The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has announced ten outstanding New Zealand films to be screened at this year’s 2015 festival. Rich in documentaries, this year’s selection of New Zealand films feature eight World Premieres, a collection of artist-made shorts and an Incredibly Strange SXSW hit, all of which are sure to excite and thrill New Zealand audiences.
NZIFF Director Bill Gosden says, “One of the great pleasures of programming NZIFF is the opportunity we have to showcase our own filmmakers. It’s amusing that NZIFF’s Incredibly Strange programmer Ant Timpson is now working on a production capacity on exactly the kind of film he’s been programming for years.”
“Deathgasm is the only fiction feature from New Zealand on the programme this year and it definitely fits with Ant’s brand! The documentaries are a pleasingly diverse bunch with two particularly strong films marking the Crown Settlement with Tuhoe; several addressing international subjects; two portraits of New Zealand artists – and a documentary about New Zealand cinema itself.”
Act of Kindness
Directed by Costa Botes and Sven Pannell | 81 mins | World Premiere
Charting the ripple effects of real compassion, this inspiring true story follows a spirited young New Zealander’s search for the Rwandan samaritan who assisted him through a dangerous predicament over ten years before.
Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses
Director/Screenplay: David Stubbs | 88 mins | World Premiere
This impressive doco disperses the fog of shame and sensationalism to shed light on the tragedy that made international headlines in 2007 when a young Wainuiomata woman died during a mākutu lifing.
Directed by Rebecca Tansley | 79 mins | World Premiere
A winning portrait of Italian-born, Auckland concert pianist Flavio Villani preparing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for the biggest night of his career. As he returns like the prodigal son to Italy for his concert debut, he must reconcile with his past, overcome conventional thinking and battle personal demons. A compelling personal odyssey, Crossing Rachmaninoff also raises bigger questions about the value of artistic endeavour, the importance of self-belief and the fundamental desire to be accepted for who we are.
Director/Screenplay: Jason Lei Howden | 90 mins
Two metalheads unleash a satanic riff that opens the gates of hell in this blood-splattered, heavy shredding comedy-horror. The winner of the Make My Horror Movie competition hits home shores after wowing audiences overseas.
Ever the Land
Director/Photography: Sarah Grohnert | 90 mins | World Premiere
Observing the planning and construction of New Zealand’s first ‘living building’, Te Wharehou o T?hoe, Sarah Grohnert draws on images of incredible beauty to portray the profound connection between Ngāi Tūhoe and the land.
Philip Dadson: Sonics from Scratch
Directors/Producers: Simon Ogston, Orlando Stewart | 80 mins | World Premiere
As deeply fascinated by the conceptual as the biographical, this comprehensive portrait of one of our great experimental artists is essential viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in New Zealand art.
Curated by Janine Randerson and Mark Williams | 95 mins approx.
New Zealand artists are often called upon to engage in ‘place-making’ projects. These 11 works find contemporary cracks and crevices in the heroic landscape tradition.
The Price of Peace
Directed by Kim Webby | 87 mins | World Premiere
Kim Webby’s background in investigative journalism is put to riveting use in this documentary about Tame Iti and the Urewera Four, taking a criminal case of national interest to explore a greater social issue.
Return of the Free China Junk
Director/Producer: Robin Greenberg | 96 mins | World Premiere
A historic wooden Chinese sailing junk that crossed the Pacific in 1955 makes an even more improbable return journey after the family of its original sailors campaign to save it from the scrapheap and bring it home.
Tom Who? The Enigma of Tom Kreisler
Directed by Shirley Horrocks | 73 min | World Premiere
Shirley Horrocks’ doco sheds new light on the life and art of Tom Kreisler, a 20th-century New Zealand painter with scant interest in landscape but a strong affinity with Mexican traditions and the wit and verve of Pop Art.
Out of the Mist: An Alternate History of New Zealand Cinema
Director/Screenplay: Tim Wong | 80 mins | World Premiere
Tim Wong’s elegantly assembled and illustrated film essay contemplates the prevailing image of our national cinema while privileging some of the images and image-makers displaced by the popular view of filmmaking in New Zealand. “The directors who have done the most for our artistic identity haven’t instantly confused it with social and cultural identity.” — Tim Wong
NZIFF programmes 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 with other centres to follow.