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Whanau Marama: New Zealand International Film Festival

This year, more than 70 features and seven collections of short films from 41 countries will screen online and in selected cinemas.
By Stephen Heard
July 21, 2020
By Stephen Heard
July 21, 2020

After announcing that four New Zealand documentaries and a web series will have their world premieres at Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival, the full jam-packed lineup for 2020 has now been revealed. More than 70 feature films and seven collections of short films from 41 countries will screen online and in selected cinemas from 24 July to 8 August.

In March organisers made the decision to take the festival online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, both in-cinema and online rights have been secured for films, and 27 features will now screen in picture palaces across the country.

The 2020 edition will open with Australian film, True History of the Kelly Gang at Auckland's ASB Waterfront Theatre, and via the festival's digital platform, on Friday, 24 July. The film, which is based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Peter Carey, is an adaptation of the outlaw legend. It features New Zealand actors Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Marlon Williams and Russell Crowe.

Other highlights include Chinese activist Ai Weiwei's latest documentary Vivos, Iranian box office smash hit Just 6.5, the world premiere of documentary Steelers – The World's First Gay Rugby Club, Mexico-US border drama and Sundance winner Identifying Features, Australian affirmative lesbian teen rom-com Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt), and French-Japanese drama The Truth from Palme D'Or-winning director Kore-eada Hirokazu.

Also on the bill: seven films showcasing women filmmakers from Europe, four feature films and two collections of animation shorts, and a collection of Māori and Pasifika short films.

NZIFF Director Marten Rabarts has previously suggested that the 2020 festival will be a true film festival experience, featuring premieres each night, a virtual red carpet and filmmaker Q&As. Details for these are being finalised. Films screening as part of NZIFF At Home – Online will be able to be viewed through a variety of devices. Some will be available for one night only, while others will be available to rent for up to a week.


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