Festival Programme

Films by Title

A

Aftersun

Charlotte Wells

A critical hit in Cannes, Charlotte Wells infuses her exquisite debut with nostalgia and tenderness as she teases out the melancholic undercurrents of a loving father-daughter relationship.

Alcarràs

Carla Simón

A Catalonian, peach-growing family face upheaval in this moving and nuanced reflection on identity, place and time by Carla Simón (Summer 1993 NZIFF 2017), awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2022.

Ali & Ava

Clio Barnard

This refreshingly authentic depiction of finding love right on your doorstep, and from unlikely directions, abounds with humour and the transformative power of song.

Animation NOW! 2022

Curated by Malcolm Turner, animation programmer at NZIFF since 1988, and director of the Melbourne International Animation Festival.

B

The Blue Caftan

Le bleu du caftan

Maryam Touzani

A master tailor’s wife watches on as her closeted husband falls in love with his apprentice in this sensuous second feature from Maryam Touzani, as elegant and finely crafted as the beautiful garments in her film.

Both Sides of the Blade

Avec amour et acharnement

Claire Denis

Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon and Gregoire Colin form a turbulent love triangle as old flames endure in Claire Denis’ sexy and volatile relationship drama.

Boy from Heaven

Walad min al janna

Tarik Saleh

Tarik Saleh deftly explores the tangled state of modern-day Egypt through his firebrand thriller set in Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the country’s most respected religious teaching institution.

C

Clean

Lachlan McLeod

This inspirational Australian documentary invites us into the world of trauma cleaning as run by the larger-than-life personality of Sandra Pankhurst, whose response to the chaos of death and squalor is simple kindness.

Close

Lukas Dhont

Belgian director Lukas Dhont follows up his award-winning debut Girl (NZIFF 2018) with this deft exploration of the fragile world of childhood bonds, which has already picked up major prizes at Cannes and Sydney.

Corsage

Marie Kreutzer

Marie Kreutzer’s bold and subversive costume drama features an imperious Vicky Krieps as the restless Empress Elisabeth of Austria, struggling to break free from the restrictive confines of courtly life.

Crimes of the Future

David Cronenberg

Pain is the ultimate pleasure and surgery the new sex in David Cronenberg’s latest provocation, a throwback to his squeamish body-horrors that shocked and delighted NZIFF audiences decades ago.

D

Decision to Leave

Heojil kyolshim

Park Chan-wook

Park Chan-wook makes a welcome return to NZIFF with this masterful and seductive romantic thriller about an insomniac detective investigating a mysterious widow oddly unconcerned with her husband’s death.

Dual

Riley Stearns

Karen Gillan delivers two knockout performances in Riley Stearns’ hilarious, ultra-deadpan comedy about a woman and her nightmarishly perfect clone who must battle it out to be the last one standing.

E

Emily the Criminal

John Patton Ford

An art-school-dropout drowning in student debt, Aubrey Plaza discovers she has a talent for credit card fraud in this gripping Sundance breakout from first-time writer/director John Patton Ford.

Exposing Muybridge

Marc Shaffer

Discover the wild story of pioneering English photographer and great-uncle of cinema Eadweard Muybridge in this fascinating documentary that sifts legend from truth.

F

Family Dinner

Peter Hengl

Executive produced by Incredibly Strange’s very own Ant Timpson, this twisty Austrian shocker begins as a tension-filled Haneke-esque family drama before delivering full-blown folk horror delight.

Fire of Love

Sara Dosa

This stunning documentary portrait of French volcanologists Maurice and Katia Krafft is skilfully constructed from their amazing archival footage collected from numerous volcanic expeditions in the 1970s and 80s.

Flux Gourmet

Peter Strickland

Cult favourite Peter Strickland channels Spinal Tap in this deliciously outlandish send-up of artistic pretension at an institute dedicated to the culinary arts. “A feast of hilarity and horror.” — Time Out

The Forgiven

John Michael McDonagh

Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain headline a star cast dealing with the fallout from a debauched weekend in Morocco in John Michael McDonagh’s blackly comic skewering of privilege.

