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NZIFF unveils locals

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has announced four New Zealand features and a TV series for its 2017 edition.

There are no prizes for guessing the TV series in question is Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl, which returned to NZ for part of the second series shoot. The full six-part series will screen in one bum-numbing session (with potty breaks).

Already premiered elsewhere, Jackie van Beek’s The Inland Road and Toa Fraser’s 6 Days will make the NZ bows at the festival.

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney called van Beek’s Queenstown-shot drama “shot through with kindness, compassion and compelling stillness”. The Inland Road this week also announced more festival appearances

Fraser’s 6 Days is a NZ-UK co-production and will open in the UK around the same time it makes it plays here. Whether its terrorism themes, unfortunately topical in the UK at present, will help or hinder its box office performance remains to be seen,

Two NZ titles making world premiere appearances this year’s NZIFF are Nic Gorman’s Human Traces (pictured, top) and omnibus feature Waru, the latter the subject of a Big Screen Symposium session last year.

Gorman’s thriller was, like van Beek’s film, shot in the South Island (although it’s set even further south). With a cast including Milo Cawthorne, Sophie Henderson, Mark Mitchinson and Sara Wiseman there’s a lot to look forward – although Aucklanders and Wellingtonians will have to wait until the fim has premiered in Christchurch before it crosses Cook Strait for festival appearances up north.

The same week the Human Rights Commission launched Taika Waititi’s Give Nothing to Racism campaign and a UNICEF has condemned many statistics around NZ children’s well-being, comes the announcement of the premiere for Waru. The film is set at a tangi for a child killed by a family member, and has segments from Ainsley Gardiner, Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Chelsea Winstanley, Katie Wolfe, Paula Jones, Renae Maihi, and Awanui Simich-Pene (segment written by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu) .



The NZIFF programme will be available online from 7pm Monday 26 June, and on the streets from Tuesday 27 June for Auckland and Friday 30 June for Wellington. The NZIFF opens in Auckland on 20 July and in Wellington on 28 July.

Top of the Lake: China Girl will go on sale on Monday 19 June at 9am for the Auckland screening, and Thursday 6 July at 10am for the Wellington screening.

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