It’s the most wonderful time of year! Why? The New Zealand International Film Festival (aka the NZIFF) is in Auckland! Kicking off on July 14 until the end of the month, the NZIFF brings a stellar variety of world cinema from the international festival circuit to the big screens of New Zealand. Showcasing both national and international films, it’s a chance to feast your eyes on films you might not otherwise see in mainstream cinemas. We’ve trawled through this year’s programme and rounded up ten films you can’t miss.
#1 Poi E: The Story Of Our Song
What better way to kick off NZIFF 2016 than with a rendition of the nation’s favourite song? Tearepa Kahi’s doco follows the story of Dalvanius Prime, the man who behind the pop waiata that took the country by storm in ’84. Expect guest appearances from Taika Waititi, Stan Walker and—of course—the Patea Maori Club!
#2 Everybody Wants Some!!
Two years’ ago, the NZIFF bought us Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. The 12-year masterpiece has been cemented in our minds since then…and we want more! Thankfully, The Oscar-nominated director is at it again with Everybody Wants Some!!. In this comedy, Linklater recalls his first days at college. Think Texas, 1980 and a squad of baseball players.
#3 Unlocking The Cage
In this documentary, US animal protector attorney Steven Wise builds a ground-breaking suit seeking legal autonomy for chimpanzee clients. He believes cognitively complex animals (such as chimps, whales, dolphins and elephants) should be granted human rights that would protect them from abuse. The film is set to be the Blackfish of 2016. Bring tissues.
#4 Ants On A Shrimp: Noma In Tokyo
If there’s one thing we love at The Urban List, it’s food. So it’s only natural that we’re excited about this food doco. The film follows Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma—repeatedly voted the ‘world’s best restaurant’—as they embark on setting up a five-week pop-up restaurant in Tokyo. What’s more, they create a special 15-course meal showcasing snapping turtles, fish sperm and live ants (as you do).
#5 Captain Fantastic
Starring Viggo Mortensen (better known as Aragorn to Kiwi-folk), Captain Fantastic follow the journey of a solo father raising a tribe of six kids off the grid. Apparently somewhat à la Little Miss Sunshine, the energetic comedic drama is set to be a goodie.
#6 New Zealand’s Best 2016
A NZIFF staple, this session screens the six finalists of New Zealand’s Best short film competition. For this year’s selection, the festival’s programmers viewed 81 submissions to make a shortlist of 12, from which filmmaker Lee Tamahori selected the six finalists. Head along to view Kiwi talent at it’s finest and vote for the audience choice award.
#7 Safety Last! Auckland Philharmonia Live Cinema
If you haven’t seen an Auckland Philharmonia Live Cinema event at the NZIFF, you’re not a true Aucklander. This 1923 silent film is brought to life as the orchestra perform a live musical accompaniment. It’s an experience not to be missed.
#8 The Daughter
Based on Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, Australian stage director Simon Stone reimagines the 19th-century Russian texts to a contemporary small town context. The highly-praised Australian drama has a stellar cast including Geogrey Rush, Sam Neill and Miranda Otto. Tickets are selling like hotcakes for The Daughter with some sessions already sold-out.
#9 Like Crazy
Like Crazy follows the story of two institutionalised women as they break free from psychiatric care. This Italian comedy-drama will make you laugh and cry—sometimes simultaneously! Like Crazy was one of the brightest surprises at Cannes this year and we suspect Auckland audiences will love it too—tickets are selling fast for this one.
#10 The Lure
Advertised as “the greatest vampire mermaid musical fairy tale ever made”, we don’t have much more to say about this one—it kinda talks for itself. Let your curiosity get the better of you and grab a ticket.
What: The New Zealand International Film Festival
When: 14th to 31st July 2016
Where: Various locations
Tickets: Information for tickets available here
More Info: Visit the NZIFF website
Looking for more things to do this month? Check out 21 Rad Things To Do In Auckland This July.
Image credit: Like Crazy