Full Time

À plein temps

Éric Gravel

Single mum Julie (Laure Calamy, Call My Agent!) races against time in this forceful, authentic drama underpinned by a thriller momentum.

G

Geoff Dixon: Portraits of Us

Glenis Giles, Clare O'Leary

Environmental issues and pop-culture collide in vibrant textural colours and forms in this intimate portrait of the life, loves and friendships of Aotearoa New Zealand artist Geoff Dixon.

Gloriavale

Fergus Grady, Noel Smyth

With unprecedented access, filmmakers Noel Smyth and Fergus Grady lift the lid on the secretive Gloriavale Christian Community following a family of survivors searching for justice.

Godland

Vanskabte Land/Volaða Land

Hlynur Pálmason

Icelandic filmmaker Hlynur Pálmason follows up A White, White Day (NZIFF 2019) with this stunning historical epic which recalls the grandeur and madness of Herzog at his best.

The Good Boss

El buen patrón

Fernando León de Aranoa

Javier Bardem, renowned for his memorable portrayals of villains in No Country for Old Men and Skyfall, adds another sinisterly charming, immoral character to his repertoire as the titular “good boss” in this dark Spanish satire which bagged all the top awards at the 2022 Goyas (the Spanish Oscars).

H

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song

Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine

A documentary deep-dive into the life and legacy of legendary Canadian singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen told through the prism of his most anthemic and well-known song.

A House Made of Splinters

Simon Lereng Wilmont

Unwaveringly compassionate, this intimate and wrenching observation of a refuge for children, shot in pre-invasion Ukraine, deservedly won the Directing Award, World Cinema Documentary at Sundance 2022

The Humans

Stephen Karam

A family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving in a rundown lower Manhattan apartment, Stephen Karam’s piercingly haunting adaptation of his own play explores the hidden dread beneath family bonds.

I

Incredible but True

Incroyable mais vrai

Quentin Dupieux

Middle-aged house hunters get more than they bargained for in Quentin Dupieux’s delightfully screwball French comedy brimming with his usual penchant for deadpan wackiness and offbeat situations.

J

Joyland

Saim Sadiq

A married man falls for a glamorous trans dancer in this daring and emotionally intense love story from Pakistani first-time writer-director Saim Sadiq.

Juliet Gerrard: Science in Dark Times

Shirley Horrocks

Science in Dark Times follows the work of a remarkable woman, Dame Juliet Gerrard, Jacinda Ardern's Chief Science Advisor, through three years of dramatic crises, including the Whakaari White Island eruption and the unfolding of the Covid-19 pandemic.

K

Kāinga

Julie Zhu, Asuka Sylvie, Michelle Ang, Nahyeon Lee, Yamin Tun, Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, HASH, Angeline Loo

Eight Pan-Asian female filmmakers’ powerful anthology film illuminates the immigrant experience in Aotearoa New Zealand through the lives of eight Asian women connected by the house they call home.

Ka Pō

Etienne Aurelius

A young Hawaiian woman escapes an abusive relationship and discovers her roots in this wild Aotearoa-produced Indigenous adventure set in the rugged wilderness of Kauai, Hawaii.

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

Robert B. Weide, Don Argott

An unconventional portrait of an unconventional author that not only chronicles the extraordinary life, work and legacy of Kurt Vonnegut but also his decades long friendship with the filmmaker who set out to document it.

L

Lost Illusions

Illusions perdues

Xavier Giannoli

Reaping top awards at the 2022 Césars, this majestic, lavish fresco adapted from Balzac’s masterpiece paints a cruel portrait of 19th century Parisian society and the burgeoning world of the press, which has startling contemporary overtones.

