NZ International Film Festival to Stream in HD for the First Time

Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival will make history tonight by being the first hybrid film festival in the world to present its programme both online and in cinemas. 

The festival reports it leads upcoming hybrid editions of the Venice, TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival ) and Locarno film festivals confirmed for next month and September.

The unique situation has come about since New Zealand’s COVID-19 restrictions eased, and cinemas and venues have been able to reopen, resulting in 15 cinemas in eight cities around the country accepting the film festival’s invitation to offer screenings to their dedicated local audiences.

In April when we announced that the film festival would be presented online, we made a commitment to present a programme of New Zealand premiere films available to anyone with a broadband connection and we are fulfilling that commitment – all 79 feature films and seven short film collections will be available online. Of those, 26 films will also be screened in cinemas, usually in advance of later online premieres which will then include live virtual discussions with the filmmakers from around the world.

Participating cinemas in the ‘Your Festival – Your Cinema’ programme are: in Auckland, ASB Waterfront Theatre, Hollywood Avondale, Bridgeway Cinemas, Monterey Cinemas in Takapuna and Howick, and The Capitol Cinema; in Wellington, The Roxy Cinema and City Gallery; in Christchurch, Isaac Theatre Royal and Lumière Cinemas, as well at Rialto Tauranga, MTG Century Theatre in Napier, Len Lye Cinema in New Plymouth, Regent Dunedin and SBS St James Theatre in Gore.

Festival Director Marten Rabarts said these cinemas and venues have shown “their understanding of the extraordinary times we’re navigating by accepting our invitation to be part of a hybrid festival and we see this return to cinemas also as a confirmation of our absolute determination to get the whole festival back into movie theatres where it belongs in 2021 and beyond.”

Marten said that included in the programme of films were all five New Zealand features:  Before Everest, LOIMATA, The Sweetest Tears, Rūrangi, The Girl on The Bridge andTupaia’s Endeavour: The Director’s Cut, as well as New Zealand’s Best Short Films and Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts.

Other highlights of the in-cinema programme include the opening night film True History of the Kelly Gang which will screen in 11 of the cinemas, the closing night film The County, and another world premiere – Steelers: The World’s First Gay Rugby Club.

The festival will run until August 2; browse the programme here and view how to buy your Online Premiere tickets.

“Unless otherwise indicated all titles will stream in Full HD (1920 x 1080),” NZIFF programmer  Michael McDonnell says.

“The resolution can be adjusted in the player, but the player will default to the highest available resolution that works with your connection. For most people on faster connections it will be Full HD.”

Films will stream in stereo or 5.1 (when the latter, it will be noted on the film page).

“When 5.1 sound is available it will playback automatically if your connected audio device supports 5.1,” McDonnell says.

“Otherwise it will play in stereo.”

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One Response to “NZ International Film Festival to Stream in HD for the First Time”

  1. WOW, on Apple TV Flex have added LIVE TV, it’s so wonderful 🙂

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