This year’s World Cinema Showcase offers world premieres to two local feature documentaries in a programme of 36 films for its 14th edition.
Jim Marbook’s Mental Notes and Jan Bieringa’s Te Hono ki Aotearoa will fly the local flag.
In Mental Notes, from filmmaker Jim Marbrook, five former patients recall their experiences in the psychiatric institutions that were the bastions of the country’s mental health for most of the last century.
“Jim’s subjects provide a gentle, affirmative assertion of survival against the odds while bearing eloquent witness to a long dark era in our social history,” says Festival Director Bill Gosden.
Jan Bieringa’s Te Hono ki Aotearoa documents the commissioning and delivery of a new waka taua for the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden.
“The sight of a magnificent waka taua being propelled through European waters is a thing of beauty to stir the heart of any New Zealander. What’s so fascinating here is Jan’s insights into the way it stirs European hearts too. The rapport between master carver Hekenukumai Busby and the museum’s director is the starting point for a gratifyingly thorough immersion in kaupapa waka.” says Gosden.
The overall selection spans much of the globe, with only Africa missing out completely.
The US dominates with films produced or co-produced there taking almost a third of the slots. Europe is well represented, and there are more than one film each from South America and Asia. Australia gets four programme slots.
There’s a strong presence by films that have been doing the festival and awards rounds for a while, including This Is Not A Film, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia and Chico and Rita.
Of the local(ish) choices, Fred Schepisi’s The Eye of the Storm is in the midst of doing the festival rounds, screening in Hong Kong with lead Charlotte Rampling a prominent feature on the press junket a week before its opening here.
The World Cinema Showcase runs in Auckland 29 March – 11 April at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket and Bridgeway; Wellington 5 – 22 April at the Paramount; Dunedin 19 April – 2 May at the Regent Theatre; Christchurch 26 April – 9 May at Hollywood 3 Sumner. All the info you can shake a stick at is here.