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It’s a wrap. The 2015 New Zealand International Film Festival came to a close on Sunday night at MTG’s Century Theatre with an encore screening of festival hit The Lobster.
78 people attended the closing screening reflecting what “great audience support” for this year’s event. “We were hoping to achieve a session average of 50 or better, up from the low 30’s in the last two years, and we’ve come in at 57 so that’s a good move in the right direction for us”, said MTG Hawke’s Bay Director Laura Vodanovich.
The festival is the cinema highlight for the Century Theatre. Each year it's enthusiastically anticipated by film fans, with many attending multiple films and even repeat screenings. This year’s programme saw a higher than usual number of English language films, more contemporary documentaries and some standout New Zealand films. This seems to have broadened the event’s appeal with newcomers growing in attendance, genuinely offering something for everyone.
Laura says several factors contributed to this year’s success. There’s been a lot of community feedback about the importance of cinema at the Century and this was a chance to actively show support by coming along to a film or two. “We’ve seen a real surge in Museum Friends memberships since July also and it was great to see so many in the audiences during the festival”.
Content played its part in pulling a crowd. Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy was the runaway success of the festival nationally. “It’s an exceptional film and a contemporary story that has broad audience appeal so we expected it to do particularly well and it did with nearly 200 people at screening on opening weekend,” says Laura Vodanovich. In all 29 films were shown in 40 screenings over the 17 days of the festival. The New Zealand International Film Festival will return to the Century Theatre this time next year.
21 September 2015
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