Showing Today

The Academy is just a lovely cinema... every pore of the Academy oozes film lover... it is one of the most comfortable cinemas... and you can get wine, it's great!

- Fabian Fanboy, bFM

$5 - All Films, All Day, Every Wednesday

  • Spanish Film Festival
    SFF
  • Film society 2016
  • Tickled to release
  • Donnie Darko

We love movies

At the Academy you will find a range of the best local and international films, documentaries, romantic comedies, dramas and thrillers. All served to you in the comfort of wide seats, while you enjoy a drink or sweet treat during your movie. In the foyer we play movie soundtracks and scores, and serve chilled beer and boutique wines, as well as making outstanding coffee. Relax and enjoy a drink or browse our wide selection of arthouse DVDs for sale, while awaiting the start of your movie.

Currently Showing at Academy Cinemas

Academy is bringing a one-off 15th Anniversary Screening of Richard Kelly's cult classic Donnie Darko, which Madman is releasing on DCP. In a funny, moving and distinctly mind-bending journey through suburban America, one extraordinary but disenchanted teenager is about to take Time's Arrow for a ride. After surviving a freak accident, Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) begins to explore what it means to be alive, and in short order to be in love, he uncovers secrets of the universe that give him a tempting power to alter time and destiny.

Intermission Included. Fixed Pricing: $25 Adult $20 Senior Following a sell-out run at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Olivier and Academy Award® winner Martin McDonagh (The Pillowman, The Cripple of Inishmaan, In Bruges) returns to the West End with Matthew Dunster’s award-winning production of his deeply funny new play Hangmen, broadcast live to cinemas by National Theatre Live. In his small pub in the northern English town of Oldham, Harry (David Morrissey – The Walking Dead, State of Play) is something of a local celebrity. But what's the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they've abolished hanging? Amongst the cub reporters and pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, his old assistant Syd (Andy Nyman – Peaky Blinders, Death at a Funeral) and the peculiar Mooney (Johnny Flynn – Clouds of Sils Maria) lurk with very different motives for their visit.

RELEASE DATE 26th MAY ~ Investigative Sundance documentary following New Zealand journalist David Farrier whose look into a bizarre and troubling world of competitive tickling takes him down a rabbit hole of abusive emails, law suits, and alternate agendas... Special Q & A Screening on Thursday 26th of May at 6pm with Producers David Farrier and Dulan Reeve. Tickets on sale now.

It's 1982, and Taeko (Daisy Ridley) is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. She decides to visit her relatives in the countryside, and as the train travels through the night, memories flood back of her younger years: the first immature stirrings of romance, the onset of puberty, and the frustrations of math and boys. At the station she is met by young farmer Toshio (Dev Patel), and the encounters with him begin to reconnect her to forgotten longings. In lyrical switches between the present and the past, Taeko contemplates the arc of her life, and wonders if she has been true to the dreams of her childhood self. From Academy Award (R)-nominated director Isao Takahata (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya) and general producer Hayao Miyazaki, Only Yesterday is a masterpiece of time and tone, rich with humor and stirring emotion, and beautifully animated by one of the world's most revered animation studios. Critically acclaimed but never before released in North America, the film is receiving a national theatrical release in a new, Studio Ghibli-produced, English-language version in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

SHOWING FROM MAY 19th - Michael Moore, still the baseball-hatted scourge of corporate America, is back with his first film in six years – and his funniest and most optimistic ever. The invasion promised in the title is a total ruse: he crosses Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East to reconnoitre social welfare programmes that might usefully be plundered for export to the US, or to any other bastion of free market ideology. Adopting the posture of an incredulous free marketer himself, he elicits highly amusing responses from the contented beneficiaries of government intervention in numerous… er, nanny states. A super-fit Italian couple proclaim the benefits of six weeks of paid vacation and five months maternity leave. Their boss concurs. French public-school kids learn about nutrition, lunch on lamb skewers and tomato salads and say yuck to Coke and ketchup. Portuguese cops say a sardonic não to the war on drugs. Elsewhere successful approaches to crime and punishment, women’s rights, defence budgets and school homework are expounded to the marauding Moore. Such a hand-picked round-up of patently sane interview subjects is more than enough to make Moore’s parade of Good Examples a buoyant experience for any progressive spirit. - NZIFF

Michael Mason (Richard Madden, ‘GAME OF THRONES’) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba, ‘LUTHER’, PROMETHEUS), the field agent on the case, soon realises that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy. Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pickpocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24hr thrill ride ensues, the unlikely duo discovers they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy.

