Film Festival

12 Documentaries you cannot miss at the New Zealand International Film Festival 2016


We present a list of 12 Documentaries worth watching at the New Zealand International Film Festival that is taking place from July 14th – 31th in Auckland.

A Flickering Truth

A Flickering Truth by Pietra Brettkelly – New Zealand | 2015 – 91 min.

New Zealand filmmaker Pietra Brettkelly’s moving portrayal of one man’s journey to restore thousands of hours of film heritage in post-Taliban Afghanistan, a journey that uncovers the very nearly forgotten history of his ravaged country.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.17.2016 – Rialto Cinemas Newmarket – 1:00 pm (Filmmaker will attend screening)
07.21.2016 – Rialto Cinemas Newmarket – 6:15 pm (Filmmaker will attend screening)

Chassing Asylum

Chasing Asylum by Eva Orner – Australia | 2016 – 96 min.

Defying the media bans inside the camps, this combination of whistle-blower testimony and illegal footage leaves no doubt about the cruel reality of Australia’s off-shore refugee detention centers.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.16.2016 – SKYCITY Theatre – 3:15 pm
07.18.2016 – SKYCITY Theatre – 1:00 pm


Embrace by Taryn Brumfitt – Australia | 2016 – 90 min.

“Body confidence does not come from trying to achieve ‘the perfect body’. It comes from embracing the one you’ve already got.” Australian body image activist Taryn Brumfitt exemplifies her message in this lively documentary.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.30.2016 – The Civic Theatre – 1:00 pm

Fire at the sea

Fire at Sea by Gianfranco Rosi – France, Italy | 2016 – 108 min.

Gianfranco Rosi’s doco captures traditional life on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa alongside the compassionate, high-tech response to the boatloads of refugees finding landfall there. Best Film, Berlin Film Festival 2016.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.15.2016 – Rialto Cinemas Newmarket – 4:00 pm
07.18.2016 – Rialto Cinemas Newmarket – 6:15 pm
07.22.2016 – Academy Cinema – 4:15 pm
07.24.2016 – Academy Cinema – 6:15 pm

Hooligan Sparrow

Hooligan Sparrow by Wang Nanfu – China, US | 2016 – 84 min.

Filmmaker Wang Nanfu shares alarming risks with her subject, accompanying fearless Chinese women’s rights activist Ye Haiyan on a mission while facing intimidation at every turn.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.18.2016 – Event Cinemas Queen Street – 6:30 pm
07.20.2016 – Event Cinemas Queen Street – 12:15 pm
07.28.2016 – Event Cinemas Queen Street – 12:30 pm

In Jackson Heights

In Jackson Heights by Frederick Wiseman – US | 2015- 190 min.

Successive generations of immigrant Americans mix it up in veteran documentarian Frederick Wiseman’s celebration of a community fighting gentrification in New York’s most ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhood.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.15.2016 – Academy Cinema – 1:15 pm
07.16.2016 – Rialto Cinemas New Market (Cinema 4) – 1:00 pm
07.21.2016 – Rialto Cinemas New Market (Cinema 4) – 1:00 pm
07.23.2016 – Academy Cinema – 3:00 pm

Lo and Behold

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected Worldwide by Werner Herzog – US | 98 min.

Werner Herzog, director of such notable classics of the non-fiction realm as Grizzly Man, turns his inimitable eye on the galloping evolution of the internet, its geniuses and its ominous implications for creation at large.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.24.2016 – SKYCITY Theatre – 11:15 am
07.25.2016 – SKYCITY Theatre – 8:30 pm
07.28.2016 – SKYCITY Theatre – 4:15 pm

World Shadow

Shadow World by Johan Grimonprez – Belgium, Denmark, US | 2016 – 90 min.

Based on a behind-the-scenes exposé written by former South African politician Andrew Feinstein, this excoriating documentary from Johan Grimonprez offers a superb and succinct examination of the global arms trade.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.22.2016 – Event Cinemas Queen Street – 6:15 pm
07.23.2016 – SKYCITY Theatre – 1:15 pm

The 5th Eye

The 5th Eye by Errol Wright, Abi King-Jones – New Zealand | 2016 – 112 min.

This densely packed doco from the directors of Operation 8 questions the price of New Zealand’s involvement in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, and relates the improbable tale of its 2008 sabotage by the Waihopai Three.

07.28.2016 – Academy Cinema – 6:15 pm
07.29.2016 – Academy Cinema – 3:00 pm
07.30.2016 – Academy Cinema – 3:15 pm

The Road

The Road by Zhang Zanbo – China, Denmark | 2015 – 95 min.

This documentary provides an astonishingly revealing picture of the construction of a section of China’s massive Xu-Huai Highway, as seen by dislocated locals, exploited migrant workers and the embattled construction company.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.17.2016 – SKYCITY Theatre – 11:00 am
07.25.2016 – Event Cinemas Queen Street – 12:00 pm

Under the sun

Under the Sun by Vitaly Mansky – North Korea, Russia | 2015 – 106 min.

Shot with the permission and supervision of Pyongyang authorities, Under the Sun turns a North Korean propaganda exercise into a deep-cover documentary about life inside one of the world’s most repressive nations.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.19.2016 – Rialto Cinemas Newmarket – 8:30 pm
07.24.2016 – Academy Cinema – 1:45 pm
07.26.2016 – Academy Cinema – 8:30 pm

Zero Days

Zero Days by Alex Gibney – US | 2016 – 116 min.

Backed by insider analysis of the Stuxnet sabotage of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, Alex Gibney’s gripping new documentary argues that the architects of cyber warfare have been both brilliant and insanely reckless.

Trailer (Will open in another window)

07.15.2016 – The Civic Theatre – 4:15 pm
07.16.2016 – The Civic Theatre – 8:45 pm
07.30.2016 – Event Cinemas Queer Street – 9:30 pm

The Civic Theatre – Corner Queen Street & Wellesley Street
The Wintergarden at The Civic – Corner Queen Street & Wellesley Street
SKIPCITY Theatre – Level 3, corner Hobson & Wellesley Street
Academy Cinema – Central Library Building, 44 Lorne Street
Event Cinemas Queen Street – 291-297 Queen Street, corner Queen Street & Aotea Square
Rialto Cinemas Newmarket – 167-169 Broadway, Newmarket
Rialto Cinemas Newmarket (Cinema 4) – 167-169 Broadway, Newmarket
Event Cinemas Manukau – Level 1, Westfield Manukau City
Events Cinemas Westgate – Level 8, Westgate Shopping Centre

IMPORTANT: We would like to remind readers that the festival starts its activities in Auckland and then tour around the country. Films and schedules presented in this post are for Auckland venues ONLY. For more information please visit the FESTIVAL PROFILE or visit their OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

You may also find interesting to know which are the 7 Short Films and 15 Films you cannot miss this year at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

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