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Oscar nominee to screen at NZ fraud film festival

29th January 2018

Oscar nominee to screen at NZ fraud film festival

The Oscar-nominated documentary Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is just one of the highlights of the second New Zealand International Fraud Film Festival taking place in Auckland on Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd of March.

Ian Tuke, chair of the festival said, “We’re very excited about the quality of this year’s programme and the calibre of films coming through. More than 400 people attended the first festival in November 2016. This year’s event aims to bring both the private and public sector together to help industry and the public raise awareness about the best ways to fight fraud.”

The themes for this year’s event at the ASB Waterfront theatre are corruption, technology and dishonesty. The first day will be an industry event by invite only. The second day is a public event, with tickets due to go on sale soon.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail will play for the public on day 2 of the festival and follows the prosecution of a small New York neighbourhood bank which serves the local Chinese community. Abacus alerted the authorities to the fraudulent behaviour of an employee but then found itself subject to the first US federal bank prosecution since 1991. Director Steve James’ film suggests the bank was targeted because it was small enough to prosecute, compared to those responsible for the sub-prime mortgage collapse in 2007-08.

Other films include All the Queen’s Horses, which examines how the City Controller of an Illinois municipality of just under 16,000 people stole more than US$53 million over twenty years.Banking on Bitcoin looks at the rise of the disruptive cryptocurrency, while Betting on Zero examines a hedge fund boss who took a billion dollar short position against a company he accused of being a pyramid scheme.

Panel sessions including industry experts and business journalists will take place after the films have been shown.

Steve Newall, film festival programme director said, “We are extremely proud to announce an Oscar nominee among the programme highlights. This year's programme examines topical issues for us in New Zealand that overlap with real-life examples of the impacts of fraud from around the globe. The full programme will be announced shortly, with tickets on sale early February."

More information can be found at


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