The life, music and passionate commitment of the irresistible Mavis Staples are lovingly chronicled in this spirited doco – with help from fans Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Chuck D, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Prince.

After winning a Best Restaurant In The World award in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014, chef Rene Redzepi discusses his Copenhagen restaurant Noma and how his culinary philosophy has shaped its success.

SCREENING FROM APRIL 14th - After 2012's superb Barbara, director Christian Petzold and lead Nina Hoss reteam for this post-WWII drama following Nelly (Hoss), a concentration camp survivor who suffered a horrible disfigurement. Unrecognisable after facial reconstruction surgery, she roams a broken Berlin in search of the man who may have betrayed her to the Nazis – her own husband.---------------------------- GERMAN WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

JUNE 5th, 6:30pm - Part Gothic noir, part fairy tale, this one-of-a-kind masterpiece was ignored upon release but has since gone on to influence everyone from David Lynch to the Coen Brothers. Robert Mitchum is absolutely chilling as a homicidal preacher searching for stolen loot in the American south. A tour de force genre-bender packed with striking black-and-white imagery.

SCREENING MAY 24th & 26th - The award winning collection has stories that move us, stories that make us think, and most importantly of all- stories that inspire us to get on our bike. Showcasing everything a bike centric audience could want- action, drama, plenty of humor and even a hint of romance, making you want to fall in love with your bike all over again. There will be a 15 minute intermission, making the total running time for this screening 135 minutes.

COMEDY - Spanish & Catalan with English Subtitles If one affair wasn’t enough, the charming cast returns to open the festival once again – this time with some new friends, as the Catalans are thrown into the mix. Returning from months at sea, Koldo is met by his beloved Merche, who is less than impressed with him after his long absence. With her head held high, she storms away in a huff leaving him with an envelope announcing a seemingly joyful occasion – Amaia is getting married! But the fiercely Basque Koldo is horrified to realise Rafa is not the groom… even worse, she is marrying a CATALAN! With less than a few days to go before the wedding, Koldo and Rafa must join forces to prevent Amaia from promising herself to Pau, the wealthy hipster. What is not clear to Koldo, is why Rafa and Amaia separated in the first place… With new elements of playfulness, 2015’s number one Spanish box office hit will leave festival audiences with a fresh grin as they enjoy more escapades of their beloved characters.

Drama - Spanish with English Subtitles. Maria a 17 year old Mayan woman, lives on the slopes of an active volcano in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her. Although Maria dreams of seeing `the city`, her status as an indigenous woman does not allow her to go out into that `modern world`. Later during a pregnancy complication, this modern world will save her life, but at what price?

In one of Penélope Cruz’s finest-ever performances, the beloved actress powerfully depicts a woman experiencing major life challenges with an indefatigable dignity, persevering in the only way she knows how. Magda (Cruz) is separated from her husband and is entirely dedicated to young son Dani (Teo Planell), her pride and joy. Her world is upended when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, but she refuses to be defined by it. During her treatment she meets soccer scout Arturo (Luis Tosar), who is contending with changes and loss of his own. A relationship develops between the two, and as they support one another through hardships and treatment, their love gives life to – and joy in – events that are both unexpected and illuminating. Ma Ma is Cruz’s first venture into producing, and with acclaimed director Julio Medem (A Room in Rome, Sex & Lucia) she delivers nothing short of a spectacular ode to female strength in the times of greatest adversity.

The backstage preparations for a New Year’s Eve TV spectacular become a flashpoint for comic mayhem, in this audaciously inventive ensemble comedy from Álex de la Iglesia (Witching & Bitching, Closing Night SFF14). My Big Night offers all-access to a TV variety show so full of hitches and snags, its cavalcade of superstars will be lucky if they survive the taping. Pop sensation Adán (Mario Casas, Unit 7, SFF12) is duped by a fanatical groupie, while legendary divo Alphonso (Raphael) is stalked by an unstable wannabe. On stage, the hostility is barely concealed between presenters and former lovers Roberto (Hugo Silva, Shrew’s Nest, SFF15) and Cristina (Carolina Bang). Amongst the extras, loveable José is hitting it off with the gorgeous but jinxed Paloma. Meanwhile, outside the studio, there is bedlam as riot police clash with demonstrators. Chaos, snappy dialogue, wicked farce and eccentricities abound; all skilfully controlled by the committed all-star cast and madcap orchestrations of this maestro director.

