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Vive le cinéma

After last year’s hiatus thanks to Covid-19, the French Film Festival Aotearoa returns to Christchurch next month. Returning for its 15th year, the country’s second largest film festival invites Kiwis to come along for a glass of red and a very French night at the movies.


Skies of Lebanon


The Christchurch season runs from June 24 to July 7.

The programme is a carefully curated selection of more than 20 of the best French film releases from 2020/21 put together by festival director, Fergus Grady. The new team at the helm has worked closely with the French Embassy to bring great films to the French community in New Zealand as well as Francophile Kiwis.

“We are about bringing a world of stories to our corner of the Pacific and we’re thrilled to be bringing the best of French films to New Zealand cinema-goers,” says Grady.

The programme has been designed to take audiences on an incredible journey through cinéma français, showcasing the crème de la crème of French cinema and its filmmakers.

From comedies and thrillers, to dramas and documentaries, the 2021 French Film Festival Aotearoa is a proud celebration of French culture and storytelling.

The ‘tour de cinema’ kicks off in Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga, Masterton and Nelson on June 10. Spanning four weeks, the festival will visit 12 cities and towns across both the North and South Islands.

Tickets and the full programme are available now at


The Man in the Hat



Food, fun & flicks

American Express Openair Cinemas is bringing food, fun and flicks to Christchurch this month, with American Express card members receiving a range of exclusive benefits.


With 29 events happening at Christchurch’s new Rauora Park, at the corner of Hereford and Manchester Street in the heart of the city, the festival vibes will be in full swing every weekend with an array of alternative entertainment, live music and DJ performances before the latest and greatest feature films light up the big screen.

Punters have no need to feel lonesome on their night out, as film fanatics and doggy owners are invited to bring their canine furry friends to any screening.

This year’s programme brings a great selection of recent box office hits and highly anticipated new releases including Knives Out, Star Wars: The Rise of Luke Skywalker, The Gentlemen, Little Women and Birds of Prey, as well as Oscar winners including Jojo Rabbit, 1917, Bombshell and Joker.

There is also a special selection of family-friendly titles that feature in the programme, including Frozen II, Dolittle, Jumanji: The Next Level, Spies in Disguise and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Local favourite Bacon Brothers will be bringing its mouth-watering burgers to the event and Häagen-Dazs will be providing ice cream scoops for film loving troops with a sweet tooth.

Fear not, the refreshments are taken care of too thanks to national partners Kaiser Brothers Brewery and Giesen Wines, or try something a little different with Lillet cocktails.


The Leisure Seeker

Win with Metropol: a double pass to see The Leisure Seeker with Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland

Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland star in The Leisure Seeker, a poignant and triumphant love story about a runaway couple who embark on an unforgettable cross-country adventure in their vintage campervan.

The Leisure Seeker

John and Ella Spencer have almost reached the end of the road; Ella is frail, while John’s memory is failing. Instead of quietly fading away however, the Boston seventy-somethings flee the suffocating care of their doctors and children and head off in their vintage campervan, The Leisure Seeker. Transmission Films New Zealand has given us five double passes to give away to some very lucky readers.

To enter to win, simply head to, put in your details and tick the competitions you want to enter. Entries close on Monday 18 June and winners will be notified on Tuesday 19 June.

EntX Entertainment Central

City’s world-class cinema complex: Calder Stewart takes the lead on EntX Entertainment Central

A world-class venture by Calder Stewart will soon showcase a very unique entertainment and dining experience in the CBD. The Cantabrian icon with the X-factor is on schedule, on budget, for a September 21 launch – in time for school holidays.

