We know you've been waiting to hear news about what's happening with the Film Festival this winter, and we've been working hard over the past six weeks to consider all options, while at the same time experiencing the cascade of event cancellations and the extraordinary blow to the country's cultural sector.
These are unprecedented times and we have had to make some difficult decisions – there's no doubt this has been the biggest challenge we've ever faced as an organisation.
Today, we announce plans to present NZIFF 2020 in an online format for the very first time.
The New Zealand International Film Festival At Home – Online will take place from 24 July to 2 August with a world-class curated programme of world and New Zealand premiere films for audiences to screen at home.
The shared experience of cinema and the power of storytelling to bring communities together has always been our driving force. With the current and evolving situation, we believe in the value and importance of cinema now more than ever.
The idea of not having a Film Festival at all was one which we did not want to contemplate and we are excited to be able to upgrade our online platform to ensure we can bring the best of new cinema to our audiences with new ways to share the experience and interact with the filmmakers and fellow audience members.
After the initial realisation and heartbreak of not being able to provide our Film Festival whānau an in-cinema experience this year we’ve worked quickly with filmmakers, distributors and sales agents to ensure we are able to confidently adapt the way in which we’ll present their films to our dedicated audience across the country.
NZIFF At Home – Online will be a true film festival experience featuring world and New Zealand premieres of films each night, and including virtual red-carpet, and filmmaker Q&As and we can potentially invite more international guests to present their films to our festival audiences than ever before using virtual means. Some films will be screened as special ‘one-off’ events, and many of the films presented will be exclusive to NZIFF and won’t have other New Zealand screenings.
— Marten Rabarts, NZIFF Director – Kaiwhakatere
Full information on the programme, viewing costs and viewing windows for the online platform will be announced on Monday 22 June. Keep an eye on our website for up-to-date information and more details.