Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival Appoints Artistic Director for 2024 and Return for Winter

Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival Appoints Artistic Director for 2024 and Return for Winter

Published: Thursday 15 February, 2024


Today, Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) announces its return to selected cinemas this winter under the guidance of newly appointed Artistic Director for 2024, respected international film festival programmer, film critic and producer Paolo Bertolin. 

Bertolin will oversee NZIFF 2024 which will screen in four cities across eight venues, opening in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on 31 July, followed by Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland on 7 August, Ōtepoti Dunedin on 14 August, and Ōtautahi Christchurch on 15 August. 

New Zealand Film Festival Trust Chair Catherine Fitzgerald says, “We are delighted that Paolo joins us as we prepare for NZIFF 2024. Paolo brings with him a wealth of film festival experience from all corners of the globe, with credentials including his ongoing association with the Venice International Film Festival and past affiliations with Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, the Locarno Film Festival, the Doha Film Institute, Mumbai Film Festival, Nyon Visions du Réel, and others. He has a strong appreciation for Aotearoa film, having visited New Zealand regularly over the past decade as part of his programming remit for Venice International Film Festival.” 

Bertolin says, “I feel deeply honoured by this appointment as Artistic Director of the New Zealand International Film Festival. It is an inspiring professional challenge, and I am excited to engage with audiences in Aotearoa in creating a programme that shares with them the riches of contemporary cinema.

"This opportunity feels especially meaningful to me because my earliest and fondest cinephile memories include the enchantment of viewing early Jane Campion short films on the Italian PBS back in 1989, as well as being dazzled by the rapturous discovery of Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures at the 1994 Venice International Film Festival. I feel truly enthused to work with and for New Zealand audiences and filmmakers exactly on the 30th anniversary of Heavenly Creatures and of Lee Tamahori's Once Were Warriors.

This announcement follows the release of the festival’s 10-year strategy, Te Ahua o te Whānau Mārama, in November 2023 in which the organisation acknowledged the significant impacts of operating within the challenging climate of a global pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis in recent years and outlined its plans to adapt the festival to ensure its future viability. 

Fitzgerald says, “Paolo’s appointment is the first major step in rebuilding the festival to ensure its longevity and excellence and we are excited about engaging new artistic leadership and vision. NZIFF remains as committed as ever to presenting a world-class festival and preserving the cinema-going experience, and we look forward to escaping Aotearoa’s winter weather inside some of our nation’s most beloved venues to enjoy the best of film alongside our audiences.” 

NZIFF 2024 will screen in The Embassy, Roxy Cinema and Light House Cinema Cuba in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington (31 July – 11 August), The Civic, Hollywood Avondale and ASB Waterfront Theatre in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (7 –18 August), The Regent Theatre in Ōtepoti Dunedin (14 – 25 August), and Lumière Cinemas in Ōtautahi Christchurch (15 August – 1 September). 

Further announcements regarding NZIFF 2024 will be made over the coming months ahead of the festival’s launch in July. 

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