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Celia is Returning to the Big Screen

NZIFF’s Box-Office Hit Celia is Returning to the Big Screen

One of the biggest successes at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival,CELIA is returning to the country’s cinemas due to public demand.

CELIA, directed by acclaimed broadcast journalist Amanda Millar, captures the legacy and final days of social advocate, world-class storyteller and international author Celia Lashlie.

The film will be released in cinemas nationwide on February 28th, next year.

This follows its limited release at the festival that resulted in sold-out theatres and additional screenings to cope with the response.

In Millar’s first feature film, Celia Lashlie talks openly about her life, her work and her dream of a better New Zealand.

It explores the transformational effect of this one charismatic woman in the lives of some of the most at risk people in the country.


“Since the festival, we’ve been inundated with requests to see the film from within New Zealand and beyond. The response to Celia’s messages has been overwhelming as so many people say the film has had such an impact on their attitudes and lives,” Millar says.

After receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis in late 2014, Lashlie asked her friend and award-winning journalist Millar, to film the final year of her life to document her unfinished business.

In February 2015, Millar was summonsed to bring a camera to Lashlie’s home for what turned out to be her first and only interview for the film. Two days after that interview, Celia Lashlie died.

“We were all shocked to lose Celia so fast so that one hour-and a-half interview ended up forming the powerful core of the documentary. It was in effect, Celia’s final chance to have her say and it was such a privilege and honour to be able to be with her and capture it on film.”

Lashlie’s messages urge New Zealanders to change their attitudes and behaviour to address the appalling violence, child mortality, suicide and prison statistics in this country.

CELIA will be released in more than 30 cinemas across New Zealand. Screening dates and times will be added to as they are scheduled.

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