Cannes trifecta of winners take top slots at NZ International Film Festival

Palme d'Or winner The Square will screen at the opening night in Auckland on July 20.

The 49th New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has clinched all three of the winning features at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

It’s an effort that means last-minute confirmations as Cannes finishes just two weeks before the NZIFF programme goes to press.

This year’s 98-page Auckland programme is out with Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Square honoured with the opening night screening on July 20. It will screen in Wellington on July 28.

Directed by Ruben Ostlund (Force Majeure), The Square is a satire set in a Swedish art gallery and stars American Elizabeth Moss (Top of the Lake, The Handmaid’s Tale).

Cannes Grand Prix winner, effectively the jury’s second best choice, BPM (Beats Per Minute) is a French drama about an HIV/Aids activist in the early 1990s.

The Cannes trifecta is completed by Loveless, the Jury Prize winner, from Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan).

Festival director Bill Gosden says the film that proved hardest to land was The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the latest from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) and joint winner of best screenplay with Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here.

Other new announcements of Cannes 2017 entries in the NZIFF programme are Agnes Varda’s Visages villages (Faces Places), Michael Haneke's Happy End, A Gentle Creature from Russia and New York-set thriller Good Time.

Previously announced Cannes highlights include Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled and Jane Campion's Top of the Lake: China Doll, both featuring Nicole Kidman, who won a special prize honouring the festival's 70th year.

The 21 films announced from Cannes are:

From the In Competition selection

From Cannes Un Certain Regard

From Cannes Directors’ Fortnight

Cannes Special Screenings

Cannes Midnight Screenings

Cannes Out of Competition

NZIFF 2017 dates:
  • Auckland July 20-August 6
  • Wellington July 28-August 13
  • Christchurch, August 3-20
  • Dunedin, August 8-30

Another nine centres follow in August and September. Full details of films and venues are at nziff2017.

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