Unconventional Families

What would we do without our brothers and sisters? The ties that bind us together are not always blood related, but it doesn’t make them any less strong. The stories collected here reveal a wide variety of types of whānau. We showcase this year’s Oscar winner for Best Live Action Short Film, `Skin’, alongside short films from Aotearoa and around the globe that remind us of the importance of family.

Estimated total run time: 105 minutes.
Rating: R16 Graphic violence, offensive language, cruelty & content that may disturb. Contact your cinema for details.

Harald Kvists Slag För Frihet
(The Liberation of Harold Kvist)

Drama, 13 mins, Sweden

Dir/Writ: Melina Maraki

Writ/Prod: Francesca Maraki

A man and a woman meet for coffee. As he tries to break up with her, we are forced to examine the delicate nature of human relationships set against our inherent need for personal fulfilment.


Fantasy, 8 mins, China

Dir/Writ: Siqi Song

A man remembers his childhood growing up with an annoying little sister in 1990s China. How would his life have been if things had gone differently?


Drama, 20 mins, USA

Dir/Writ: Guy Nattiv

Writ: Sharon Maymon

Prod: Jaime Ray Newman, Andrew Carlberg, Tim Harm

This film is the 2019 Oscar winner for Best Live Action Short Film. At a small supermarket in a blue-collar town, an African-American man smiles at a white boy across the checkout aisle. This innocuous moment sends two gangs into a ruthless war that ends with a shocking backlash.

Are You Listening Mother?

Drama, 20 mins, Germany

Dir/Writ/Prod: Tuna Kaptan

A Kurdish woman is sentenced to house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet. An invisible border is set up through her garden, which she repeatedly crosses to her son’s chagrin.

安 (Lullaby)

New Zealand Premiere

Drama, 17 mins, New Zealand

Dir/Writ: Ray Du

Prod: Christina Deng, Zehui (Lei) Yu

A Chinese New Zealand woman has recently had a baby girl. With no experience or family support around her, things start to fall apart.

Elder Birdsong

World Premiere

Animation, 5 mins, New Zealand

Dir/Writ/Prod: Shuchi Kothari & Sarina Pearson

An Owl, a Tui and a couple of Godwits deliver some hard truths about growing old in New Zealand. An ode to our wise kaumātua.


Drama, 13 mins, New Zealand

Dir/Writ: Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu

Prod: Sarah Cook

When her mother runs out on the family, Ani and her father are left to fend for themselves. Ani drifts into a land of play and make-believe.

Beseder Gamur

Drama, 9 mins, Israel

Dir/Writ/Prod: Maya Yadlin

A family is driving through the desert, on their way to a holiday feast. The girls are sleeping peacefully in the back seat, but their tranquility is disturbed when their dad hears a beloved song and tries to share the experience with them.


Auckland Central – Rialto Cinemas Newmarket

Tue 8 Oct

6:30 pm
Book tickets

*World premiere screening with filmmaker intro

Sun 13 Oct

3:30 pm
Book tickets

Christchurch – Alice

Tue 22 Oct

6:30 pm
Book tickets

Wellington Central – Light House Cuba

Mon 14 Oct

6:30 pm
Book tickets

Sat 19 Oct

8:30 pm
Book tickets