EntX Entertainment Central

A first for New Zealand, EntX Entertainment Central will house the state-of-the-art Hoyts complex extending between Tuam and Lichfield Streets, with seven cinemas on the first and second stories, and 18 restaurants and bars on the ground floor of a triple-height, 15 metre high atrium.
“After losing Regent on Worcester and the Hoyts 8 complex, Hoyts desired a new inner-city flagship cinema complex. Nothing could compare to this site’s location,” says Calder Stewart’s Project Director Mark Weaver. “It fits well within the overall scheme of the city and will become a popular entertainment destination.”
The base build, incorporating a total floor area of 10,500m2, commenced in February 2017, the Hoyts fitout has commenced and the dining tenants’ fitouts will begin in July.
Mark says the overall design incorporates a Canterbury landscape theme to create a large glade space and a more enclosed grove area . Supporting columns and the use of recycled timbers reflect the dark forest tree trunks of native Canterbury forest, all weaving amongst an eclectic maze of dining and socialising spaces. “And a spectacular lighting feature will soon be unveiled,” he says. Full-height glass windows link into the outside city vibe, a vibrant vista whilst descending the escalator from Hoyts’ first floor entrance.

EntX Entertainment Central “The ground floor comprises a dining precinct with 18 restaurants representing all four corners of the globe, seating over 400 people comfortably,” Mark says. “It’s a great place to meet friends for a meal, watch a movie, or just people watch.”
EntX expects to be buzzing day and night with every type of dining environment from sociable bar leaners to soft leather couches by a cosy fireplace; world class – with a regional eclectic feel. The design and build project is headed by Mark, Project Manager Matt Peterson, Constructor Manager Jeff Sutherland and their talented team of carpenters.
Outside, the undulating canopy reflects the contours of the Port Hills, harmonising with the roof line of its adjacent neighbour, the Christchurch Bus Exchange. CS Roofing Canterbury was commissioned to supply and install the architectural wall cladding. The premium product, Euro Tray Angle Seam, was used to create the lightweight wall cladding of the atrium sides of the complex. Vertical lines varying in subtly changing shades emulate Canterbury plain’s patchwork landscape. “We used our highly skilled, experienced team on time and to budget, using this high-quality product, and met the challenges in the attention to detail required, from measuring and installation to sign off,” says Project Manager Shane Johnstone. “We are proud to be involved with such a prominent Christchurch Landmark.”
Hoyts cinemas incorporate more than 940 electric reclining seats with super spacious leg room across seven luxury cinemas – two extreme screens with Dolby surround take cinema to an exhilarating new level. For those special occasions, try one of the intimate 40 seat LUX cinemas with a restaurant to seat service.
AMT Mechanical Services strict acoustic requirements within the cinemas was one challenge, including delivery of conditioned air, to maintain patron comfort levels, while meeting very specific noise criteria. This includes large noise attenuators within duct runs, and developing alternate methods to support ducting around acoustic ceilings and walls. “The project has been fully BIM (3D) modelled via our in-house CAD engineers, allowing us to complete clash-analysis early on,” says Area Manager Chris Green. “To date we’ve commissioned four of the cinemas, and are installing mechanical services for the Hoyts kitchens and hospitality tenancies. Preliminary HVAC design commenced in June 2016. and we’re extremely excited see the project unfolding and very proud to work with Calder Stewart.”

EntX Entertainment Central Calder Stewart, predominately involved in industrial design and build development, has its own distribution fleet, access gear, cranes, as well as reinforcing steel, structural steel and concrete panel production plants. This was a cost-effective factor in the $50 million dollar project that utilised 580 tonnes of structural steel.
No stranger to central city development and construction, Calder Stewart also built the new Kathmandu and Vodafone buildings. “Our design and build process is very simple. Tell us what you want to achieve, and we’ll work on making it happen,” Mark says. “Our vertical supply chain means efficiencies and savings are passed onto our clients and our timeframes are shorter.”
As the company transitions from a regional base to a national focus with inroads into the Auckland and Hamilton markets, the latest outstanding new flagship in Christchurch showcases all that can be possible.

Project Partners

    Ph: 03 338 0013
    Ph: 03 338 0145
    Ph: 03 338 0400

Win with Metropol: ‘Breathe’ starring Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy and Hugh Bonneville

Transmission Films has given us two copies of the inspirational love story Breathe to give away.



