NZIFF Media Release: More than 150 films to screen at NZIFF in Auckland

The full programme for the 50th New Zealand International Film Festival has been launched in Auckland this evening. 155 feature-length films from 40 countries will screen over 18 days beginning on Thursday 19 July.

The festival turns 50 in Auckland this year and a series of retrospective screenings are planned to mark the anniversary.

“I believe we have kept faith with that optimistic group who set out to invigorate our film-going – and our filmmaking – back in 1969. We have kept pace with enormous change – and even set the pace from time to time. While Aucklanders’ entertainment options have expanded immeasurably, I am delighted that NZIFF can still make an occasion out of a night at the movies,” says NZIFF Director Bill Gosden.

The line-up of retrospective films has been programmed by Gosden to screen in amongst the world and New Zealand premieres selected for the festival to reflect the range of cinema experiences that NZIFF has celebrated across the last 50 years. The retrospective screenings will culminate in the screening of Buster Keaton’s The General at the Civic with live musical performance by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, on Sunday 5 August. An exhibition of NZIFF posters and newspaper clippings from the archives will be displayed at the ASB Waterfront Theatre during festival season.

Canines provide snappy contributions to the NZIFF line-up this year: NZ-made documentary Dog’s Best Friend looks at the work in an Australian animal rehabilitation centre; Pick of the Litter follows the breeding and training programme for guide dogs for the visually impaired; Dogman is the Cannes Competition crime thriller from the director of Gomorrah about a gentle dog groomer who attempts to pacify a human beast.

NZIFF have previously announced that 29 films direct from the Cannes Film Festival are confirmed to screen. Eleven are from the Competition section of the festival including Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters, Jury Prize winner Capharnaüm and Best Screenplay winners (tied) 3 Faces and Happy As Lazzaro. Birds of Passage, the opening night film from the 2018 Directors’ Fortnight will also be opening NZIFF in Auckland on Thursday 19 July. Cold War from Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida), winner of the Best Director prize, will screen as the official closing night film of NZIFF.

Of the 155 feature-length films in the programme, 49 are features or documentaries by female filmmakers. Eleven New Zealand-made films, including six world premieres in Auckland, have previously been announced.

The full Auckland NZIFF programme is available online now:

NZIFF is run by a charitable trust and encourages lively interactions between films, filmmakers and New Zealand audiences in 13 towns and cities around the country. The full NZIFF programme is available online now and will be available on the streets of Auckland from 9am Tuesday 26 June. NZIFF starts in Auckland on 19 July and runs until 5 August in 2018. Animation NOW! the festival dedicated to the latest in world animation screens the following weekend, 10 – 12 August at the Academy Cinema in 2018.