Archived: Top Picks for New Zealand International Film Festival 2018

19 July - 5 August 2018
27 June, 2018

The New Zealand International Film Festival celebrates its 50th birthday this year with an incredible programme of over 150 films. 

From Cannes winners to festival gems from last year, the 2018 programme covers a variety of stories, styles and cultures. We have selected ten films that we think are a must-see this year.

Birds of Passage
19 and 25 July, The Civic

A vibrant Colombian indigenous culture that’s survived centuries of colonisation takes on the 1970s drug trade in the Festival's visually and aurally astounding opener. Directors Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent, NZIFF16) and Cristina Gallego shake off the clichés of crime-war and imperialism and imbue their saga with surreal beauty and the elemental power of ancient proverb.






Leave No Trace
19 and 25 July, The Civic

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. 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. 

21 and 23 July, The Civic

This year’s surprise Cannes Palme d’Or winner is one of Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s finest films, about a loving, unconventional family making ends meet on the margins of Tokyo.

A Kid Like Jake
21 and 24 July, ASB Waterfront Theatre

It’s Halloween and Jake wants to be Rapunzel. Claire Danes and Jim Parsons are sensational as a Brooklyn couple with divergent responses to their four-year-old’s ‘gender-variant play’ in Silas Howard’s comedy-drama.

The Image Book
22 - 24 & 31 July, Event Cinemas Queen Street

The latest essay film from legendary auteur Jean-Luc Godard, still going strong, is a dense yet intellectually dexterous vision board on cinema, image-making and the state of the world.

22 and 27 July, The Civic

This thrillingly flamboyant film explores British designer Alexander McQueen’s humble beginnings, his tight knit band of collaborators, his creative genius – and exalts the disturbing splendour of his work.

23 July and 4 August, ASB Waterfront Theatre

In Paul Dano’s ace directing debut, Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal capture the cracks that occur in a marriage when a young wife kicks against the constraints of 1950s domesticit

29 July and 1 August, The Civic

Tilda Swinton strides through four centuries of history, switching genders as she goes, in Sally Potter’s gorgeous, playful subversion of British Heritage cinema. This adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s fantasia of shifting gender identity is as fresh today as it was when it first dazzled New Zealand festivalgoers in 1993.

Cold War
2 and 4 August, The Civic

Winner of the Cannes Best Director award, Paweł Pawlikowski has crafted a brilliant, kaleidoscopic vision of 1950s Europe, bursting with music, dance and the turbulent love of two musicians caught between East and West.