NZ International Film Festival 2017.

NZ International Film Festival 2017 for Wellington lesbians


28 July - 13 August

The New Zealand International Film Festival is a tad meagre on treats for Wellington lesbians. The full programme is available online at the Festival website and in print at the usual venues - movie theatres, libraries, Unity Books etc. Tickets go on sale on Thursday 6 July.

A Date for Mad Mary

A Date for Mad Mary

Sent only a single invitation, dry, sarcastic, maddening Mary sets out to find a date for her best friend’s wedding in this barbed and funny Irish romcom ... more.

Fri  28 July,  noon  Paramount
Thur 3 Aug, 6:15pm  Penthouse Cinema
Fri   4 Aug,  6:15pm  Light House Petone
Sun 6 Aug,  6:15pm  Paramount
Sat 12 Aug, 7:00pm  Roxy Cinema
InsieOUT logo.

Film fundraiser for InsideOUT

InsideOUT have a fundraiser with the screening on Sunday 6 August - pay a little more for your ticket to support their work with youth in New Zealand - more info on facebook including a link for online ticketing.

Also of interest ...

Films by and about women

There are an amazing number of films about women, made by women, some sturdily feminist and some not so ... make of them what you will.

  • 20th Century Women - Annette Bening captivates as a single mother enlisting Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning to help raise her 15-year-old son in this funny, nuanced memoir of late-70s lifestyles from director Mike Mills
  • A Bastard Child - Swedish painter and filmmaker Knutte Wester illustrates the terrible stories his grandmother told of her outcast childhood – and provides living proof of the compassion and generosity she passed on to the world in return.
  • The Beguiled - Colin Farrell plays a wounded Civil War mercenary under the care of a commune of young women, led by Nicole Kidman, in Sofia Coppola’s beautiful, feminist take on Don Siegel’s 1971 Southern Gothic psychodrama.
  • Citizen Jane: Battle for the City - This fascinating documentary about urban planning considers the continuing relevance of the showdown, half a century ago, between the activist Jane Jacobs and the Trumpian Robert Moses: a fight for the future of New York.
  • Claire’s Camera - In director Hong Sang-soo’s wry observation of the end of an affair, Isabelle Huppert plays a French photographer who befriends a young Korean actress at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray - This portrait of New York artist Elizabeth Murray explores the relationship between her career and her domestic life, referenced so often in her work, and considers her place alongside the male ‘heroes’ of contemporary American art.
  • A Fantastic Woman - Rising Chilean director Sebastián Lelio (Gloria) celebrates the endurance of a woman under suspicion of murder in a film that heralds a stellar debut for transgender actress Daniela Vega.
  • Félicité - A singer living in the Congo city of Kinshasa, Félicité looks the world in the eye every time she sets foot on a bar stage. When her son is involved in a motorbike accident her defiant stance as a single woman is on the line.
  • The Future Perfect - Arriving in Buenos Aires, a young Chinese immigrant embraces the struggle of a new language and surroundings, reimagining herself and her future in the process, in this dry comedy of manners.
  • Heal the Living - A catastrophic accident leaves one family in ruins and bestows another with precious hope in a hospital drama immeasurably enhanced by the delicate sensitivity of Katell Quillévéré’s script and the poetic force of her direction.
  • I Am Not a Witch - Set in Zambia, the birthplace of writer-director Rungano Nyoni, this strange, engrossing feature addresses the continuing marginalisation of ‘witches’ and revolves around a nine-year-old girl accused of witchcraft.
  • La Chana - Supported by abundant footage, old and new, of spectacular dance and outstanding flamenco music, this intimate portrait is a loving tribute to the legendary gypsy dancer whose passion burns as strongly as ever.
  • Lady Macbeth - Florence Pugh is mesmerising as she transmutes from nervous bride to femme fatale in this bracing British period drama based on a 19th century Russian classic.
  • The Love Witch - A beautiful witch seduces – and disposes of – men in this sensationally conceived homage to 70s sexploitation, sharply told through both a contemporary feminist lens and the dubious sexual politics of the era.
  • Manifesto - Cate Blanchett dazzles as 13 different characters, each giving voice to the published rallying calls of myriad artistic movements in this playful, ingeniously staged feature by German artist Julian Rosefeldt.
  • Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts - Set amongst the visually ravishing widescreen vistas of rural Indonesia, this thoroughly enjoyable and delightfully deadpan adventure delivers a wily feminist spin on a western tale of murder and revenge.
  • Maudie - Sally Hawkins delivers an unforgettable performance as Nova Scotian folk artist Maud Lewis, irrepressible despite arthritis and a churlish husband (Ethan Hawke), in this gently flowing biopic set in the 1930s.
  • The Midwife - Catherine Frot stars as a conscientious midwife reluctantly reconnecting with Catherine Deneuve as the flamboyant step-mother who absconded 30 years earlier, in this lively drama from writer/director Martin Provost.
  • My Year with Helen - With unique access to high-ranking candidate Helen Clark, filmmaker Gaylene Preston casts a wry eye on proceedings as the United Nations chooses a new secretary general.
  • No Ordinary Sheila - In Hugh Macdonald’s fascinating and inspiring doco, his cousin, writer and illustrator Sheila Natusch, retraces a long life dedicated to sharing her understanding and love of New Zealand’s nature and history.
  • Patti Cake$ - Music video director Geremy Jasper launches an unlikely rap star – a plus-size, white New Jersey rapper played by Aussie sensation Danielle Macdonald – in this high-energy feature debut.
  • Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan - The prima ballerina prepares to take her final bow after three decades with New York City Ballet and considers life and dance after ‘retirement’ in this intimate and inspiring, clip-studded documentary portrait.
  • Sami Blood - This clear-eyed coming-of-age tale follows a headstrong Sami teenager who attempts to abandon her indigenous heritage and pass as Swedish in a 1930s society rife with prejudice and discrimination.
  • Starless Dreams - Mehrdad Oskouei’s lucid, empathetic documentary gives voice and spirit to young women locked up in a Tehran detention facility for murder, theft or simply running away from home – and whose lives were often worse outside.
  • Step - Fighting the tough realities of their disadvantaged neighbourhood, Step follows three irrepressible young women in an enlightened Baltimore school as they prepare for college – and rehearse for step dance glory.
  • Summer 1993 - Catalan director Carla Simón’s award-winning dramatisation of her own experience as a six-year-old orphan adjusting to a new life in the country features the most remarkable and mesmerising child performances in years.
  • The Teacher - When accused of bartering her students’ grades for goods and services provided by their parents, a schoolteacher mounts a devious defence in this blackly funny dramedy set in the communist era.
  • That’s Not Me - A wannabe star is gutted by her identical twin sister’s HBO success – plus she’s dating Jared Leto – then decides to take advantage in this wry Aussie comedy of outsized fantasies and bad behaviour.
  • Top of the Lake: China Girl - A special screening of the much-anticipated new instalment of Jane Campion’s award-winning series, starring Elisabeth Moss, Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman.
  • Tragedy Girls - At once giddily postmodern and subtly disturbing, this hilarious Gen Y splatter-farce finds two social media-obsessed high school girls fixated on becoming famous when a serial killer moves into town.
  • Una - Rooney Mara is electrifying as the troubled young woman confronting the older man (Ben Mendelsohn) who seduced and abandoned her in this abrasive screen adaptation of David Harrower’s stage play Blackbird.
  • Waru - Eight Māori female directors have each contributed a sequence to this powerful and challenging feature which unfolds around the tangi of a small boy who died at the hands of his caregiver.
  • Winnie - Winner of a Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival, this fascinating portrait allows South Africa’s ‘mother of the nation’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to give her account of her bitterly contested role in history.
  • A Woman’s Life - In a literary adaptation styled with striking immediacy, Stéphane Brizé relates the tragedy of an adventurous young 19th-century noblewoman harshly judged for an unfortunate marriage.