Loving Highsmith

Eva Vitija

Delving into Patricia Highsmith’s personal writings and accounts of friends and family, this doco sheds new light on the writer behind such classics as Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr Ripley and Carol.

M

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Dean Fleischer-Camp

Meet Marcel, a tiny talking shell, on a big-hearted big-screen stop-motion adventure, as tender and funny as it is insightful and poignant.

McEnroe

Barney Douglas

Tennis legend John McEnroe dishes on the highs and lows of his epic career and how his drive for perfection nearly broke him in this engaging doco packed with amazing archival footage and rare insight.

Meet Me in the Bathroom

Dylan Southern, Will Lovelace

A vivid first-hand portrait of the New York music scene of the early 00s featuring era-defining groups like The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem.

Midwives

Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing

Covertly shot over five years as a civil war escalates in western Myanmar, this delicately refined doco follows the lives of a hard-bitten Buddhist midwife and her ambitious young Rohingya Muslim apprentice.

Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon

Ana Lily Amirpour

A young woman with dangerous powers escapes a mental asylum and lets loose on the seedy neon-lit streets of New Orleans in this mind-bending fantasy-adventure from the director of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (NZIFF 2015).

Muru

Tearepa Kahi

We are delighted to open this year’s edition with the World Premiere of Tearepa Kahi’s film Muru.

My Old School

Jono McLeod

With shades of The Imposter (NZIFF 2012) and Three Identical Strangers (NZIFF 2018) this wildly entertaining Scottish documentary delves into the outrageous deception that shook a Glasgow high school back in the 1990s.

N

Navalny

Daniel Roher

This staggering, fly-on-the-wall portrait of the charismatic anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, filmed in secret following an assassination attempt on his life, is one of the year’s most electrifying films.

Anisia Uzeyman, Saul Williams

Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman’s one-of-a-kind feature is an Afro-futurist science-fiction musical centred on a grieving coltan miner and an intersex hacker who find liberation through technology.

Nothing Lasts Forever

Jason Kohn

You’ll never look at diamonds the same way after seeing Jason Kohn’s stunning exposé of the true value of these precious gems and the secretive industry that sets their price.

O

One Fine Morning

Un beau matin

Mia Hansen-Løve

Léa Seydoux stars as a busy single mom, juggling caring for her daughter and her ailing father, who finds love in unexpected circumstances in Mia Hansen-Løve’s nimble romantic drama.

P

The Passengers of the Night

Les passagers de la nuit

Mikhaël Hers

A heart-warming 80s-set family drama starring Charlotte Gainsbourg as a recently single mother who finds a new lease of life working for a late night talkback show where she crosses paths with a young drifter.

Path 99

Grayson Cooke, Dugal McKinnon

Path 99 combines planetarium immersion with an enveloping electronic soundtrack, showing us how, now more than ever, it is crucial that we all have our heads in the clouds.

Perlimps

Alê Abreu

Two secret agents from enemy Kingdoms are sent to a world on the brink of a terrible war where they have one important mission: to find the Perlimps, mysterious creatures who can ultimately bring peace.

Piggy

Cerdita

Carlota Pereda

A bullied overweight teen witnesses her tormentors get abducted by a mysterious stranger in Carlos Pereda’s blistering slasher which delivers sharp social commentary and bloody mayhem in equal measure.

Un monde

Laura Wendel

A 7-year-old child becomes caught in a conflict of loyalty after her beloved brother falls victim to brutal schoolyard bullying.

Punch

Welby Ings

Seventeen-year-old boxer Jim carries the hopes and dreams of his father on his shoulders, but his growing relationship with local takatāpui Whetu forces him to confront the truth about his sexuality and choose his own future.

R

Andrew Semans

Andrew Semans’ deliciously unhinged thriller stars Rebecca Hall as a single mom with a dark secret that threatens to overwhelm her cosy corporate lifestyle.

