NZIFF is Back Baby!

Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival is back for 2024 and has announced the films selected for this year’s festival. Two features and 19 shorts from Aotearoa make up the Māhutonga strand of the programme, and amongst those, 11 feature work by DEGANZ members.

Check them out below!

Feature Films


Paul Wolffram’s urgent documentary takes us into the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea and one Indigenous woman’s fight against the insidious influence of sanguma – sorcery violence.

Editor: Annie Collins

The Haka Party Incident

In 1979, a group of young Māori and Pasifika activists sought to stop Pākehā students at the University of Auckland performing a parody of haka each capping week. Unfortunately, the consequences for those activists were severe – many were convicted of crimes. Director Katie Wolfe uncovers this largely forgotten event in our history with interviews from both in this resonant and thought-provoking documentary.

Director: Katie Wolfe

The House Within

Filmmaker Joshua Prendeville’s sterling documentary holds a delicate lens to the fascinating life and work of one of Aotearoa’s literary treasures, Dame Fiona Kidman.

Co-Editor: Cushla Dillon

Aotearoa Film Focus Weekend

Naughty Little Peeptoe

Garth Maxwell offers a deeply personal film, co-directed by the late Peter Wells, in Naughty Little Peeptoe. An ode to a friend, fashionista and foot-fetishist Doug George, Maxwell along with collaborator Debra Daley recorded the caustic, chaotic narration from George, retelling the story of how high heels saved his life. The film will be preceded by a screening of Maxwell’s first ever film Come With Us, a short collaboration with Simon Marler. A response from queer erotic fiction writer, Samuel Te Kani, will follow.

Co-Director: Garth Maxwell

New Zealand’s Best

New Zealand’s Best is a compilation of the year’s top short films from Aotearoa New Zealand. Each year local filmmakers are invited to submit their films to compete in the strand, with a Guest Selector choosing the finalists from a shortlist curated by the NZIFF team. A total of 95 submissions were received for this year’s competition, with just 5 selected for the final by 2024 Guest Selector, Gerard Johnstone.

I See You

A young mother struggles with her toddlers delayed development until a chance encounter with a charismatic young man shifts her feelings.

Director: Briar March

Editor: Adam-Luka Turjak

First Horse

In pre-colonial Aotearoa, a young Māori girl witnesses the best and worst of a rapidly changing world when she encounters a dying man and his horse.

Editor: Cushla Dillon

Lea Tupu’anga/Mother Tongue

A young speech therapist who has lied about her language skills must find a new way to communicate when she is assigned to an elderly Tongan patient with aphasia who can no longer speak English.

Director: Vea Mafile’o

Ngā Whanaunga Māori Pasifika Shorts

This collection of seven Māori and Pasifika short films has been selected by co-curators Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka), Director of the Wairoa Film Festival, and Craig Fasi (Niue), Director of Pollywood Film Festival.


Today is the first day of Tui’s dream life. She snuggles in bed with her well-meaning paakeha (white) boyfriend, Edward. Everything’s perfect until her vagina, Teke, calls him a loser.

Editor: Amarbir Singh

Short Connections

Five new Aotearoa shorts examine the ways we connect with each other. From strangers uniting to stand up for what is right to fleeting moments of understanding between loved ones, these films deftly capture the bonds and binds between us.


When a welfare department’s insidious prejudice can no longer be tolerated, a group of unlikely heroes band together against a narrow-minded caseworker. Made in collaboration with Toi Whakaari, Mia Blake cleverly reflects the state of the nation in this punchy black comedy. 

Director: Mia Blake

Editor: Ben Chesters


A lonely teenager shares a moment of intimacy with a mysterious stranger in this surprising and sensitive film. Jamie Lawrence (Darryl Exists, NZIFF 2011) evokes a surreal world that tenderly explores identity, belonging and the desire for connection.

Director: Jamie Lawrence

The Sea Inside Her

Award-winning filmmaker and choreographer Alyx Duncan (The Tide Keeper, NZIFF 2015) builds on her unique movement-led films, depicting an anxious grandmother desperate to protect her grandchild from the dangers of the world. Using performance, puppetry and visual effects, Alyx Duncan paints a fantastical picture of fear and frustration for these fragile times.

Director: Alyx Duncan

Editor: Adam-Luka Turjak


Last updated on 24 June 2024