NZ film Head South opens Rotterdam film festival, 'genuine strangeness' applauded

A Christchurch-set film starring singer Benee has had its world premiere, opening the Rotterdam film festival on Thursday night.

Head South is a semi-autobiographical film from writer-director Jonathan Ogilvie set in 1979 Ōtautahi.

It stars the 'Glitter' singer as a musically-gifted friend of schoolboy fantasist Angus, played by Ed Oxenbould, who discovers punk music.

Inspired by overhearing the music of Public Image Ltd, Wire and Lou Reed while at Middle Earth Records, Angus sets out to start his own band.

The trailer shows Benee's character Kirsten reveal she is "learning" to play guitar.

A review published following the film's premiere at the 2024 International Film Festival Rotterdam said it "is full of that genuine strangeness I'd been missing in recent NZ cinema".

There is currently no release date set for New Zealand cinemas.

Watch the trailer above.