Lighting up the screen

Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) will now open in Christchurch, following the cancellation of the Auckland season.

Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal and the Lumière Cinemas will screen 95 feature films from 37 countries. Joining the previously announced line-up of New Zealand films is MILKED, a thought-provoking exploration of New Zealand’s dairy industry and Juliet Gerrard: Science in Dark Times, a fascinating insight into the life and career of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Chief Science Advisor.

New Zealand will be well represented, with short film competitions New Zealand’s Best 2021 and Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts screening in both Christchurch and Wellington. As well as this, several locally produced shorts are due to screen ahead of features throughout the festival.

“We hope that Kiwis will rally behind the film festival and show their support by coming out to see the stunning line-up of films that we’ll be presenting,” says festival director Marten Rabarts.

Highlights from the 2021 festival include Wes Anderson’s star-studded homage to the golden age of journalism, The French Dispatch; Maggie Gyllenhaal’s award-winning adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter, featuring a powerhouse performance from Olivia Colman; decorated Chinese Master Zhang Yimou’s love letter to cinema, One Second, and Bosnia and Herzegovinia’s contender for the 2022 Best International Feature Oscar, Jasmila Zbanic’s Quo Vadis, Aida?

Delivering star power is Berlin Golden Bear nominee, Maria Schrader’s I’m Your Man, featuring Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens as a love android; colourful televangelist biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye, starring Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield, and moving literary memoir My Salinger Year, starring Sigourney Weaver.

Dame Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog will have its New Zealand premiere at Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal on opening night, before the film kicks off the 50th Jubilee edition of the Wellington festival at flagship venue The Embassy Theatre, the following week. Cannes Film Festival’s Palme D’or winner

Titane is set to close the festival in both centres in an unforgettable fashion, with Paulo Sorrentino’s Venice Grand Jury Prize-winning masterpiece The Hand Of God anchoring the festival’s middle weekend in centrepiece position.

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