This year we host eight international guests at NZIFF in Auckland, including Australian director, writer and producer Sophie Hyde (Animals); actor turned documentarian Damon Gameau (2040); Grammy Award winner Thom Zimny (The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash); and social justice-focused director Maya Newell (In My Blood It Runs).These ﬁlmmakers will introduce their ﬁlms and answer questions following the screening of the sessions below.
We recommend booking your seats early for these fantastic Q+A sessions, and bringing your best questions, of course.
Sophie Hyde for Animals
Sophie Hyde was a NZIFF guest in 2013 with her debut narrative feature, 52 Tuesdays. Shot on consecutive Tuesdays over one year, it won the directing award in the World Cinema Dramatic category at Sundance and the Crystal Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. Her first episodic series, F*!#ing Adelaide, also screened at the Berlinale before being broadcast on Australia’s ABC1. She has also been commissioned to make screen-based work for the National Portrait Gallery, Carriageworks and the Art Gallery of South Australia. As a producer, she has worked with fellow festival guest Maya Newell on In My Blood It Runs. Animals, shot in Dublin and starring Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) as thirty-something best friends in Dublin, premiered at Sundance earlier this year.
Animals screenings featuring a Q+A with Sophie Hyde (hosted by Script to Screen)
Thu 25 July, 8.30 pm – ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
Fri 26 July, 3.00 pm – ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
Thom Zimny for The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash
Thom Zimny is an award-winning director, producer, editor and artist. Working with Bruce Springsteen for the past 18 years, Zimny has directed documentaries including Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes, The Ties That Bind, the Grammy award-winning Wings For Wheels: The Making of Born to Run, and the Netflix-released Springsteen on Broadway. Zimny has also edited episodes of David Simon’s acclaimed HBO series, The Wire, and helmed music videos for Bob Dylan, The Low Anthem and many others. The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash, which premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, was made in collaboration with the Cash Estate.
The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash screenings featuring a Q+A with Thom Zimny
Tue 30 July, 6.15 pm – ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
Wed 31 July, 3.15 pm – ASB Waterfront Theatre
Ben Hackworth for Celeste
Ben Hackworth’s first short film Martin Four was an official selection at 2001 Cannes Film Festival and went on to screen at over 20 international festivals. His Screen Australia-funded short film Violet Lives Upstairs won the 2004 Australian Film Critics Circle Award for Best Short Film and screened at major international festivals including Montreal, Sao Paulo, Mill Valley, Vladivostok and Palm Springs.
In 2008, his debut independent feature film Corroboree made the official selection at Toronto, Berlin, Melbourne and Sydney International Film Festival, and gained much critical acclaim. Celeste is his second feature.
Celeste screenings featuring a Q+A with Ben Hackworth
Sat 27 July, 12.30 pm – ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
Mon 29 July, 11.15 am – ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
Damon Gameau for 2040
Damon Gameau is a familiar face to New Zealand audiences; he was a festival guest when his debut feature, That Sugar Film¸ screened here in 2015 as part of NZIFF’s Autumn Events. The film went on to win Best Documentary at the Australian AACTA Awards. Australian-born Gameau is also an actor, producer and presenter, with credits in feature films including The Tracker and Balibo (NZIFF09), and television series such as Underbelly, Secrets and Lies and Gallipoli.
His new documentary, 2040, presents positive, practical solutions to the environmental concerns facing the global economy, with a particular view on providing younger generations with the tools and knowledge to survive and thrive by the year 2040.
2040 screening featuring a Q+A with Damon Gameau
Sat 27 July, 1.15 pm – The Civic, Auckland
Liza Mandelup for Jawline
Liza Mandelup is a New York filmmaker, currently based in Los Angeles, with a background in photography and short form commercial film work. She has been a long-time coordinator with online platforms such as Vogue, Nowness, i-D and Dazed.
She recently won the US Documentary Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker at Sundance for her debut film, Jawline. Filmmaker Magazine featured her as one of ’25 New Faces of Independent Film’. Charting the rise of aspiring star Austyn Tester, Liza Mandelup’s dreamy feature-length debut is a stranger-than-fiction portrait of wannabe online influencers.
Jawline screenings featuring a Q+A with Liza Mandelup
Thur 1 Aug, 6.15 pm – ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
Fri 2 Aug, 10.45 am – ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland
Mirrah Foulkes for Judy & Punch
Mirrah Foulkes is an Australian actor, writer and director. Prior to her feature film directorial debut, she made three award-winning short films; the latest, Trespass, received its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and won the Erwin Rado Memorial Award for Best Australian Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Foulkes’ acting credits include Top of the Lake, Animal Kingdom, Sleeping Beauty, The Crown and The Turning. Judy & Punch sees Foulkes reinterpret the story of the famous 16th century puppet show into a fierce, darkly comic and epic female-driven story of revenge.
Judy & Punch screenings featuring a Q+A with Mirrah Foulkes
Thu 25 July, 3.30 pm – The Civic, Auckland (hosted by Script by Screen)
Fri 26 July, 6.30 pm – The Civic, Auckland (hosted by Script by Screen)
Maya Newell for In My Blood It Runs
Maya Newell is an Australian filmmaker with a focus on social impact documentary. Premiering at Hot Docs 2019, her latest feature, In My Blood It Runs, was developed via Good Pitch Australia and selected for the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund. She directed Growing Up Gayby for the ABC in 2013, which evolved into her first feature documentary, Gayby Baby (2015). The film broke cinema-on-demand records in Australia and was nominated for an ACCTA award.
Told from the perspective of an insightful 10-year-old Aboriginal boy, sensitive documentary In My Blood It Runs considers the value of an education that balances the integrity of indigenous lifeways against persistent colonisation.
In My Blood It Runs screenings featuring a Q+A with Maya Newell
Sat 27 July, 1.30 pm – Academy Cinemas, Auckland
Sun 28 July, 6.00 pm – Academy Cinemas, Auckland
Lorcan Finnegan for Vivarium
Lorcan Finnegan is an Irish writer, director, photographer and editor. He studied graphic design in Dublin before moving into animation and live action filmmaking. He has written and directed many award-winning short films, TV commercials, comedy sketches and music videos. His supernatural short film Foxes premiered at SXSW in 2011, screened in competition at Tribeca and at the London BFI, and picked up an IFTA for Best Short.
Vivarium, his second feature and third collaboration with writer Garret Shanley, premiered at this year’s Cannes Critic’s Week and won The Gan Foundation Distribution Award. Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots’ goal of becoming homeowners veers into strange and sinister territory in this smart and unexpected sci-fi horror.
Vivarium screenings featuring a Q+A with Lorcan Finnegan
Sun 28 July 5.15 pm – Hollywood Avondale, Auckland
Mon 29 July 8.15 pm – Event Cinemas Queen Street, Auckland