We’re back! says NZIFF

“We’re back!” is New Zealand Film Festival Trust Chair Catherine Fitzgerald’s wrap on the Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) 2023 season.

Highlights of the 2023 nationwide festival have included:

. 3752 hours, or 156 days, of non-stop viewing
. 100,000+ tickets sold
. 47 countries represented
. 31 venues and cinemas in 16 regions across the country screening films
. 89 filmmaker-in-kōrero sessions
. 45 filmmakers travelling to screenings including six international guests
. 3319 school students participated in the NZIFF for Schools programme with the majority of tickets provided at no cost
. 16 Access screenings (low-sensory, open captions and audio-described)

“These are remarkable statistics,” says Fitzgerald. “Our General Manager Sally Woodfield has led a fantastic and committed team to bring the film festival back from the uncertainty of the early pandemic days of 2020, 21 and 22. But headwinds remain.”

Sally Woodfield says: “While 2020 was a horror year for the cultural sector with work not able to be shown in theatres and for the film festival, a very small hybrid delivery, it was 2021 and early 2022 where it was more challenging and the economics just didn’t stack up.”

The film festival was able to continue operating thanks, in very large part, to support from Manatū Taonga Ministry of Culture and Heritage and Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga: The New Zealand Film Commission.

“We are, as I am sure most of our audience members are, extremely grateful for the support we and other arts organisations received over the last three years. Presenting the film festival requires financial certainty as ticket sales don’t provide revenue until the film festival screenings are on sale,” says Fitzgerald.

“It is so important that those who bought tickets know how grateful we are for their support of New Zealand’s world-class film festival. We also acknowledge that it has been an extremely difficult three years for creatives from across the sector, throughout Aotearoa, and around the world, many of whom earn very little income from their work,” she says.