New Zealand International Film Festival (July 28 – August 31) is to open its 2022 edition with the world premiere of local filmmaker Tearepa Kahi’s action drama Muru and Sara Dosa’s US documentary Fire Of Love.
Muru will open the Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin locations of the festival while Sundance-winner Fire Of Love will open all other festival sites. Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winner Triangle Of Sadness will close the festival in all locations.
It marks NZIFF’s return as a full in-person festival after operating as a hybrid event in 2020 while last saw saw it held in cinemas in 12 centres nationwide, with Auckland and Hamilton being cancelled due to lockdown restrictions.
However, while the festival usually programmes up to 170 features, this year will screen 70 features in Auckland ahead of plans to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.
There will be no online option this year as the festival returns to “the collective experience of watching a film together”.
As well as Triangle Of Sadness, further Cannes titles in the line-up include Charlotte Wells’ directorial debut Aftersun, David Cronenberg’s sci-fi feature Crimes of the Future, Pakistani director Saim Sadiq’s Queer Palm winner Joyland, and Kristoffer Borgli’s Norwegian comedy Sick of Myself.
Award winners from this year’s Berlin Film Festival include Carla Simón’s Golden Bear winner Alcarràs and Mexican-Bolivian filmmaker Natalia López Gallardo’s Silver Bear jury winner Robe of Gems.
Among the collection of New Zealand features will be Fergus Grady and Noel Smyth’s documentary Gloriavale, an investigation behind closed doors of the Gloriavale Christian Community; Tom Levesque’s Shut Eye, that centres on a young woman who becomes fixated on a local ASMR streamer; and New Zealand-US co-production Ka Pō, which explores methamphetamine addiction in Polynesian communities from Hawaiian director Etienne Aurelius.