New Zealand 2018: Documentary Overview

The 50th New Zealand International Film Festival

July 19-August 12 (Auckland)

Originally home to several events in different regions but combined in 2009, the festival takes place in 13 cities through mid-September. Auckland, the longest-running fest, offers more than 50 new and recent documentary features among its lineup.


Among the world premiere’s at this year’s event are: Paora Te Oti Takarangi Joseph’s MAUI’S HOOK, exploring suicide within both indigenous Māori and white communities; Costa Botes’ ANGIE, about survivors of child sexual abuse at a now-disgraced commune; Jack Nicol’s SHE SHEARS, which focuses on female competitive sheep shearers; Heperi Mita’s MERATA: HOW MUM DECOLONISED THE SCREEN, about the filmmaker’s mother, a Māori filmmaker and activist; and Ryan Heron and Andy Deere’s BLUDGEON, which offers an inside look into the subculture of modern day medieval combat competitions.


Other docs on offer include: Joe Stephenson’s MCKELLEN: PLAYING THE PART, a biography of acclaimed British actor Sir Ian McKellen; Rebecca Tansley’s THE HEART DANCES – THE JOURNEY OF THE PIANO: THE BALLET, which looks at the culture clash that results when Czech creators bring their ballet adaptation of Jane Campion’s acclaimed film back to New Zealand; Laetitia Carton’s LE GRAND BAL, about an annual dance festival in France that draws hundreds of musicians and dancers; and Eryn Wilson’s DOG’S BEST FRIEND, a profile of an Australian canine rehabilitation center.


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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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