Festival FAQs

How can I volunteer for the festival?

We’re looking for volunteers to help deliver the 2021 film festival in Wellington. Click here to find out more

Why have you moved the dates of the film festival for 2021?

The 2021 film festival dates have moved for two reasons. We anticipate we will be less likely to be impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns if we delay the festival until a large percentage of the population has been vaccinated. Some festivals from which we source films have moved to later dates.

Will these be the new festival dates every year?

No - this is a one-off for 2021 in response to the impact of Covid-19. We anticipate being back in our usual winter slot in 2022.

Now that the Auckland leg is cancelled for 2021, will there be an online option this year?

We have considered the online option very carefully and we are unable to present online for 2021.
There are a number of issues:
- We would be unable to secure the online rights for the majority of the films programmed, making only a small percentage of the films available to us.
- NZ simply does not have the population base which enabled other film festivals around the world to present online (eg Sundance was available for the whole of the US) and gearing up an online platform that is accessible to our whole audience for the volume of streams we might achieve, was not viable. 
- New Zealand's IP addresses are not regionalised, so an online option would be in competition with all of our beautiful partner venues and cinemas across the motu, who also need support during this difficult time for the industry. Our filmmakers have made their work for the big screen, and the focus for our team this year is to present their works as best we can, in person.

Will there be a printed programme this year?

Yes - we will be printing and distributing our programme catalogue in all centres. On 7 October 2021 we announced the cancellation of the Auckland leg of NZIFF 2021 and there will not be a printed programme for Auckland in 2021. 

Why is the film festival not in the town where I live?

We currently present the film festival in 13 towns and cities around New Zealand and are continually reviewing our options.

Why are you not screening in all of the cinemas you screened in last year?

The 2020 festival was one out of the box due to the uncertainty of Covid restrictions. In 2021 we have returned to our usual format, cinemas and venues, in a new time slot that we hope will remove some of the uncertainty of the previous year.

Will I get the same discounts or concessions which I have received in the past?

Yes – we will continue to offer great value for money with concessions, discounts for specific groups, and the popular multi-trip passes will be back.

When will you start telling us about films for this year?

We've been announcing the full festival programmes city by city – Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin are all announced and the regional cities will follow in coming weeks. Stay tuned to hear about what films are playing in your town.

Will you be having international filmmakers coming as guests?

Changing border restrictions mean we will not be welcoming international filmmakers to attend the 2021 film festival. We will however be celebrating New Zealand filmmakers in the festival and including Q&As and other events in the programme to enable audiences to meet filmmakers.

Will the film quiz be back?

Unfortunately, the film quiz won't be happening in 2021... we suggest you start planning your team and study your film facts ready for the return of the film quiz in all its glory in 2022.

Will we get our money back if you cancel?

If a film screening is cancelled for any reason, including changes to lockdown levels, our cancellation policy regarding refunds will apply. Click here for more information on terms and conditions.

Is there any fee to enter a film?

There is no fee for submission to Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival .

How can I submit a film?

We accept submissions from all over the world. Submission deadlines differ for New Zealand/Australia/Pacific Islands and international applicants. For information on rules and regulations, please visit the Submit a Film page. Queries can also be submitted to our <strong>Programme Manager Michael McDonnell</strong> .

When is the deadline for film entries?

Please visit the Submit a Film page for more information. Submission deadlines differ for New Zealand/Australia/Pacific Islands and international applicants.

Is Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival a competitive festival?

Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival does not currently host a competitive category for feature length films. We do, however, have two short film competitions within the festival: New Zealand’s Best short films, and Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts. Details on submitting for these collections can be found here.