New Zealand International Film Festival
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The Festival has grown significantly since the merger in 1984 of the Auckland International Film Festival (founded in 1969) and the Wellington Film Festival (founded 1972). The Festival is operated by the New Zealand Film Festival Trust, a charitable trust established in 1996, and based in Wellington. In 2009, for the first time, the Festival did away with its various regional names and united the various festivals under the banner of the New Zealand International Film Festival. Until then, each region had been promoted with the region’s name despite their having shared a common programme and artwork since 2002. The festival has a long tradition of supporting New Zealand filmmakers and New Zealand cinema.
Auckland was the first city in the country to have a film festival. Founded in 1969 as a component of the Auckland Festival, the Auckland International Film Festival (AIFF) in time became a fund-raising event subsidising live arts. Rescued from this role by the intervention of the New Zealand Federation of Film Societies in 1984, the AIFF achieved an audience in excess of 100,000 for the first time in 2005. The year 2000 marked the AIFF's return to the refurbished Civic Theatre, a celebrated atmospheric theatre built in 1929.
The Wellington Film Festival (WFF) was inaugurated by Lindsay Shelton and the Wellington Film Society with seven films in 1972. Thirty years later, it showed over 150 programmes to audiences in excess of 71,000. The main venue is the Embassy Theatre, and the WFF and NZIFF have played a major role in the theatre's rehabilitation and continuing refurbishment.
Dunedin and Christchurch
Founded in 1977, the Dunedin manifestation of the Festival presented a highlights package of 75 features, plus short films, at the Regent Theatre. Founded along with the Dunedin event in 1977, the Christchurch Festival presented substantially the same programme.
A selection of festival titles continue to travel around New Zealand, making the NZIFF unique on the world film-festival stage. Provincial centres covered by the festival include Gore, Hamilton, Hawke's Bay, Masterton, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga and Timaru.
The New Zealand Film Festival Trust
The New Zealand Film Festival Trust, which runs the NZIFF, is a registered charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005, registration number CC23151.
The NZ Film Festival Trust is governed by a board of trustees. Current board members are:[update]
- Catherine Fitzgerald (Chair)
- Louise Baker
- Robin Laing
- Tearepa Kahi
- Tanya Surrey (appointed by the New Zealand Federation of Film Societies)
- Andrew Langridge
- Chris Watson
- Jacquie Kean