Return to Seoul

Retour à Séoul

Davy Chou

A French-Korean adoptee returns to Seoul, a home she has never known, and over the course of several visits begins to process her complicated relationship with her biological family and country of birth.

Robe of Gems

Manto de gemas

Natalia López Gallardo

A missing-person case draws three women into an inescapable web in this unsettling narco-thriller from first-time director (but experienced editor) Natalia López Gallardo.

S

Shut Eye

Tom Levesque

In this world premiere Auckland-made feature, a disconnected young woman discovers the world of ASMR and befriends a local streamer, leading to blurred lines between friendship and obsession.

Sick of Myself

Syk pike

Kristoffer Borgli

This blacker-than-black Norwegian comedy takes toxic behaviour to the next level as über self-absorbed Signe attempts to one-up her pretentious artist boyfriend by deliberately sabotaging her health.

Smoking Causes Coughing

Fumer fait tousser

Quentin Dupieux

An extra dose of Gallic weirdness courtesy of Quentin Dupieux; a superhero flick-turned-shaggy dog story as the brave avengers Tobacco Force go on a camping retreat to strengthen their team cohesion.

Speak No Evil

Gæsterne

Christian Tafdrup

A weekend getaway becomes a holiday from hell for a Danish family in this mercilessly unnerving horror flick from Danish director Christian Tafdrup.

Stars at Noon

Claire Denis

Based on Denis Johnson’s cult novel, Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn star in this heady and alluring romantic thriller from NZIFF fave Claire Denis, directing her second English-language feature.

The Stranger

Thomas M. Wright

Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris deliver brooding performances as predator becomes prey in up-and-coming director Thomas M. Wright’s dark and intense Australian true crime drama.

T

A Tale of Love and Desire

Une histoire d’amour et de désir

Leyla Bouzid

Leyla Bouzid’s tender coming-of-age romance throws young student Ahmed’s world off-balance as he falls for the confidently self-assured Farah who challenges his cultural values and his poetic ideas of love.

The Territory

Alex Pritz

Chronicling the struggle of Indigenous people in Brazil to protect their ancestral land, this collaborative documentary was made with the involvement of the Uru-eu-wau-wau community.

Triangle of Sadness

Ruben Östlund

Gilded privilege comes a cropper when abruptly confronted by less luxurious reality in this brilliantly orchestrated satire awarded the Palme d’Or 2022.

W

Watcher

Chloe Okuno

Director Chloe Okuno and lead actress Maika Monroe bring a fresh femme perspective to this heart-stopping 70s-style psychological thriller dripping with Hitchcockian voyeurism and rampant paranoia.

We Are Still Here

Beck Cole, Danielle MacLean, Dena Curtis, Tim Worrall, Richard Curtis, Miki Magasiva, Mario Gaoa, Chantelle Burgoyne, Tracey Rigney, Renae Maihi

To sit, to listen to witness. Starting points for a multi-layered journey bring you to the brink of interaction between cultures, then, now, and what may be. Set in various flashpoints in time.

When the Cows Come Home

Costa Botes

Costa Botes' gentle, yet eye-opening new documentary delves into bovine life on a Cambridge farm where offbeat cow whisperer Andrew Johnstone tends the herd in his own idiosyncratic ways.

Where Is Anne Frank?

Ari Folman

A gloriously animated fantasy reimagining of Anne Frank’s story from the lauded director of The Congress (NZIFF 2013) and Waltz with Bashir (NZIFF 2008).

Woodenhead

Florian Habicht

Florian Habicht’s debut feature film screened at NZIFF in 2003 and has become a cult classic. This new colourised print had its Aotearoa premiere in Wellington at NZIFF 2021.

Y

You Won't Be Alone

Goran Stolevski

In 19th century Macedonia, a young shapeshifting witch learns what it means to be human by inhabiting the lives of others in this one-of-a-kind feature debut from Australian-Macedonian filmmaker Goran Stolevski.