Jolie film to open NZ Film Festival

A British film starring Angelina Jolie about a woman whose journalist husband was killed by Islamic extremists in Pakistan is to open the New Zealand Film Festival.

A Mighty Heart, directed by festival favourite Michael Winterbottom, will open proceedings in Auckland on July 13.

Jolie plays Mariane Pearl, whose memoir about the impact of her husband Daniel Pearl's death in Pakistan was the source material for the film.

A Mighty Heart will also open proceedings at the Wellington Film Festival when it starts on July 20.

The closing film will be the German-Turkish film The Edge Of Heaven, a cross-border story of love and reconciliation by Fatih Akin, whose 2004 film Head On won the European equivalent of the Oscars.

They are among five features from last month's Cannes Film Festival to have confirmed screenings at the New Zealand Film Festival series.

Another Cannes feature to screen will be United States director Gus Van Sant's latest film Paranoid Park, a portrait of a teenager's state of denial about a death he caused.

The film won the 60th Anniversary prize at Cannes, where the odd Swedish comedy You, The Living, and Control, the new biopic of Joy Divison singer Ian Curtis also screened.

Timing has meant the Festival had not secured Michael Moore's latest documentary Sicko but it does have the latest critical examination of his methods -- Manufacturing Dissent, a film by two Canadians sympathetic to Moore's politics who have difficulties securing an interview with the filmmaker.

New Zealand features to screen at the festival include Taika Waititi's Eagle vs Shark and Glenn Strandling's long-awaited vampire film Perfect Creature, which screens in Dunedin and Wellington only.

A list of selected highlights showing at the festival can been seen on the Festival website. Full programme and session times will be finalised on June 20. - NZPA

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