Events, Films
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NZIFF 2015 – dinner and a movie

New Zealand International Film Festival 2015 is fast approaching!

The dates for each region are (in order of start date): Auckland 16 July – 2 August, Wellington 24 July – 9 August, Dunedin 30 July – 16 August, Nelson 6 – 23 August, Christchurch 7 – 23 August, Timaru 13 – 23 August, Gore 19 – 30 August, Hamilton 19 August – 13 September, Palmerston North 20 August – 6 September, Tauranga 20 August – 13 September, Masterton 2 – 16 September, New Plymouth 3 – 20 September, Hawke’s Bay 3 – 20 September

For more information on the festival, films and screening times, visit

As you probably know, I love movies and I love food. Movies and food? Oh yaaaassss.

Last year, I picked out a some NZIFF movies and paired them dishes and restaurants and you can check them out here.

Here are my top movie picks for NZIFF 2015 and their matching dinner recommendations…Please note, not all of these are foodie movies but most have food, eating or hunger themes.


City of Gold, 2015

Directed by Laura Gabbert
Starring Jonathan Gold (as himself)

Portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning LA food critic Jonathan Gold. Gold loves to writes about both street food and ethnic eateries as well as haute cuisine and hip LA sushi.


Serve this movie with: Anything. Just don’t go hungry.

Lucky Taco food truck on Ponsonby Road or Better Burger in Britomart….or any small ethnic eatery that the hoards haven’t heard about yet.

Auckland Screenings:
Saturday 18 July, 12.45pm, SKYCITY Theatre
Monday 20 July, 2.00pm, SKYCITY Theatre
Monday 20 July, 6.30pm, SKYCITY Theatre

Lamb poster A

Lamb, 2015

Directed by Yared Zeleke

A story of an Ethiopian boy, Ephraim and his pet sheep, Chuni. Ephraim loves to cook which is perceived as women’s work and must work hard to save his only friend from being sacrificed and eating in the upcoming holiday feasts.


Serve this movie with: Ethiopian food.

Opened in 2012, Cafe Abyssinia is the only restaurant in New Zealand serving Ethiopian food. Try their rich stews mopped up with enjera (teff flour pancakes).

They serve chicken, beef and lamb dishes, though in this instance, you might want to give lamb a miss. Cafe Abyssinia, Tulja Centre, 190 Stoddard Road, Mt Roskill.

Auckland Screenings:
Monday 27 July, 1.00pm, The Civic Theatre
Saturday 1 August, 3.30pm, The Civic Theatre


The Lobster, 2015

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring Colin Farell, John C Reilley, Rachel Weisz

A dark romantic comedy set in an alternate world where people have 45 days to find a mate or be turned into an animal of their choice. Part fable, part satire shedding light on our Tinder society and our culture of coupledom.


Serve this movie with: Lobster dinner for two

Since lobster isn’t commonly found in New Zealand restaurants, I’m going to sub it for crayfish which is essentially a kiwi lobster. Try the crayfish sashimi or the roasted crays at Harbourside, Ferry building, 99 Quay Street West, Auckland CBD. Daikoku on Quay Street also serves a crayfish set menu if you feel like Japanese.

Auckland Screenings:
Thursday 16 July, 7.15pm, The Civic Theatre
Thursday 23 July 3.30pm, The Civic Theatre


Tale of Tales, 2015

Directed by Matteo Garrone
Starring Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, John C Reilly


A sumptuous looking dark fairy tale film for grown ups. Three stories including a street circus family, kings, queens, princes and princesses and monsters. Special mention to Salma Hayek playing Queen of Longtrellis devouring a huge serpent’s heart.


Serve this movie with: heart

Cazador often serve poussin or venison hearts on their regularly updated menu. Check their current menu to here just to make sure. Cazador, 854 Dominion Road, Balmoral.

Auckland Screenings:
Tuesday 28 July, 8.45pm, The Civic Theatre
Friday 31 July, 3.30pm, The Civic Theatre


The Assassin, 2015

Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien
Starring Qi Shu, Chen Chang

Set in Tang Dynasty China, a 10 year old girl is abducted by a nun who trains her in martial arts, becoming an exceptional assassin. When she is tasked with the man she was promised to marry, she must choose between the assassins code and love.


Serve this movie with: Chinese food

Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle at 486 Queen Street, Auckland CBD would be a good budget-friendly choice. Try any of their Kung Fu dishes or our favourite dish: Sensational Spicy Chicken (with extra noodles).

Or end the night with dumplings and cocktails at Britomart’s XuXu Dumpling Bar.

Auckland Screenings:
Saturday 25 July, 6.45pm, The Civic Theatre
Tuesday 28 July, 3.45pm,The Civic Theatre


Spring, 2015

Directed by Justin Benson, Aaron Moorehead (Resolution, VHS: Viral)
Starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker

A monster romance set in gorgeous spot in northern Italy. Yes, you heard that right, mon-rom. Could be a new genre? Not your typical monster movie.

Auckland Screenings:
Thursday 23 July, 2.15pm, Event Cinemas Queen Street
Monday 27 July, 9.00pm, Event Cinemas Queen Street
Wednesday 29 July, 9.00pm, Event Cinemas Queen Street


Serve this movie with: either tentacles for the monster theme or Italian for the location.

Sushi Train in the Chancery where you can gorge on octopus, squid, eel and dragon roll for just $3.50 per plate.

Baduzzi in Wynyard Quarter where you can enjoy Italian food. They also serve squid if you’re craving tentacles: Insalata of grilled squid with white beans, lemon juice and parsley.


A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, 2014

Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour (feature debut)
Starring Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi

Set in a mythical Iranian location called Bad City, this is a seductive boy meets girl story between outsiders. Shot in black and white on the streets of California, with gritty noir undertones and a hipster soundtrack, this is not your average vampire flick.


Serve this movie with: A steak served blue with a bloody mary….or Middle Eastern food.

Angus Steak House on Fort Lane is the city’s go-to steak house. Ima on Fort Street does great Middle Eastern fare in a cosy location.

Auckland Screenings:
Friday 17 July, 8.45pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Monday 20 July, 4.15pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Saturday 25 July, 1.45pm, Event Cinemas Queen Street
Sunday 26 July,, Event Cinemas Queen Street


The Invitation, 2015

Directed by Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, Girlfight)
Starring Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, John Carroll Lynch.

A dinner party at a secluded mansion turns into a nail-biting mystery thriller. Wine flows, the host locks the doors, scary stuff happens.

Serve this movie with: a dinner party at home. Hide your sharp knives.

Auckland Screenings:
Sunday 19 July, 8.45pm, SKYCITY Theatre
Tuesday 28 July, 4.15pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Friday 31 July, 8.30pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket


This entry was posted in: Events, Films


I am Genie, a graphic designer/photographer obsessed with food and bunnies. I live in Whanganui, New Zealand with my husband, The Koala and our two rabbits, Kobe and Bento. I write about my hedonistic ways and I love the mantra "Eat well, travel often". I prefer not to write about myself in third person.


  1. There are so many to go and see! As there is every year. You made some nice picks 🙂

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