural values and his poetic ideas of love.

Watcher

Chloe Okuno

Director Chloe Okuno and lead actress Maika Monroe bring a fresh femme perspective to this heart-stopping 70s-style psychological thriller dripping with Hitchcockian voyeurism and rampant paranoia.

Where Is Anne Frank?

Ari Folman

A gloriously animated fantasy reimagining of Anne Frank’s story from the lauded director of The Congress (NZIFF 2013) and Waltz with Bashir (NZIFF 2008).

You Won't Be Alone

Goran Stolevski

In 19th century Macedonia, a young shapeshifting witch learns what it means to be human by inhabiting the lives of others in this one-of-a-kind feature debut from Australian-Macedonian filmmaker Goran Stolevski.