Film festival approaches


Film buffs, rejoice!

The 43rd New Zealand International Festival is just three weeks away, with 79 feature-length films from 34 countries set to screen in Dunedin from August 1 to 18.

The festival programme was launched at the Rialto Cinemas on Monday night, with a special screening of hallucinating animated art heist noir thriller Ruben Brandt, Collector.

Hosted once again by Dunedin’s Regent Theatre and Rialto Cinemas, this year’s film festival marks the end of an era, with long-serving director Bill Gosden stepping down after 40 years in the role.

Festival programmer Sandra Reid said the festival offered a “typically eclectic and far-roaming range of local and world cinema”.

“It’s always an inspiring experience selecting the films and getting to share our choices with our audience.”

This year, 12 films from the 2019 Cannes Film Festival will screen in Dunedin.

Six of the films come from the Competition section of the festival including Jury Prize winner Les Miserables (which tied for the Jury Prize with Bacurau).

NZIFF’s 2019 Cannes selection also includes Ken Loach’s new social-realist drama Sorry We Missed You and winner of both the Queer Palm (Feature) and Best Screenplay, Portrait of a Lady on Fire

This year’s Retro section features a 4K restoration of Andrei Tarkovksy’s 1966 Medieval Russian epic Andrei Rublev, classic British comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets, and Apocalypse Now: Final Cut – Francis Ford Coppola’s final-and-finest version of the ultimate Vietnam War epic.

Eight New Zealand films feature in this year’s programme; including wine industry doco A Seat at the Table, and Hamish Bennett’s Bellbird – a tender, often funny picture of life on a Northland farm.

Dunedin will welcome visits from some of the films’ directors, including David Marsh and Simon Mark Brown – A Seat at the Table; Hamish Bennett – Bellbird; Justin Pemberton – Capital in the 21st Century; and Tony Sutorius – Helen Kelly – Together.

Hard copies of the Dunedin NZIFF programme are available at spots around the city now, and the programme can also be accessed online at