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The 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival

Published by Jewell Kalafatis

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The New Zealand International Film Festival takes place throughout the country between July and November each year, and traditionally starts in Auckland. The programme for the Auckland screenings, running from 8 to 25 July, kicks off with the Italian film I am Love showing at the Civic Theatre. Over the following four months the festival will visit cinemas in 15 centres before the final curtain comes down in Kerikeri on 24 November.

A product of the Auckland Film Festival that started out in 1969, the New Zealand International Film Festival took on its current touring format in 2009. Regardless of structure or theatre locations, it has long been an event that movie fans eagerly look forward to, then act fast when tickets go on sale.

Award-Winning International Features at the Film Festival

Awarded a Golden Bear for Best Film at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival, Honey is director Semih Kaplanoglu’s offering about a child’s life in the Turkish mountains. Described on the Film Festival website as “one child’s evolving view of the natural world,” it features Bora Atlas as the 6-year-old Yusuf.

Korean film Poetry earned Best Screenplay at Cannes Festival 2018. “This glowing, unsentimental tribute to the sanity and grace of an elderly woman, …, tested by the viciousness of her wild grandson, was clearly the most universally loved film at Cannes this year,” according to reviewer BG

Roman Polanski won Best Director at Berlin 2018 for The Ghost Writer, an adaptation of the Robert Harris bestseller set around the actions of a former British prime minister. The movie stars Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Kim Cattrall.

Special Mention of Some New Zealand Festival Films

After the Waterfall will receive its world premiere in Auckland. Simone Horrocks’ debut as a director is set in the coastal settlement of Piha about a bereaved father’s devastation at the disappearance of his 4-year-old daughter, and his subsequent recuperation.

Predicament will premier in Wellington to open the festival there, and nine days later close the Auckland screenings. This crime comedy by Jason Stutter is based on Kiwi author Roger Hugh Morrieson’s novel about the seedy side of a small Taranaki town in the 1930’s. Audiences will be drawn by the appearance of music icon Tim Finn as well as the irrepressible Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords).

The Documentary is Well Represented

The Film Festival programme includes some impressive documentary filmmaking. Gasland, described as a ‘deeply alarming’ film about the environmental damage done in extracting natural gas from beneath American soil, won Special Jury Prize for a Documentary at the 2018 Sundance Festival.

His and Hers was voted Best Irish Feature Documentary at the 2018 Irish Film and TV Awards. The production by Ken Wardrop consists of a series of interviews in which Irish women of all ages talk about the men they love.

2018 Film Festival Schedule

The New Zealand International Film Festival will screen its selections in cities and towns around New Zealand as follows:

  • Auckland, 8 – 25 July
  • Christchurch, 29 July – 15 August
  • Dunedin, 23 July – 8 August
  • Gisborne, 28 October – 10 November
  • Greymouth, 4 – 10 October
  • Hamilton, 12 – 29 August
  • Kerikeri, 11 – 24 November
  • Masterton, 13 – 27 October
  • Napier, 18 August – 5 September
  • Nelson, 9 – 23 September
  • New Plymouth, 2 – 15 September
  • Palmerston North, 5 – 22 August
  • Tauranga, 26 August – 8 September
  • Wellington, 16 July – 1 August
  • Whangarei, 4 – 17 November

Nearly 150 movies will be on screen during the 2018 New Zealand International Film Festival. Tickets for Auckland screenings go on sale on Friday 18 June.

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