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40th Auckland International Film Festival Opens

40th Auckland International Film Festival Opens

Words and Images - Natasha Burling

Incredibly Strange Film Festival Director Ant Timpson and wife Rebecca flank TV producer Paul Casserly


Auckland’s exquisite Civic Theatre had a steady buzz of excitement as the 40th Auckland International Film Festival opened last night.

Festival Director Bill Gosden said the evening was about New Zealand filmmakers and in particular, female New Zealand filmmakers.

The festival opened with the world premiere of Apron Strings, a cross-cultural insight into the challenges and complexities of motherhood.

Producer Rachel Gardner assured the audience that when the lights came up at the end of the film they would all realise that the film completely deserved the honour of opening the festival.

Sima Urale and Shuchi Kothari


In a heartfelt speech, Director Sima Urale gave special thanks to her “super-producer” Gardner, who she said was like a sister and a partner to her.

Prime Minister Helen Clark reminisced about hours spent at the film festival as a university student and enthused about the festival’s ability to open up the world to the viewer.

She said the success of the festival was due to the continual line-up of “must-see” films.

Producer Rachel Gardner


The Civic Theatre was filled almost to capacity and South-Auckland set Apron Strings was warmly received by the audience.

Apron Strings is Samoan-born Urale’s first feature-length film. Her previous films include O Tamaiti (The Children), Still Life and Coffee and Allah.

The 40th Auckland International Film Festival runs in cinemas around the city until July 27th.


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