Archived: NZIFF 2018 First Announcements

A sneak peek into the 2018 programme
3 May, 2018

The New Zealand International Film Festival returns from 19 July - 5 August with a spectacular programme covering the best in New Zealand and international cinema. 

The first four films have been announced giving us a sneak peek into the depth and breadth of the 2018 programme. From the opulent world of China's big spenders to the wilderness of Oregon's forests, from the heyday of Hollywood to the world of rapper, singer-songwriter, producer and activist M.I.A., there are plenty of exciting stories to sink your teeth into this year.

Bombshell: Hedy Lamarr

Alexandra Dean’s debut documentary is a revelatory and entertaining portrait of Hedy Lamarr, an adventurous woman and talented inventor better known to the world as the embodiment of Hollywood sex and glamour. This fully rounded portrait challenges the reductive notions about beauty vs. brains that she, like so many other shimmering screen sirens, have been forced to endure.

Leave No Trace​

New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie is mesmerising as 13-year-old Tom living off the grid with her war vet father (Ben Foster) in this haunting new film from the director of Winter’s Bone. Camped in a forest outside Portland, they are peaceable, lo-tech survivalists, perfectly attuned to each other and the natural world. Discovery is probably inevitable. When social services try to intervene and Tom’s sheltered life is threatened her responses are complex, not least as she comes to see the shelter she herself affords her troubled father.

Matangi / Maya / M.I.A

An unconventional biography of a defiantly unconventional pop star, this documentary delivers a rousing and multifaceted portrait of Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. Better known to friends and family as Maya, M.I.A.’s exceptional path from stardom – propelled by her Slumdog Millionaire megahit ‘Paper Planes’ – to media pariah is charted by first-time documentarian Steve Loveridge, who attended art school with her in the 90s. 

Yellow is Forbidden


Kiwi director Pietra Brettkelly takes us into the opulent world of show-stopping Chinese designer Guo Pei as she prepares to make her Paris debut and seeks admission into the exclusive club of haute couture. How did the daughter of a communist soldier and primary school teacher, educated, as she informs a bemused Western press at ‘No 2 Light Industry School, Beijing’, become the designer of choice to China’s one percent, positioning herself for global significance?