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 154 feature-length films from 35 countries will screen over 17 days beginning on Friday 27 July.
The Wellington leg of the festival features four world premieres, including Celia, Amanda Millar's final interview with Celia Lashlie, and Rebecca Tansley's The Heart Dances – the journey of The Piano: the ballet. Tony Hiles' ninth instalment documenting the work of artist and composer Michael Smither, Of Crimson Joy, will premiere at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, while Jeff McDonald's doco A Sculptor's Journey follows American sculptor Sabin Howard working with Weta Workshop to prepare a maquette for the National War WWI Memorial planned for Washington, DC.
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 Friday 27 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.
Elsewhere on the 154-strong program, there's a 1990s techno dance musical full of gratuitous 3D sex scenes, a thriller which plays out entirely on computer screens, the Sundance grand jury prize winner, romance drama Disobedience starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, Joaquin Phoenix in his 2017 Cannes best actor-winning role, a documentary about Japanese dot artist Yayoi Kusama, a critically acclaimed drama from Winter's Bone director Debra Granik, 49 features and documentaries from women film makers and 11 New Zealand-made films.
See the full Wellington program here.