The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) today revealed five Sundance award winners that will be screening on its 2015 programme, including two women-centred comedy dramas, Grandma and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, hailed for their originality and frankness.
The Wolfpack, Grand Jury Award winner for Best Documentary and Cartel Land, a hair-raising inside view of a Mexican vigilante force are the first documentaries announced for NZIFF. From Bollywood, Umrika, Audience Award winner in the Sundance World Cinema, section rounds out the initial announcement.
“We began our programming year energised by the sheer vitality of films emerging from Sundance,” says NZIFF Director Bill Gosden.
“NZIFF audiences can look forward to seeing a whole raft of them this winter. We’ve chosen five distinct originals to launch our first programme announcement for the year.
The winner of the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year, Crystal Moselle’s film The Wolfpack delves into the bizarrely sheltered lives of six brothers whose father has confined them and their sister since birth to the tiny rooms of their Lower East Side apartment.
From the Sundance U.S Dramatic Competition section NZIFF has secured Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Glockener. Exhilarating in its candour and ironic verve, The Diary of a Teenage Girl recounts the visceral thrills and spills of 15-year-old boundary-pushing Minnie (Bel Powley) as she throws herself into her first affair –with her mother’s boyfriend.
Winner of Sundance’s Audience Award for World Cinema, writer/director Prashant Nair’s Umrika is a handsomely produced Bollywood film telling a classic tale of country lads finding their bearings in the big city.
Matthew Heineman’s unnervingly action-based documentary Cartel Land captures the impact of Mexican drug cartels on both sides of the border. With staggering front-line access, Heineman observes the retaliatory forces that have formed in response to oppressive cartel violence and governmental indifference
In Grandma, a constantly surprising comedy drama from About a Boy director Paul Weitz, Lily Tomlin is hilarious and moving as a sharp-tongued, taboo-breaking granny who comes out fighting for her pregnant teenage granddaughter.
NZIFF programme will be available in Auckland from Tuesday 23 June, in Wellington from Friday 26 June, in Dunedin from Tuesday 7 July, and in Christchurch from Tuesday 14 July.
The following dates are confirmed:
Auckland: 16 July – 2 August
Wellington: 24 July – 9 August
Dunedin: 30 July – 16 August
Christchurch: 7 – 23 August
Nelson: 6 – 24 August
Timaru: 13 – 23 August
Tauranga: 20 August – 13 September
Hamilton: 19 August – 13 September
Palmerston North: 20 August – 6 September
Masterton: 2 – 16 September
New Plymouth: 3 – 20 September
Hawkes Bay: 3 – 20 September