Based on the true story of producer Jonathan Cavendish’s parents Robin and Diana Cavendish, Breathe is the true story of love without limits, featuring an incredible cast including Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge, Silence), Claire Foy (The Crown) and Hugh Bonneville (Downtown Abbey).

To enter to win a copy visit, put in your details and tick the competitions you want to enter. Entries close on Monday 21 May and winners will be notified on Tuesday 22 May.

Amy Schumer "I Feel Pretty"

Win with Metropol: I feel pretty with Amy Schumer

Starring Amy Schumer, I Feel Pretty centres on Renee, who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis. Then one day, she wakes from a fall believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet. With this newfound confidence, Renee is empowered to live her life fearlessly and flawlessly. But what will happen when she realises her appearance never changed?

I Feel Pretty opens in NZ cinemas on 19 April 2018 and Metropol has five double passes to give away to some very lucky readers.

Amy Schumer "I Feel Pretty"

To go in the draw for this incredible prize, head to, enter your details and tick the competitions you want to enter. Entries close on Monday 23 April, with winner drawn on Tuesday 24 April.

American Express Openair Cinema

Events guide: Five things well worth leaving home for

The temperatures may have begun their downward descent, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to lock yourselves inside! We’ve gone in search of some of the hottest events around that will be sure to bring some warmth to your autumn.

American Express Openair Cinema
American Express Openair Cinema

Food, fun and flicks:

American Express is bringing the Openair Cinema festival of food, fun and flicks to Rauora Park from 15 March to 1 April.
There will be an array of alternative entertainment, live music and DJ performances before the latest and greatest feature films light up the big screen.
Better yet, you can bring along a ‘Doggy Date’! Pampered pooches will receive the VID treatment with a pawfect picnic platter of doggy delights and their own canine couch. Tickets start at $13 and are on-sale now at

Jump for charity:

Some of the country’s leading horse and pony riders are getting in behind the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation with the second annual Jump for Cancer Hagley charity event at North Hagley Park on 25 March.
St. Margaret’s College students will be collecting donations on behalf of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and food vendors will be selling everything from coffee and gelato to gourmet pizzas and potatoes.
General admission is free with VIP tickets available from To find out more, head to the Jump for Cancer Hagley Facebook page.

Middle-aged man in lycra!

Following a sell-out premiere season across New Zealand, much-loved Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow remounts for a final ride into Christchurch in the acclaimed one man show, MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra), in all its lurid lycra glory for ‘Le Tour d’Isaac’, from Thursday 31 May to Saturday 2 June at the Isaac Theatre Royal.
Shining as the affable, yet uncomfortably relatable anti-hero in the one-man show, Hadlow commands the stage. With his energetic presence and childlike enthusiasm to the character, he breathes life into the cleverly crafted monologues to delight even the most stoic of MAMIL-phobes.

Colourful fun :

All the colour and fun of a carnival is coming to Cathedral Square on Saturday 24 February.
The popular Latino market is heading into the city from 4pm to 8pm on so you can enjoy a delicious culinary collection of Latin street food, live music, art and craft and, of course, the warmth of the local Latin community.
There will also be workshops, a dance floor and performances with Latin rhythms (including capoeira and samba do Brasil). So bring your most colourful clothing – and your dancing shoes – and prepare for a night of colourful fun.

A catwalk crusade:

Designers and celebrities are set to hit the catwalk on Thursday 12 April wearing the latest New Zealand fashion.
Guests at the annual M Factor Fashion Show will see collections from the likes of Annah Stretton, Augustine, Repertoire, Trelise Cooper and many more to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities New Zealand and Ronald McDonald House South Island.
Held at 7pm on Thursday 12 April at The Transitional Cathedral, tickets are available at and are priced at $75 for VIP, $55 for General Admission and $20 for children and students.