May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Local documentaries to screen at the NZ International Film Festival

3 min read

New Zealand-made films are among the early announcements for the NZ International Film Festival programme for 2010.

The 2010 Festival programme is not due to be released until mid-June but Festival organisers today confirmed two NZ-made documentaries are in the line-up.

Clive Neesons Last Paradise traces the evolution of extreme adventure sports in NZ and recently won the prestigious Ambassador of Green award at X Dance – The Academy Awards of Action Sports Film held annually in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Robin Greenbergs The Free China Junk tells the story of five young fishermen who in 1955 left Taiwan on an old traditional Chinese junk to cross the Pacific despite the fact that none of them had ever sailed a junk on open seas before.

Both documentaries explore the quest for freedom and adventure through very different characters. Both filmmakers have been extraordinarily fortunate in their access to stunning colour footage, some 50 years old, says Festival director Bill Gosden.

Last Paradise combines footage from Neesons own childhood at Raglan in the 1960s and the early days of surfing in New Zealand alongside interviews with the inventors of wakeboarding, kitesurfing and bungy-jumping.

The archival footage that captures the pioneers of adventure sports in New Zealand is enthralling. Last Paradise is an eco-adventure film that celebrates the beautiful landscapes Clive and his friends explored around the world, says Gosden.

Greenbergs previous film Huloo (NZIFF 2008) centred around Christchurch Tai Chi master Loo-Chi Hu. It was during filming that she uncovered the story of Loo-Chi Hus adventure sailing on an old China junk with four friends across the Pacific.

The old sailors speak with the sharp good humour of men who have lived life to the full and can look back with zero sentimentality at their youthful recklessness. Says Gosden.

Other recent Festival confirmations include There Once Was an Island by NZ filmmaker Briar March, which documents the plight of a small island community in the Pacific faced with rising sea-levels due to climate change. French prison drama and Cannes 2009 Grand Jury prize winner A Prophet will screen as well as Banksys documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. Sergio Leones Once Upon a Time in the West starring Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson will screen as part of the retrospective programme in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.

The Festival travels to the main centres Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Palmerston North, Hamilton before continuing around the country to Napier, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Nelson, Greymouth, Masterton, Gisborne and finishes in Whangarei in November.

The full NZ International Film Festival programme will be announced mid-June. Auckland programmes will be available from Wednesday 16 June and tickets on sale from Friday 18 June. Wellington programmes will be available from Friday 18 June and tickets on sale from Tuesday 22 June.

For further information about the NZ International Film Festival or to arrange an interview with Director Bill Gosden please contact:

Auckland Anders Falstie-Jensen 0274 455 793 [email protected]

All other regions Rebecca McMillan 0274 555 061 [email protected]

To view the trailers for the New Zealand documentaries announced please visit:

Last Paradise:

Once Upon a Time in the West

A Prophet:

There Once Was An Island:

Exit Through The Gift Shop:

1 thought on “Local documentaries to screen at the NZ International Film Festival

  1. I would like to tell you that some Yusuf's (aka Cat Stevens)songs are beautifully weaved into his pristine footage. Cheers, S

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