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NZFF 2010 leaves Auckland travelling lighter

Apres le deluge… the arithmetic. As 600 exhausted festival goers staggered out of the Civic late on Sunday night it was time to say goodbye, more or less, to the 2010 Festival, announced back in June at a screening of Exit Through the Gift Shop and concluding with the whooping nihilism of Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void.

Fortunately for those in need of spiritual repair we can look forward, after a short replenishing break, to special screenings next Wednesday of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cannes winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

In the meantime we’ve been busy with our calculators figuring out whether we’ll be raiding our rainy day funds to pay for this year’s extravaganza. Admissions total 99,256, a three percent dip on last year’s record. Screenings at The Civic and SKYCITY Theatre were the big winners, with most of the disappointing turnouts occurring at the Rialto and Academy.

Weekday daytime attendance was way up – which puts a dent in our income projections, and tells us something about an audience with limited disposable income and increased disposable time.

We have a few highlights of our own. Maybe they coincide with yours: some great Q+A sessions with international and Kiwi filmmakers; the Hollywood savoir faire of our headlining celebrity guest; the APO and Buster Keaton bringing down the house on Sunday night; Civic audiences rapt with tension at Animal Kingdom and How I Ended this Summer; the lightning word-of-mouth on the Bill Cunningham film.

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