New Zealand International Film Festival
The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) returns this year to bring you an exciting array of over 30 feature films and documentaries to enjoy. The latest and brightest of international cinema direct from premier festivals in North America, Australia and Europe as well as world premieres of many New Zealand films.
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will open the festival on Wednesday 31 August as a special fundraiser for the NZ Pacific Studio Artists’ Residency Centre at Mt Bruce.
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble is directed by Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom, Best of Enemies) and follows renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma as he travels the old ‘Silk Road’ with virtuoso musicians from diverse instrumental traditions to collaborate on rousing new musical explorations.
Two New Zealand short film collections (New Zealand’s Best 2016 and Nga Whanaunga Maori Pasifika Shorts 2016) and two New Zealand documentaries will screen. The 5th Eye looks at New Zealand’s involvement in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and the tale of the Waihopai Three 2008 sabotage case. The 5th Eye screens on Monday 12 September at 8 pm. Le Ride, which has had sell-out premiere screenings in Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington is confirmed to screen. In Le Ride, Amazing Race supremo Phil Keoghan jumps onto a 1928 bike to ride the Tour de France as experienced by Cantabrian Harry Watson, one of the first English-speaking cyclists to enter, let alone complete the race. Le Ride screens once only on Thursday 8 September at 8:30 pm.
Eight Cannes Competition titles will play at NZIFF in Masterton including Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake. I, Daniel Blake is the often funny and ultimately intensely moving tale of the friendship between an out-of-work Newcastle carpenter and a young single mother won for Britain’s Ken Loach a second Palme d’Or for Best Film at Cannes this year. Toni Erdmann, hailed as an original comic masterpiece when it premiered at Cannes, has already proven popular with audiences in Auckland and Wellington with extra screenings added. Julieta is the latest from Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar, Personal Shopper is Olivier Assayas’ new feature starring Kirsten Stewart as a medium haunted by her twin brother, and Paterson from director Jim Jarmusch and starring Adam Driver are also confirmed to screen.
In Aquarius, Brazilian actress Sonia Braga has the role of her life as a fiercely intelligent and independent woman fighting to save the apartment she loves from demolition. Aquarius won the Competition Award at the Sydney Film Festival 2016. The Salesman from Iranian master filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) won the Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards at Cannes. Elle, a provocative blackly comic thriller starring Isabelle Huppert will close the festival on Wednesday 14 September.
In addition to opening night, two further fundraiser screenings will take place during the festival. Wide Open Sky which screens on Sunday 4 September at 4 pm will support Learning Disabilities Association. A Quiet Passion which screens on 11 September at 2:45 pm will support the National Council of Women. Drinks and nibbles precede the film fundraiser screenings at Regent 3 Cinemas.
NZIFF in Masterton screens from 31 August to 14 September. NZIFF programmes are available from Regent 3 Cinemas and cafes around town. Full programme information is also available online. Tickets are available directly from the cinema venue.