The numbers for the NZFF in Auckland and Wellington show a ship holding steady despite inclement environmental factors. Bill Gosden described the festival’s time in the capital as “plagued by sunshine”, but the films on offer nonetheless managed to rack up an increased number of attendances over last year.
66,778 tickets just topped the 2010 number by 336. In Auckland, the trend was reversed, with the 99,325 admissions falling “nigglingly short of last year’s 99,857”. All the numbers are what would comfortably fall within a pollster’s margin of error, and a tribute to both the resilience of film goers, shunning both sun and snow in Wellington, and to the film selections.
In Wellington, Tree of Life, Herzog’s 3-D Cave of Forgotten Dreams, The Trip and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia attracted most viewers. In Auckland The Tree of Life, The Trip, Melancholia also played best, along with Senna, Le Havre, A
Separation, Nosferatu, Arrietty and the very successful opening night film Love Story.
The numbers aren’t the only measure, however. Although fewer people saw Merata Mita’s Mana Waka, Annie Goldson’s Brother Number One and Costa Botes’ Daytime Tiger and the accompanying Q&A and Film Talk sessions, the responses from critics and public were almost uniformly positive.