Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has tonight unveiled the 105 films, including 19 shorts, in the 2024 line-up. The event opens in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on 31 July, before touring nine other centres across the country until 4 September.

The 2024 programme includes 12 New Zealand feature-length films, with four short film collections and a special 30th Anniversary screening of Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures.

NZIFF 2024 Artistic Director Paolo Bertolin says, “This year’s programme is a celebration of the diversity and plurality of contemporary cinema. Our audiences will be able to enjoy the entertainment of films that move them, thrill them and keep them on the edge of their seats. At the same time, they will have the opportunity to experience films that open conversations on the reality of the world today, asking necessary questions and probing into uncomfortable truths. And of course, cinephiles will rejoice with the latest efforts from world-class masters, as well as with discoveries that signal the new talents of tomorrow.

“At the forefront of this rich mosaic is the contingent of Aotearoa productions, showcasing a vibrant vitality equally present in features, documentaries and shorts. And it makes us incredibly glad and humbled that we have the opportunity to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Peter Jackson’s masterpiece Heavenly Creatures. Jackson’s classic had its world premiere as the Opening Film of the 1994 festival. Then Festival Director Bill Gosden hailed it as a ‘landmark in New Zealand cinema’, and soon after it was awarded a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival by Jury President David Lynch, making it ‘the sensational new movie from New Zealand in cinemas around the world’. This anniversary screening is a testament to the historical role of the festival in supporting and promoting the best of domestic cinema. A role that the festival still pursues and is committed to. That is why we can’t wait to share the films we selected with our audiences!”

Films come from 20 different countries including Bhutan, Iran, Somalia, Nepal and Vietnam, as well as China, Japan, the UK, Ireland, USA, France, Germany, Portugal and Australia.

Executive Director Sally Woodfield says that NZIFF 2024 not only brings together a programme of diverse films screening at 15 cinemas and venues nationwide, but also features opportunities to enhance the film-going experience with Q&As, masterclasses, workshops, panel discussions and special events including costume parties and a gig.

“NZIFF 2024 provides a window to the world, connecting us through film with diverse cultures, lifestyles and stories,” Woodfield says. “We invite you to immerse yourself in the festival and celebrate the best in global cinema on screens right here in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Seven international guests, together with New Zealand filmmakers, will present their films at more than 60 NZIFF 2024 sessions across the motu. These include Adam Kamien and Luke Rynderman (The Speedway Murders), Christine Jeffs (A Mistake), Gints Zilbalodis (Flow), Lin Jianjie (Brief History of a Family), Jonathan Ogilvie (Head South), Josephine Stewart Te-Whiu (We Were Dangerous), Joshua Prendeville (The House Within), Katie Wolfe (The Haka Party Incident), Kent Belcher (Alien Weaponry: Kua Tupu Te Ara), Lucy Lawless (Never Look Away), Min Bahadur Bham (Shambhala), Mo Harawe (The Village Next to Paradise), Neo Sora (Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus), Paul Wolffram (Marimari), and Whetū Fala (Taki Rua Theatre  Breaking Barriers).

New Zealand film will be celebrated at a special Aotearoa Film Focus Weekend (AFFW), supported by the University of Auckland Faculty of Arts and taking place from 15 to 18 August at Auckland’s ASB Waterfront Theatre. Across four days and nights, audiences can enjoy films, a new exhibition by the New Zealand Cinematographers Society – Still Stories, panel discussions, a workshop, a masterclass, and filmmaker Q&A events. Exclusive to AFFW will also be a tribute to iconoclastic director Garth Maxwell, showcasing his film Naughty Little Peeptoe, which has recently been acquired by MoMA, plus the remastered version of his earlier work, Come With Us.

Bertolin says, “The aim of our Aotearoa Film Focus Weekend is to give a full spotlight on the vivid resurgence of local cinema, thanks to an exciting new generation of filmmakers, but also through the work of more established directors. We wish to engage audiences, especially young people, with New Zealand cinema, creating a dialogue that goes beyond the sheer screening of films. And we hope that this connection will last beyond the festival, truly benefiting both filmmakers and audiences.”

NZIFF 2024 will screen at Embassy Theatre, Roxy Cinemas and Light House Cinema Cuba in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington (31 July – 11 August), The Civic, Hollywood Avondale and ASB Auckland Waterfront Theatre in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (7 – 18 August), The Regent Theatre in Ōtepoti Dunedin (14 – 25 August), State Cinemas in Whakatū Nelson (14 – 25 August), Lumière Cinemas in Ōtautahi Christchurch (15 August – 1 September), Luxe Cinemas in Tauranga Moana (15 – 28 August), MTG Century Theatre in Ahuriri Napier (21 August – 1 September), LIDO Cinemas in Kirikiriroa Hamilton (21 August – 4 September), Len Lye Cinema in Ngāmotu New Plymouth (21 August – 4 September), and Regent 3 Cinemas in Whakaoriori Masterton (21 August – 4 September).

Tickets for Wellington will be on sale from 10am Friday 12 July and tickets for Auckland will be on sale from 10am Friday 19 July, with tickets for all other centres going on sale in late July. Tickets can be booked online at www.nziff.co.nz or in-person at the NZIFF Box Office on Allen Street, Wellington, and at The Civic on Wellesley Street West, Auckland.

Keen festival-goers can get advanced booking access and discounts by purchasing Multi-Trip Passes now from www.shop.nziff.co.nz.

The full programme of 2024 films is outlined below, by strand, with the full downloadable programme here.