Gay films

There are several interesting gay films in the Festival this year ...

  • 100 Men - reflects on 40 years of New Zealand gay history via a countdown of Kiwi filmmaker Paul Oremland’s most memorable shags, featuring candid and moving interviews with past lovers.
  • Beach Rats - In Eliza Hittman’s startlingly sensual study of conflicted masculinity, a Brooklyn teenager leads a perilous double life, cruising older men online while playing super straight to his homophobic homies.
  • BPM (Beats Per Minute) - A wary newcomer to the radical activist life risks his heart with one of its firecracker stars in this stirring and moving exploration of the ACT UP movement that protested government inaction on AIDS in the 90s.
  • Call Me by Your Name - This gorgeous and moving adaptation of André Aciman’s acclaimed novel, directed by Luca Guadagnino, stars Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet as lovers in sun-kissed northern Italy.
  • God’s Own Country - Filmed on the Yorkshire Dales where he grew up, Francis Lee’s debut tells the poignant story of a hard-drinking lad who keeps his emotions in check until a handsome Romanian immigrant comes to work on the family farm.
  • The Ornithologist - This seductively meandering, playfully queer and richly cinematic riff on the St Anthony of Padua legend from Portugal’s João Pedro Rodrigues uses the classic man-in-a-forest motif in a strange journey of self-discovery.
  • The Wound - What happens when ancient beliefs and modern life come into conflict? John Trengove’s suspenseful drama explores this dynamic when a ‘soft’ city boy is forced by his father to undergo the traditional rites of passage.
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