Issue date: 
Thursday, 15 June 2017

Four New Zealand feature-length films and the festival’s first-ever long form television series have been announced today for the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF).

Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl, presented by UKTV and SKY, a six-part television series screening later this year on UKTV, will premiere in full at NZIFF. Tickets for this special event will go on sale early in Auckland.

Two world premieres of New Zealand films are also confirmed. Waru, a striking gathering of eight different stories centred around a tangi, will have its world premiere in Auckland. Human Traces, the debut feature from Nic Gorman, will have its world premiere in Christchurch before screening in Auckland and Wellington. Jackie van Beek’s debut feature, The Inland Road, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February will have a NZ premiere in Auckland. Toa Fraser’s 6 Days, a NZ/UK co-production starring Jamie Bell and Abbie Cornish, will open in the UK while simultaneously premiering at NZIFF in Auckland.

“For the first time we welcome a long-form television series to the giant screens at NZIFF, and it’s the most enthralling six hours I have spent in front of a screen this year. We can promise you an immersive experience in Auckland and Wellington, and due to the six-hour duration the screenings will have two intermissions,” says NZIFF Director Bill Gosden.

“World premieres of NZ films make for some of the most rewarding audience experiences at NZIFF. We’re thrilled to host the world premiere of Waru in Auckland, an event that promises to be moving and memorable. And Christchurch will host the world premiere of Nic Gorman’s Human Traces, shot in and around the Catlins and Banks Penninsula. We also welcome the chance to present the NZ premieres of two features that have already found an international audience. Toa Fraser’s 6 Days is a thrilling portrayal of a terrorist attack on British soil, and Jackie van Beek’s The Inland Road is a confident debut featuring fresh faces in the lead roles.” says Gosden.

The confirmed titles announced today are:
Top of the Lake: China Girl (Wellington premiere, then Auckland)
Jane Campion’s next instalment sees Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) returning to Sydney and trying to rebuild her life. When the body of an Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach, there appears little hope of finding the killer, until Robin realises ‘China Girl’ didn’t die alone.
“With its sharp writing, superior cast, evocative locations, seductively seamy subject matter and delicious performances, Top of the Lake is decidedly back in a major way.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter.
Top of the Lake: China Girl is presented by UKTV and SKY.

Waru (World Premiere)
Writers: Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Cohen, Renae Maihi, Paula Jones, Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu
Directors: Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Cohen, Renae Maihi, Paula Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene
Eight stories are threaded together on the morning of a tangi for a young boy killed by his stepfather. Told through the eyes of eight different female filmmakers and each shot in one continuous take.

Human Traces (World Premiere)
Director/Screenplay: Nic Gorman
Shot on location against the rugged backdrop of the Canterbury and Otago coasts, this atmospheric Kiwi thriller marks a confident calling card for its up-and-coming writer-director.

6 Days
Director: Toa Fraser
Writer: Glenn Standring
Kiwi filmmaker Toa Fraser showcases his action chops on the world stage with this true-story hostage thriller set in 1980s London. Starring Jamie Bell, Mark Strong and Abbie Cornish.

The Inland Road
Director/Screenplay: Jackie van Beek
A runaway girl explores unsteady paths of emotional rescue with a young Central Otago family in writer/director Jackie van Beek’s gentle and lyrically filmed debut feature.
“This sensitively observed drama is shot through with kindness, compassion and compelling stillness.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

New Zealand feature-length documentaries have previously been announced for NZIFF 2017: My Year With Helen from director Gaylene Preston; Florian Habicht’s Spookers; Annie Goldson’s Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web; Paul Wolffram’s What Lies That Way; Robin Greenberg’s TEAM TIBET: Home away from Home; Head Like A Hole biopic Swagger of Thieves; No Ordinary Sheila by Hugh Macdonald; Shirley Horrock’s tenth documentary Free Theatre; Toa Fraser’s The Free Man with Jossi Wells; Andrea Bosshard’s Kobi; Simon Ogston’s Bill Direen: A Memory of Others; and Paul Oremlan’s most memorable shags in 100 Men.

NZ films at NZIFF are proudly supported by Resene. NZIFF is run by a charitable trust and encourages lively interactions between films, filmmakers and New Zealand audiences in 13 towns and cities around the country. The full NZIFF programme will be available online from Monday 26 June 7pm, and on the streets from Tuesday 27 June for Auckland and Friday 30 June for Wellington. NZIFF starts in Auckland on 20 July and in Wellington from 28 July in 2017.

Special events in Auckland, including Top of the Lake: China Girl and the Live Cinema performance of It with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, will go on sale on Monday 19 June at 9am. Tickets for the Wellington screening of Top of the Lake: China Girl will go on sale Thursday 6 July 10am.

Last updated: 
Friday, 23 June 2017