New Zealand International 2012 Film Festival
Thursday 9th–Sunday 26th August 2012
Opening with Cannes hit, The Sapphires, NZIFF gives Christchurch movie lovers the chance to sample the best of international cinema hot on the heels of the world's most prestigious Film Festival – and in many cases months ahead of Festival audiences in London, New York and Rome.
"A jewel-bright charmer," said The Hollywood Reporter of our Opening Night choice, "about four spunky indigenous women whose powerhouse voices catapulted them onto the 60s-era world stage as Australia's answer to the Supremes." If this irresistibly catchy film doesn't take the world by storm, we'll be very puzzled indeed.
Our centrepiece film Amour won Austrian Michael Haneke his second Palme d'Or. Our Closing Night film Holy Motors came away from the competition empty-handed, but no film created more excitement or controversy on the Croisette this year.
For fun of the pitch-black variety there's Ben Wheatley's Cannes Midnight hit Sightseers, a last-minute programming coup delivered by Incredibly Strange ace Ant Timpson. A world away from Cannes, The Cabin in the Woods, memorably secured by Ant through a massive social media campaign also looms large on the Christchurch line-up.
Our other Cannes Award winners:
Grand Prix: Matteo Garrone's Reality.
Best Screenplay and Best Actress (shared): Cristian Mungiu for Beyond the Hills; Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Strata.
Jury Prize: Ken Loach's The Angels' Share.
Best Actor: Mads Mikkelsen for his performance in Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt.
Art Cinema Award: Pablo Larraín's No.
Christchurch's inveterate filmgoers remain squeezed into a tiny portion of the numerous cinemas the city once enjoyed. The commercial demand for screen time from the purveyors of mainstream movies is immense. As organisers of NZIFF we're very grateful to Hoyts, our longtime partners in Christchurch, for dedicating two valuable Northlands screens to our annual celebration of diversity and independence – and for providing occasional use of a third at Riccarton. We'd also like to thank some other local institutions for helping keep us on the scene: perennial Festival enthusiasts RDU; the Canterbury Community Trust for their generous grant; and The Press for their sponsorship support.
Special thanks to Sandra Ning and her team for making us so welcome at Northlands: last year their dedication reached heroic levels as they continued to stay with the schedule through the snow storm that virtually closed down the city. The show must go on. We look forward to seeing you there.
Opening Night: The Sapphires
"A vastly appealing true-life musical comedy. Closer to The Commitments thanDreamgirls with its broad Down Under humor."— Guy Lodge, Variety
Fresh from its Cannes ovations. "A jewel-bright charmer [true story] about four spunky indigenous women whose powerhouse voices catapulted them onto the 60s-era world stage as Australia's answer to the Supremes." — Hollywood Reporter