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Coexistence Openair Films at Britomart

Coexistence Openair Films at Britomart

Auckland, 7 March 2006

Open-Air Cinema Ltd., Bluewater and Heart of Auckland City have teamed up for an exciting new project: outdoor movies at the historic Britomart Precinct. The organisers took up the theme of co-existence and put a very interesting programme together including the Oscar winner for the Best Film 'Crash' and nominees 'Munich' by Steven Spielberg as well as 'Joyeux Noel' for best foreign language film.

While thousands of Aucklanders and tourists enjoyed the grass surface covering the car park in the historic Britomart Precinct during February, Openair Cinema director Urs Bauer took the opportunity to setup a temporary movie theatre creating a festival of recent 'co-existence' type films. "The films we've chosen all cover some different aspects of living together in a very diverse universe. I think it's a great way of seeing movies, which will definitely touch the spectators' hearts under the open sky."

The ten night extravaganza starts this Friday with 'Mr. Batignole', a French Drama by Jérard Jugnot which takes up the refuge-story of two Jewish families during 2nd world war, followed by the heart-warming story 'The Land has Eyes' on Saturday. This first Fijian feature film is built around the story of a young woman attempting to escape the stifling conformity of island culture. Inspired by the myth of a Warrior Woman, she recovers from the death of her father and fights for justice and freedom.

On Sunday night the festival takes up a completely different issue about life: 'The Sea Inside' is a Spanish-French-Italian co-production about the real-life story of Ramon Sampedro, who fought a 30-year campaign in favour of euthanasia and his right to die.

'In this World' (R13) on Monday, shows the pressure and survival of Afghan refugees, who live in a camp in Peshawar and try to escape to Great Britain with the help of people smugglers. This critical film won the Bafta Award for the best foreign language film and Director Michael Winterbottom won a Golden Berlin Bear for best director in 2004.

Oscar-hit 'Crash' (R16) will be screened on Tuesday night: several characters of different racial backgrounds collide in one incident. The different stereotypes society has created for those backgrounds affect their judgment, beliefs and actions.

The French-German-English co-production 'Joyeux Noel', nominated for the best foreign language film at the Oscars, screens on Wednesday. It is a profoundly touching and uplifting movie set in World War I when the Germans, French and Scottish try to make peace by burying their dean and playing football on Christmas Eve.

'Turtles Can Fly' (Thursday, 17 March) is the third feature film from internationally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi. Written, directed and produced by Ghobadi, the film, set near the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of an American invasion, features a cast of local non-actor children gauging and awaiting their fate.

On Friday the modern 'Romeo and Juliet' story by acclaimed British Director Ken Loach adds some romantic drama to the programme: sparks fly in Glasgow's south side when a young Asian man enters into a relationship with a Caucasian teacher.

The highly controversial, but acclaimed new film by Steven Spielberg, 'Munich' (R16) screens on Saturday. During the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich eleven Israeli athletes were taken hostage and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist group known as Black September. In retaliation the Israeli government recruits a group of Mossad agents to track down and execute those responsible for the attack. A thrilling drama not for the faint hearted.

The Festival closes on Sunday with Tolga Orneks excellent war-documentary 'Gallipoli'. The young Turkish director produced an unbiased film about the incidents at Gallipoli: the only enemy in these events was the war itself. Sam Neill and Jeremy Irons as narrators put a lot of heart and soul into the story.

The uncovered area is on a grass surface and limited to 750 people. Please bring your own deckchairs, rugs, beanbags etc as only limited seating is available. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for Students & Senior Citizens and $7 for children under 12. Please be aware that the whole area is supervised (no children under the age of 18 are allowed without accompanying parents or caregivers). The ticket office and gates open at 7pm, movie starts at 8.30pm. Tickets may be purchased online (without booking fees) at: or at the Princess Wharf Visitor Centre of Tourism Auckland during the day.

Moviegoers can bring their own picnic and enjoy the sunset. Snacks, wine, beer, soft drinks and coffee are available for purchase. No BYO Alcohol is allowed.


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