Jane Campion's The Power of The Dog to open 2021 NZ Film Festival

The latest release from celebrated New Zealand filmmaker Dame Jane Campion has been announced as the opening night feature for this year's New Zealand International Film Festival.

The Power of The Dog stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Thomasin McKenzie, and recently won Campion the Silver Lion prize for best director at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.

Campion, who won an Oscar and the Palme d'Or for her 1993 film The Piano, filmed The Power of The Dog last year in the South Island.

"It's an honour to share Jane's film with its complex characters so profoundly embedded and framed in the stark beauty of Aotearoa," said festival director Marten Rabarts.

"The reflection of our own history in the rugged brutality of American frontier life depicted in the film will be inescapable to our Kiwi audiences."

The Power of The Dog will premiere in Auckland at The Civic Theatre on October 28, Christchurch on October 29, then in Wellington and Dunedin on November 5.

Several other films have already been announced as features of the 2021 Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF).

Among them are 12 New Zealand titles:

  • Fiona Clark: Unafraid
  • Mark Hunt: The Fight of His Life 
  • There Is No I in Threesome
  • Whetu Marama - Bright Star
  • A Mild Touch of Cancer
  • Millie Lies Low 
  • Signed, Theo Schoon
  • Mothers of the Revolution
  • Ayukawa: The Weight of a Life
  • Rohe Kōreporepo - The Swamp, the Sacred Place
  • A restored and remastered version of Merata Mita's Patu!
  • A new colorized version of Florian Habicht's debut feature Woodenhead.

More information, including the foreign films announced so far, is available on the NZIFF website.