Rescued from 45 years in legal and technical limbo, this extraordinary music film capturing Aretha Franklin in full flight deserves your respect – and the biggest screen and sound system possible.
A sweeping character study centred on a teenager’s disappearance – and a mother’s determination to live through the tragedy – in blue collar Pennsylvania. With Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul and Christina Hendricks.
Welcome back to the jungle with Brando, Duvall, Fishburne and Hopper for Francis Ford Coppola’s final – and finest – version of the ultimate Vietnam War epic.
As her 90th birthday approaches, irrepressible Dr Ruth, the famed American sex therapist, reflects on her life and career in a film as spirited as she is.
As EDM and ecstasy-fuelled raves are targeted by 90s lawmakers, two downtrodden Glasgow teenagers are determined to taste the action. Director Brian Welsh (The Entire History of You) makes it a night to remember.
A city slicker couple turned progressive eco-farmers transform a barren orchard into a thriving landscape in this inspirational sustainability documentary.
Jillian Bell (Workaholics, Rough Night) stars in this Audience Award-winning Sundance comedy about a New York slacker who takes up running in the hopes of getting her life back on track.
A sweeping – and sobering – account of the way that concentrated wealth has both shaped our past and is creating a deeply unequal future. Based on economist Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book.
A poignant, intimate portrait of Yves Saint Laurent in his twilight years takes us behind the scenes of the fabled fashion house and of the couturier’s complex relationship with business partner Pierre Bergé.
Kaijou no kodomo
With an enchanting attention to oceanic detail and the mysteries of the deep blue sea, this blissfully moody anime follows the journey of a teenage girl spirited away on a fantastic aquatic adventure.
Dilili à Paris
The great master of French animation, Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Kirikou and the Wild Beasts), returns with this enchanting new tale of brave young heroes, set in Paris during the Belle Epoque.
Pasifika filmmakers Vea Mafile’o and Jeremiah Tauamiti direct this intimate, clear-eyed documentary centred on the faith, love and fatherhood of Saia Mafile’o, and his four children.
Shot over five years, Waad al-Kateab’s intimate, Cannes award-winning film addresses her baby daughter and delivers a harrowing account of the war in Aleppo, the devastation wrought on the city, its people and children.
From America’s satanic panic to the battle of the Baphomet monument, Hail Satan? is an eye-opening comedic romp exploring the good – and sometimes not so good – work of The Satanic Temple.
The astounding career and chequered business history of the American design genius who revolutionised fashion in the 1970s are recalled in this fittingly epic new documentary from the director of Dior and I.
An intimate, inspirational portrait of Helen Kelly in the last year of her life, Together tells the story of a woman whose advocacy and generosity changed the lives of countless New Zealanders.
A forbidding spaceship carrying death row inmates hurtles towards oblivion in Claire Denis’s long-awaited, intensely hypnotic sci-fi opus.
Beyond Bob Marley, Inna de Yard dives deep into the soul of reggae music, the die-hard singers and songwriters who were there from the beginning, and the Jamaican sound and spirit.
Punch & Judy’s traditional puppet theatre receives an offbeat and subversive twist in this deliciously dark tale of revenge starring Mia Wasikowska.
The classic, quintessentially British comedy of bad manners returns in a superb digital restoration. With Dennis Price as the most elegantly murderous of social climbers and Alec Guinness as all eight of his victims.
A striking conceit and stellar cast mix winningly in this compulsively watchable, superbly executed French romantic comedy, where it’s never too late to relive the best day of your life again. And again. And again...
In the crime-ridden suburbs of impoverished Paris, the line between corrupt cop and upstanding criminal is not so clearly defined, in this explosive, Cannes Jury Prize-winning French thriller.
Toni Servillo as Silvio Berlusconi plays the role of his life in Paolo Sorrentino’s satirical account of the former prime minister of Italy, famous for his fortunes and scandals as well as his ad personam policies.
Utilising a treasure trove of archival footage, director Alex Holmes celebrates the history of Maiden Great Britain, the first all-female crew to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race.
