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2018 New Zealand International Film Festival Artwork
2018 New Zealand International Film Festival Artwork

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) revealed the first nine films selected for 2018 program plus the official artwork. The films include Disobedience starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, Harry Dean Stanton’s final film Lucky, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here starring Joaquin Phoenix, period piece Zama from Argentinian auteur Lucrecia Martel, and a documentary feature on the pioneering women’s rights activist and US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG).

“When we receive multiple requests we take notice and if we can’t deliver, that’s usually because somebody else will. We’ve been hearing requests for Lynne Ramsey’s film since its debut in Cannes a year ago – and the requests for RBG have been thick and fast since the US reviews came out only last week,” says NZIFF director Bill Gosden.

Buckets of splendor, exotic and native, and a typically discriminating NZIFF patron are celebrated in the artwork for 2018. Illustrator Ken Samonte, inspired by New Yorker covers and the work of Hayao Miyazaki, also references the previous NZIFF illustration style of artist Tom Simpson.

Rachel Weisz stars as a black sheep drawn back to her London Orthodox Jewish home, rekindling sparks with a childhood friend (Rachel McAdams) in the English-language debut of the director of Gloria and A Fantastic Woman.

After an idiosyncratic career of iconic roles for everyone from Wim Wenders to David Lynch, the late Harry Dean Stanton hangs up his hat with this wryly funny, affecting character study.

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring her exceptional life and career.

You Were Never Really Here
Lynne Ramsay, director of Ratcatcher and We Need to Talk About Kevin, teams with Joaquin Phoenix for a startling, nerve-shredding thriller about a brutal hitman contracted to save an abducted teen.

The brilliant Argentinian auteur Lucrecia Martel returns with a feverish, formally sophisticated period piece about a Spanish officer’s personal hell in colonial South America.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Alexandra Dean’s debut documentary is a revelatory and entertaining portrait of an adventurous woman and talented inventor better known to the world as the embodiment of Hollywood sex and glamour.

Leave No Trace
New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie is mesmerising as 13-year-old Tom living off the grid with her war vet father (Ben Foster) in this haunting new film from the director of Winter’s Bone.

From refugee daughter of a Tamil revolutionary and aspiring filmmaker to pop stardom and controversy magnet: this stimulating documentary about Sri Lankan musician M.I.A. dances to its own idiosyncratic beat.

Yellow Is Forbidden
Kiwi director Pietra Brettkelly takes us into the opulent world of show-stopping Chinese designer Guo Pei as she prepares to make her Paris debut and seeks admission into the exclusive club of haute couture.

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