NZ International Film Festival opens in Chch on Friday

True History of the Kelly Gang. Photo: Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival
True History of the Kelly Gang. Photo: Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival
The Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival kicks off in Christchurch this week - and organisers aren't letting a global pandemic derail the movie magic.

Organisers had previously planned to hold the festival entirely online, but moviegoers can now catch the films in select theatres and venues in Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland and Wellington.

Movies will screen at the Isaac Theatre Royal on Gloucester St and at Lumière Cinemas in The Arts Centre on Rolleston Ave, Christchurch.

The festival kicks off with a bang on Friday, July 24, with the True History of the Kelly Gang - 1917's George MacKay and New Zealand's own Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit), Russell Crowe, and musician Marlon Williams star.

The film will also be available online concurrently when it screens in-cinema. The True History of the Kelly Gang screening at Lumière Cinemas on Friday is sold out, but you could still catch The Truth on Friday at 7.30pm at Isaac Theatre Royal.

All 79 feature films and seven collections of short films screening during the festival will be available online.

"Bringing together this year's programme of films has certainly been challenging as we've responded to the constantly changing landscape globally and in New Zealand," Festival director Marten Rabarts said.

"In March, as Covid-19 led the world towards lockdown, we made the decision to take the festival online, rejecting the only other option at that time which would have been outright cancellation.

"Since then, we've been working tirelessly to secure a strong programme of films and upgrade our video on demand platform to bring the festival to a nationwide audience."

This year, the film festival includes a special collection called EUROPE!: Voices of Women in Film.

The full festival line-up is available here.

The Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival runs from July 24 to August 2.

- Additional reporting NZ Herald

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