Over the past few months we've been teased with popular requests, award winners from Cannes and homegrown features in anticipation of the New Zealand International Film Festival dropping its full lineup. Dust off your highlighters, it's finally here and there's a mighty long list of flicks to work through — a total of 155 feature-length films from 40 countries will screen over 18 days beginning on Thursday 19 July.
The Auckland leg of the festival turns 50 this year and a series of retrospective screenings are planned to mark its anniversary. The lineup of films has been programmed by NZIFF Director Bill Gosden to reflect the range of cinema experiences that NZIFF has celebrated since 1969. The screenings will culminate with Buster Keaton's The General at the Civic with live musical performance by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on Sunday 5 August. An exhibition of NZIFF posters and newspaper clippings from the archives will also be displayed at the ASB Waterfront Theatre during the festival.
NZIFF has previously announced that 29 films direct from Cannes Film Festival are confirmed to screen. Colombian crime saga Birds of Passage will open the festival on Thursday 19 July, while Soviet-era drama Cold War from director Pawel Pawlikowski will serve as the closing night film. Eleven come from the Competition section of the festival including Palme d'Or winner Shoplifters, Jury Prize winner Capharnaüm and Best Screenplay winners 3 Faces and Happy As Lazzaro.