This adoring documentary captures the life, art – and, above all, spine-tingling talents – of a diva extraordinaire revered by opera devotees and ripe for discovery by everyone who’s not.
A deep dive into the myth of Leonard Cohen, the singer’s defining relationship with Marianne Ihlen, and prolific documentarian Nick Broomfield’s own personal connection to Cohen’s famous lover and muse.
Meet New York’s legendary-yet-unlikely street art photographer who influenced a whole generation of graffiti artists – and at the age of 75, is still capturing beauty on the fringes, with verve.
Timothy Spall plays English painter L.S. Lowry – here a frustrated artist in 1930s Lancashire – and Vanessa Redgrave his bed-ridden, domineering mother, in this popular play-turned-biopic.
Check out the year’s best New Zealand short films as chosen by this year’s guest selector Jane Campion, from a shortlist drawn up by NZIFF programmers from a total of 91 entries.
A collection of Māori and Pasifika short films curated by Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival, with guest co-curator Craig Fasi (Niue), director of the Pollywood Film Festival. Curators’ comments on each film appear in italics.
The murky line between reality and fiction goes under the microscope – and the sheets – in Olivier Assayas’s chatty, up-to-the minute treatment of the French literary world, with Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet.
Four years after Waterloo a different kind of battle was fought on British soil, Mike Leigh delivers a passionate and forceful historical drama about the time when the working class began to fight for their rights.
Shirley Horrocks’ richly illustrated portrait of the life and career of one of New Zealand’s most important photographers, who dedicated his life to seeing and making works of art out of the everyday.
A street photographer convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancée in this sweet and tender romance that unfolds amongst the chaotic streets of Mumbai. From the director of The Lunchbox.
PJ Harvey gathers lyrical and musical inspiration in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Washington DC, an unorthodox collection of raw material fused together in a London studio for her 2016 album, The Hope Six Demolition Project.
Portrait de la jeune fille en feu
Winner of Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at Cannes, Céline Sciamma’s striking 18th-century tale of romantic obsession burns bright with female desire and the craft of a masterful filmmaker.
Ruben Brandt, a gyűjtő
Boasting batshit surreal imagery, fist-pumping action sequences and a wall-to-wall shrine of art and cinema references, Ruben Brandt, Collector is a new milestone for animated invention.
Savour 100 minutes of eye-popping camera work, picturesque vineyards and gratuitous grape-fondling shots in this glorious toast to the talent and the stories behind New Zealand’s world-famous wine industry.
Exploring psychotherapy, boundaries and obsession, Justine Triet’s film deliciously portrays the creative crisis of a shrink-wannabe-author, who steals her actress patient’s story for a novel.
A most worthy follow-up to I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach’s new social-realist drama zeroes in on life as an average British family at the mercy of the modern day ‘gig economy’.
Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots’ goal of becoming homeowners veers into strange and sinister territory in this smart and unexpected sci-fi horror.
Octogenarian Christo wraps up a miraculous career with a spectacular network of fabric walkways over an Italian lake, in an oft-humorous closeup look at the process of creation, clashes of egos and perils of nature.
Breathing new life into the Romanian New Wave, Corneliu Porumboiu crafts a rollicking genre movie set in sun-soaked Spain, where the best laid plans of a bent cop hinge on learning a secret local whistling dialect.
Hvítur, Hvítur Dagur
Evidence of a deceased wife’s affair tips a grieving ex-cop in remote Iceland over the edge, leading to a shocking spiral of events in search of the truth.
Celle que vous croyez
Juliette Binoche is terrific in director Safy Nebbou’s intriguing cautionary tale about a divorced university professor who reinvents herself as a younger, more desirable woman online.
Nan fang che zhan de ju hui
Gangland subterfuge tumbles into a dazzling nocturnal manhunt in Chinese director Diao Yinan’s film noir par excellence – a modern genre classic in the making.
Moving between fiction and reality, and harnessing the power of both drama and dance, Cuban ballet dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta shares his life story, from a barely interested kid to one of the greats.