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It’s with great sadness that I heard of the passing of New Zealand International Film Festival Director Bill Gosden.

I knew Bill professionally but not personally, and always watched with great admiration the way he orchestrated NZIFF with aplomb.

It was because of Bill and NZIFF that I developed a love of independent cinema and arthouse film.

Every year I made a point of catching 15 to 30 films at the fest in Auckland. Bill and his team showed us that there was more to film than the hero’s journey and Save the Cat.

I remember in 2017 going to see the 5.5 hour Japanese film Happy Hour by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi, and being captivated for every minute. Or watching in 2016 the astounding Columbian film Embrace of the Serpent by Ciro Guerra, an artistic feast for the eyes and mind. Or sitting in 2014 with Ruben Östlund’s Swedish masterpiece Force Majure and British director Steven Knight’s tour de force Locke. Then there was in 2012 German director Christian Petzoid’s simply beautiful Barbara and Denis Villeneuve’s powerful, moving Incendies in 2011. I could go on—Lebanon, Page One: Inside The New York Times, I Love You Phillip Morris, Four Lions, Frank, The Hunt, etc., etc.

Equally, I suffered through a few of my own personal dislikes, such as Chinese director Jia Zhangke’s Ash is the Purest White, Portuguese critical hit Tabu by Miguel Gomes, or American director Frederick Wiseman’s interminable Ex Libris.

All these films just an example of the masterful programming of NZIFF that Bill led.

Then of course is the incredible support he gave to New Zealand filmmakers, both feature length and short, from Gaylene Preston to Florian Harbicht, Yamin Tun to Hamish Bennett, Daniel Borgman to Aidee Walker, Tim van Dammen, Becs Arahanga and Jack Niccol to name a few.

DEGNZ has had for a number of years an official connection with Bill and NZIFF through our hosting of visiting directors and introducing their films, to more recently running director masterclasses with them, like those with Debra Granik and Thom Zimny.

Bill Gosden made every wintery August a month to look forward to, and he enriched the cinematic life of New Zealand with his choices. I for one will be eternally grateful.

Bill Gosden’s memorial service will be held at the Public Trust Hall, 131–135 Lambton Quay, Wellington, on Monday 16 November, at 2:00pm.

Also an official memorial page is also being created for Bill, and you are invited to email your messages to tribute@rememberingbillgosden.nz.

 

Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

 

 

 

Director Thom Zimny

Film director Thom Zimny (The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash) will lead a Masterclass for filmmakers in Auckland as part of NZIFF 2019.

This is the second time NZIFF has been able to provide a Masterclass designed for industry practitioners, thanks to an Artistic Development Partnership with Creative New Zealand. The Masterclass will take place on Thursday 1 August and will be run by the Directors & Editors Guild of New Zealand (DEGNZ) on behalf of NZIFF.

Thom Zimny, known for his award-winning documentaries, will take filmmakers inside his process from the research phase through to the edit with special focus on the edit process. Works discussed will include The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley: The Searcher.

Masterclass attendees are encouraged to see The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash at NZIFF beforehand (Tuesday 30 July or Wednesday 31 July).

Limited tickets for the Masterclass are on sale from Ticketmaster.

Masterclass with Thom Zimny

Thursday 1 August 2.00pm to 5.30pm

Venue: WG701, WG Building, AUT City Campus, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland Central 1010

Ticket prices: $30 Full price / $20 Industry guild concession*

About Thom Zimny

Thom Zimny is an award-winning artist, director, producer and editor. Working with Bruce Springsteen for the past 18 years, Zimny has directed documentaries including Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes, The Ties That Bind and the newly released Springsteen On Broadway. He has previously directed and produced two feature length documentaries chronicling key chapters in Bruce Springsteen’s recording career, winning a Grammy for Wings For Wheels: The Making of Born to Run. In addition, Zimny edited three seasons of the highly acclaimed HBO series by David Simon, The Wire and helmed music videos for Bob Dylan, The Low Anthem and many others. The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash was made in collaboration with the Cash Estate, and premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash

Auckland screenings featuring a Q+A with Thom Zimny

Tuesday 30 July, 6.15pm at ASB Waterfront Theatre

Wednesday 31 July, 3.15pm at ASB Waterfront Theatre

Wellington screenings

Saturday 3 August at 6.15pm at Soundings Theatre, Te Papa

Monday 5 August at 6.30pm at the Roxy Cinema

Tuesday 6 August at 2.15pm at the Roxy Cinema

 

* Apply the Industry code from your guild/association when booking.