Announcement from the NZIFF: Four New Zealand films and two local retrospective titles for the 2011 programme.
The Auckland leg of the Festival will open with Florian Habicht’s (Woodenhead, Kaikohe Demolition, Land of the Long White Cloud) new film, Love Story at The Civic on July 14. It’s described as a “playful and often hilarious pick-a-path romance that explores love and lust in NYC”.
“After being told by a fortune teller in New York that he should never step in front of a camera, Habicht of course did just that, challenged fate and in the process came up with his fifth feature-length film to premiere at the NZIFF. The energy and delight flowing from Florian’s film will be a great way to set the Festival buzzing in 2011.” says Festival Director Bill Gosden.
On opening the Film Festival in Auckland Habicht says: “I always see the world premieres of my films as births of sorts, and what a birth this one is going to be! Opening night at the Civic, I’m lost for words.”
Annie Goldson’s new documentary Brother Number One is another World Premiere. New Zealander Kerry Hamill, was captured, tortured and killed by Khmer Rouge in 1978. Goldson follows Kerry’s brother, Olympian and Trans-Atlantic rowing champion, Rob Hamill on his journey to Cambodia to testify for the War Crimes Tribunal in Phonm Penh. Hamill traces his brother’s footsteps and eventually comes face to face with the man who ordered the killing of his brother.
Love Story and Brother Number One will play in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North and Hamilton as part of the Festival.
Daytime Tiger is a new documentary by Costa Botes that captures local writer Michael Morrissey’s struggle with manic depression. Botes embedded himself in the Morrissey household and captured the writer’s attempt to ‘tame the tiger’ that is his bipolar disorder.
Park Kiyong’s documentary Moving looks at the impact of the February earthquake on a Korean immigrant family attempting to rebuild their lives in Christchurch. Shot in April the film captures a key moment in their continuing struggle to come to terms with their loss. Korean filmmaker Park has featured at the Festival before with his Camel(s) in 2001. He is currently at the University of Auckland on a research fellowship.
Daytime Tiger and Moving will screen in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as part of the Festival.
Mana Waka, the 1990 feature-length documentary directed by Merata Mita, will screen as a tribute to the filmmaker who passed away suddenly a year ago. The film is made from footage shot by RGH Manley between 1937 and 1940 of the construction of three waka for the 1940 centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The screening has been made possible by the Saving Frames project, a partnership between the Film Archive, Park Road Post Production and the Government of New Zealand. Mana Waka will screen in Auckland at The Civic and in Wellington at the Embassy Theatre.
Illustrious Energy, the highly regarded but little seen 1988 feature by Leon Narbey, will screen as a retrospective title in the Wellington leg of the Festival.
“After last year’s deluge of New Zealand titles, our offering in 2011 is significantly smaller, but the quality is stellar, “ says Gosden. “ None of these filmmakers are newcomers to the Festival and we couldn’t be more delighted that they have chosen to premiere their latest films with us. Festival-goers looking for new local talent will be rewarded by this year’s short film selections, and by a number of features yet to be announced in our regional programmes.”
The full 2011 line-up will be announced this coming Tuesday night (check back then).