The director of a documentary about two decades of stand-offs between politicians and activists over greenhouse emissions will be on hand to introduce the film which is part of the New Zealand International Film Festival being staged at the MTG Century Theatre.

As well as introduce his work, Alister Barry will also hold a question and answer session with the audience after the screening, at 2.30pm on Saturday.

His documentary, which critics have described as "thought-provoking", is titled Hot Air and focuses on 20 years of struggle between politicians, scientists and activists wanting to reduce New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions, and corporate leaders and lobbyists who have resisted change.

As well as backgrounding the emission issue, it also provides a behind-the-scenes look at how politics in New Zealand works.

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Mr Barry has been in the New Zealand film industry for more than 40 years and is best known for his feature documentaries like Mururoa, Someone Else's Country and The Hollow Men.

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF), which runs every winter, kicked off in Napier on August 20 and will wrap up on September 7.

It is run by a charitable trust, the NZ Film Festival Trust, and after its Napier run will move on to five towns and cities around the rest of the country.