Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival Announces Line-Up of 2024 Festival Films

Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival Announces Line-Up of 2024 Festival Films

Published: Thursday 13 June 2024


Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has today announced the line-up of exceptional New Zealand-made feature films, documentaries, and shorts in the 2024 programme, showcasing the increasingly rich talent and diverse storytelling in New Zealand filmmaking. NZIFF 2024 opens in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on 31 July before touring to nine other centres across the country until 4 September. 

Twelve full-length films and 19 shorts make up the ‘Māhutonga’ strand of the programme - a selection of stand-out New Zealand features and documentaries curated by 2024 Artistic Director Paolo Bertolin and Head of Programming Michael McDonnell, and shorts selected by long-time co-curators Leo Koziol and Craig Fasi, and 2024 guest selector Gerard Johnstone. The Māhutonga programme is proudly supported by Creative New Zealand. 
Bertolin says, “Aotearoa cinema has reached a defining crossroad. The twelve features and four combined programmes of shorts in Māhutonga reflect the diversity and wealth of subjects and styles in local storytelling. With their films, New Zealand filmmakers provide a vibrant kaleidoscope that enables audiences to look at the past and the present through distinctive perspectives.  

In this selection, our audiences will discover films that are entertaining, thought-provoking, and deeply affecting. Most of all, they will find a space for conversation and exchange on the beauty and complexity of life in Aotearoa. It is our privilege to provide a platform for these inspired and inspiring filmmakers to meet our audience in the communal experience of cinema.” 

We Were Dangerous, directed by Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu and fresh from winning the special Jury Award for Filmmaking in the Narrative Feature Competition at SXSW, will open the festival in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington on 31 July and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland on 7 August, and all regions except Christchurch, because Head South, directed by Jonathan Ogilvie and set and filmed in Christchurch, will open the Ōtautahi Christchurch season on 15 August following sell-out screenings at Sydney Film Festival. 

The other New Zealand-made feature films in the 2024 programme are A Mistake (2024), directed by Christine Jeffs; Alien Weaponry: Kua Tupu Te Ara (2024), directed by Kent Belcher; Grafted (2023), directed by Sasha Rainbow; I Am a Dark River (2024), directed by Tessa Mitchell; Marimari (2024), directed by Paul Wolffram; Night Piece (2023), directed by Bridget Sutherland; Taki Rua Theatre - Breaking Barriers (2024), directed by Whetū Fala; The Haka Party Incident (2024), directed by Katie Wolfe; and The House Within (2024), directed by Joshua Prendeville. Never Look Away (2024), directed by Lucy Lawless, also in the Māhutonga strand, has previously been announced. 

The New Zealand feature films sit alongside two regular short films sections in the NZIFF – Ngā Whanaunga Māori and Pasifika Shorts, selected by long-time co-curators Leo Koziol and Craig Fasi, and New Zealand's Best, selected this year by guest selector Gerard Johnstone. The 2024 shorts programme also includes Short Connections – five promising new Aotearoa shorts that deftly capture the bonds and binds between us. All this year’s shorts are outlined below. 

New Zealand film will be celebrated at a special Aotearoa Film Focus weekend, presented by the University of Auckland Faculty of Arts, taking place from 15 to 18 August at Auckland’s ASB Waterfront Theatre. Across three days and four nights, audiences can enjoy films, a new exhibition by the New Zealand Cinematography Society – Still Stories, panel discussions, a workshop, a masterclass, filmmaker Q&A events, and a gig! Exclusive to the weekend will also be a tribute to iconoclast Garth Maxwell, showcasing his recent MoMa purchase Naughty Little Peeptoe and the remastered version of his early work Come with Us
Bertolin says, “The aim of our Aotearoa Film Focus weekend is to give a full spotlight on the vivid resurgence of local cinema, thanks to an exciting new generation of filmmakers, but also through the work of more established directors. We wish to engage audiences, especially young people, with New Zealand cinema, creating a dialogue that goes beyond the sheer screening of films. And we hope that this connection will last beyond the festival, truly benefiting both filmmakers and audiences.” 
NZIFF 2024 will screen at:

  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington:The Embassy, Roxy Cinema and Light House Cinema Cuba (31 July – 11 August)
  • Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland: The Civic, Hollywood Avondale and ASB Auckland Waterfront Theatre (7 – 18 August)
  • Whakatū Nelson: The Regent Theatre in Ōtepoti Dunedin (14 – 25 August), State Cinemas (14 – 25 August)
  • Ōtautahi Christchurch: Lumière Cinemas (15 August – 1 September)
  • Tauranga Moana: Luxe Cinemas (15 – 28 August)
  • Ahuriri Napier: MTG Century Theatre (21 August – 1 September)
  • Kirikiriroa Hamilton: LIDO Cinema (21 August – 4 September)
  • Ngāmotu New Plymouth: Len Lye Cinema (21 August – 4 September)
  • Whakaoriori Masterton: Regent 3 (21 August – 4 September). 

Tickets for Wellington will be on sale from 10am Friday 12 July and tickets for Auckland will be on sale from 10am Friday 19 July, with tickets for all other centres going on sale in late July. Tickets can be booked online at www.nziff.co.nz or in-person at the NZIFF Box Office on Allen Street, Wellington, and at The Civic on Wellesley Street West, Auckland. Keen festival-goers can get advanced booking access and discounts by purchasing multi-passes now from www.shop.nziff.co.nz

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