The NZIFF held its programme launch in Auckland Monday, with programmes for other centres to be revealed as the week rolls on.
Many of the newer headline titles were already known, with the traditional early announcements of local features and docos, the NZ’s Best and Nga Whanaunga shorts programmes, and titles secured following debuts at Cannes.
No new NZ features were added to the mix with the full programme announcement, but a few more shorts were named to support features. Some of this year’s Loading Docs titles will appear, as does Jackie van Beek’s The Lawnmower Bandit.
From further afield will come the usual suspects crop of titles that have done well at other international festivals. Among them are Jafar Panahi’s Berlinale winner Tehran Taxi, Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, and Kim Longinotto’s Dreamcatcher.
Martin Scorsese & David Tedeschi’s The Fifty Year Argument was inadvertently confirmed to both the NZIFF and Doc Edge earlier this year, and now gets its outing.
Yann Demange’s British award-winner ’71 is named, and – 18 months on from its Sundance debut – Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. From this year’s Sundance, there’s Prashant Nair’s Umrika, Sean Baker’s Tangerine and Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope. Tomm Moore’s Oscar-nominated animation Song of the Sea, seen here at a special Animfx screening late last year, gets a second outing.
Heading towards the end of their festival runs are Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home, premiered over a year ago in China, and Wang Xiaoshuai’s drama Red Amnesia, which premiered in Venice last year. On Tuesday Wang was named as one of the four master directors for Busan’s Asia’s Masters and Newcomers Project. Also named one of the four was Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL, whose Cemetery of Splendour was earlier confirmed as one of this year’s Cannes titles heading to the NZIFF.
From Asia the selection is predictably small and largely predictable. Some titles, including Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Our Little Sister, were announced previously. Now joining the Cannes titles are films including Sung-bo Shim’s Haemoo, which played Toronto after its Korean release; and Yonebayashi Hiromasa’s When Marnie Was There, in both dubbed and subtitled versions.
It wouldn’t be the NZIFF without a Hong Sang-soo film, and this year Korea’s Alan Ayckbourn delivers Hill of Freedom.
The festival’s Auckland leg will open with Yorgos Lanthimos’ Cannes-premiered The Lobster and will go out on a high with the last night offering the NZ’s Best winners announcement, Neil Armfield’s Holding the Man and Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s Himalyas-set mountaineering doco Meru.
The NZIFF’s full Auckland programme is now available in print or online. The Wellington programme is revealed on 26 June, and rolled out into other centres from then. This year’s NZIFF runs in Auckland 16 July – 2 August; in Wellington 24 July – 9 August, with visits to other centres confirmed until late September.