New Zealand International Film festival


The opening gala at the St James Theatre in Gore may not have the glitz and glam of the Cannes Film Festival but rest assured the wine and nibbles will flow freely.

The New Zealand International Film Festival will begin the first of its regional events at Gore on Thursday, bringing with it a showcase of local and international films to Southland.

Now in its fifth year, theatre manager Peter Cairns said the festival run in Gore has grown in popularity slowly over the years.

From as far afield as Queenstown and Alexandra, people were making the trip to see films at the festival, Cairns said.

In some cases, Cairns even knew of people who had come from Dunedin to see films they had missed at the festival there, he said.

There were about 28 films being shown in the Gore festival this year.

One of the feature films, No Ordinary Sheila, is a documentary on Southland-born natural historian, illustrator and writer Sheila Natusch.

The film had drawn a lot of interest , Cairns said.

Born in 1926, Natusch, who lived most of her early life on Stewart Island, and went on to become one of the country’s most famous illustrators and documenters of the wildlife of the country.

Natusch died last week just days after a film of her life was premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Another film which was proving popular was Spookers, a New Zealand Documentary documentary directed by Florian Habicht on the infamous and hugely popular horror theme park Spookers, based at the old Kingseat Hospital in Auckland.

Cairns said he would always try to see as many of films as possible during the festival.

A lot of the films were a bit different, not your general run-of-the-mill blockbusters, Cairns said.

The festival is running at the St James Theatre from August 17-27.

Source: The Southland Times


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