New Zealand International Film Festival 2020 to be presented entirely online

New Zealand International Film Festival 2020 to be presented entirely online.
Auckland's Civic Theatre normally hosts NZIFF premieres. Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

The 2020 New Zealand International Film Festival will be presented in "an online format", say organisers.

Scheduled to take place nationwide from July 24 to August 2, Kiwi film buffs won't need to leave the couch for the New Zealand and world film premieres and won't have to endure things like noisy audience members. 

But NZIFF director Marten Rabarts admits there was "heartbreak" when the decision was made not to present the festival in cinemas as originally planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We've worked quickly [with] filmmakers, distributors and sales agents to ensure we are able to confidently adapt the way in which we'll present their films to our dedicated audience across the country," says Rabarts.

"NZIFF At Home - Online will be a true film festival experience featuring world and New Zealand premieres of films each night and including virtual red-carpet, and filmmaker Q&As. We can potentially invite more international guests to present their films to our festival audiences than ever before using virtual means."

The festival, run by the not-for-profit New Zealand Film Festival Trust, is in the process of upgrading its video on demand technology. 

"We are working with our OnDemand provider Shift72 on the technology to deliver a 'bells and whistles' digital screening room, coupled with live streaming events possibilities on our own website."

The festival's full programme and pricing options will be announced on June 22. More information is available on the official festival website.

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