Group of committed film lovers launch Auckland summer film festival

Among the many reasons Aucklanders had to whinge, moan and weep during The Great Lockdown of 2021 was the cancellation of the New Zealand International Film Festival in Tāmaki Makaurau.

So a group of committed film lovers took it upon themselves to ease that pain, launching an Auckland summer film festival, full of all those awards-baiting films we missed.

Praise be film lovers. An excuse to escape the heat, help to banish the 'being back at work' blues and indulge in some seriously Oscar-baiting international cinema.

This is a brand new film festival for Auckland. Enticingly entitled, in the shade and look what's in store.

Opening night this Wednesday sees the New Zealand premiere of Guillermo del Toro's deliciously star-studded spook-fest Nightmare Alley.

This is one of two ways you can cinematically savour the delights of Bradley Cooper during the festival, the other while almost a cameo is worth the ticket price alone to see the brilliant Licorice Pizza.

A performance nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award alongside break-out roles for the two newcomer leads. There are too many reasons to feast on Licorice Pizza especially on the big screen.

Joaquin Phoenix trades in the Joker for a more restrained nuanced role in Mike Mills film, C'mon C'mon - black and white and full of colour and life.

Building up speed on a highway paved with Oscar buzz is the Japanese film Drive My Car - also features in the festival.

This film was a big winner at the Cannes Film Festival last year and is a critical darling and awards season favourite.

And for documentary lovers, something entirely different, an animated documentary called Flee.

To check out all the films on offer and book your festival tickets, head to to book your air-conditioned cinematic escape.

At the New Zealand box office this week, there is no stopping the global Spidey juggernaut, Spider-Man: No Way Home is still king.

Watch the full story above.