@NZIFF: Snapshots of New Zealand International Film Festival 2015

All good things come to an end. It’s been some days now that the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) is over in Wellington. After three weeks of laughter & tears, emotional & intellectual cinematic pleasure and great encounters, the countdown starts again for many Wellingtonians waiting for NZIFF 2016 🙂 Here is a quick photo report with snapshots of New Zealand International Film Festival 2015.

An outstanding atmosphere

Paramount NZIFF 2015

NZIFF 2015 took place from the 24th of July to the 12th of August, and even more: one week extra screening was schedulded! Wellingtonians love NZIFF, the best proof being that almost all the evening and weekend screenings I went to were full. Week screenings were more intimate, but still, we’ve never been less than 30 people in a dark room. It’s quite rare nowadays to see movie theatres crowed with people! The New Zealand International Film Festival is definitely the place to be, the event to attend that every Wellingtonian fond of culture won’t never miss.

Ice creams & wine: cinema & pure culinary pleasures

Ice creams at NZIFF 2015

Of course, you can eat popcorn if you want, but the typically Kiwi tradition is to eat a two scoops ice-cream with chocolate dip. It’s so good to treat yourself with a crunchy sweet in front of a movie!  Don’t be afraid to upset people around: you’re in New Zealand. So, even if you can find some real cinephiles in the auditoriums during the festival, nobody will look a you scornfully if you eat an ice cream.

But the must is to share a bottle of wine in front of a movie, something that you could never do in France. Yes, it was the first time I saw this in my entire life! Drinking too much Pinot Noir could be dangerous because it increases the risk to fall asleep in front of some soporific films, but it could be the most beautiful moments ever. We enjoyed it so much with my Welsh friend, Immy, watching german-french-turkish film Mustang. I felt almost as rebellious as the girls from the movie, in a different way. What a shame we cannot do that in France, the cradle of wine and cinema! I hope this post will you some ideas!

8 venues for a big event

NZIFF 2015 took place in 8 different venues in town. I love the surprise of discovering new places. I chose my tickets so that I could visit all different places, of course. I went to the City Gallery for arty lunch screenings, to Ngā Taonga, the Film Archive to watch Out of Mist, a documentary that celebrates of an Alternative History of New Zealand Cinema. In the Sounding Theatre of Te Papa Museum, I could watch the beautiful shorts from the Pacific. Then, I discovered Brooklyn’s movie theatre, The Penthouse and its beautiful colors that warm you up on a cold winter day; and of course, The Roxy, the famous movie theatre of Miramar.

Penthouse Cinema - Brooklyn
Penthouse Cinema – Brooklyn
Roxy Cinema - Miramar,
Roxy Cinema – Miramar Photo by Kristy Clark

I even watched The Brand New Testament outside of town in Petone – a small surburb of Wellington. What a cute auditorium they’ve got: you share the comfy double seat with another person and lots of cushions. I highly recommend you the Lighthouse in Petone for romantic evenings!

The Paramount in the city centre became my second home during the NZIFF. Most of my screenings took place there, and that’s also where very interesting panel discussions were held: http://whensallymetwelly.com/nziff-panel-discussion-at-the-paramount/

Panel discussion in the Paramount Lounge
Panel discussion in the Paramount Lounge
Enthusiastic cashiers & venue manager at the Paramount
Enthusiastic cashiers & venue manager at the Paramount

I also loved sitting in the main auditorium of The Embassy in front of what is believed to be one of the largest screens in the Southern Hemisphere. The main auditorium of this incredibly beautiful building opened October 31, 1924 is impressive and well decorated. You’ve got the feeling to attend something big, something spectacular when you’re in there.  Again, as I said before in a previous post, it’s no wonder that Peter Jackson chose this auditorium to premiere Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit !

Embassy Theatre Auditorium
One of the magic lanterns of the Embassy Theatre

Dynamic People and great encounters:

Rose and Chris at the Information Desk
Rose and Chris from the Wellington Film Society at one of the Information Desk

=> The New Zealand International Film Festival was first created by the Wellington Film Society. Nowadays, they still give a hand to the NZIFF with passion!

If you’re interested to learn more about the Society and the roots of the NZIFF, click here!: http://whensallymetwelly.com/spotlight-on-the-wellington-film-society/

Q&A with Costa Botes about The Act of Kindness in Nga Taonga with NZIFF Programmer Michael McDonnell
Q&A with Costa Botes about The Act of Kindness in Nga Taonga with NZIFF Programmer Michael McDonnell
Marine, Volunteer at NZIFF
Marine, Volunteer. Her favorite movie was Tale for Tales that she highly recommend:

Marine told me about her love for Tale of Tales : ” During the screening, tension got higher and higher and the film got slightly under my skin. One scene in particular stays with me until this day: it’s when the ogre chases the princess. It was as if I was living one of my craziest nightmares, and I had the feeling not to be alone anymore: intense climax of pleasure!”

Tale of Tales, Matteo Garrone
Tale of Tales, Matteo Garrone

Now, it’s time for me to share with you my personal highlights of the festival. I’ve decided to post different articles about something special that stays in my mind: a music, a shot, an actor. I hope you’ll enjoy them, and don’t hesitate to share your personal highlights too 🙂

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