Closing this year’s festival is one of the major discoveries of the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival. Ciro Guerra’s multi award-winning film is a breathtaking cinematic odyssey through the Amazon, following the quests of two European explorers in search of a rare flower alleged to have healing properties. Inspired by the real-life journals kept by Theodor Koch-Grunberg (portrayed by Jan Bijvoet) and Richard Evans Schultes (Brionne Davis), the film charts each man’s treacherous and life-changing journey. Though decades apart, both are guided through the labyrinthine rivers and jungles by the same native shaman, Karamakate (Nilbio Torres, and later Antonio Bolivar Salvado Yangiama), the last surviving member of his tribe, who takes them deeper and deeper into a heart of darkness. The spectacular widescreen black and white cinematography and evocative sound design combine to depict the landscapes and characters with an hypnotic, mythical sense of wonder. This is an extraordinary film.

Gael García Bernal gives a supremely unsettling performance in the new film from visionary Argentinean director Pablo Agu¨ero, which tells the unbelievable true story of the transport of the body of the country’s beloved First Lady Eva Perón. In 1952 Eva Perón, died of cancer at the age of thirty-three. A renowned embalmer was commissioned by grieving husband Juan Perón to preserve her body for display, and Argentines flocked to be near “Evita.” Three years later, when his government was overthrown by a military coup, Perón fled the country before he could make arrangements for the transportation of his wife’s body. The military junta now in control kidnapped the corpse; so afraid were they of Eva’s symbolic power that they even made it illegal to utter her name. Thus began the two-decade journey of Eva’s body throughout Europe and eventually back to Argentina. Interspersing his film’s eerie scenes with found footage, Agu¨ero creates a resonant reconstruction of Argentina’s past both bold and original.

Barça Dreams details the amazing history of one of the most popular and admired football clubs on Earth, FC Barcelona. Its mites and legends include arguably the world’s best player of all time Lionel Messi, the famous coach Pep Guardiola and the man that revolutionized this sport with his innovative vision, Johan Cruyff. This emotional journey begins with the club’s founder Joan Gamper, 115 years ago, and follows the dreams and ambitions of a long list of football celebrities. We see the success reached by Messi, Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta, all of them born to play football at the extraordinary school of La Masia. Moreover, this documentary unveils the secrets of a powerful sports club linked not only to the world fans but also to the Catalan identity, as it was formed alongside political movements and events, validating its unique legend “Barça: more than a club”. Not just about football, the ideals presented show how competition can be a positive force in pushing forward to achieve any dream.

A captivating Irene Escolar delivers an award-winning performance as she plays young June – a woman who left her home in Madrid to escape a terrible occurrence. She has now returned, but not as the same person she once was. Wiser and more confident, she yearns to reconnect with her father, brother, best friend and ex-lover Diego. However, her past abrupt departure makes this much more difficult than she anticipated and she must gradually work to regain their love and trust. Her greatest challenge is Diego, who has also changed during her time away. He has become a recluse and retreated into a self-imposed solitary confinement in his apartment where he avoids human contact and natural light. June is determined to save him from disappearing completely. Slowly her presence draws him back into the world as she fights for them to reconcile their differences and realise their old dream of moving to Berlin together. This is an emotionally delicate and moving story that boldly confronts the limitations of love.

Rocío (Natalia de Molina in her award-winning performance) is a young single mother who has been without work for three and a half years in the Andalucian town of Jerez de la Frontera. She is on the edge of a precipice, living day-to-day off the small allowance of odd jobs and the generosity of her neighbours. As she fights to keep her apartment (with several months of rental debt accrued) she struggles to provide for her eight-year-old son Adrián. When Rocío’s gas canister runs out or when her water is turned off, she is faced with an impossible decision: if she replaces them, there is no money to feed her son. There is an understated naturalism to the performances in this perfect storm of misfortune, reflected by documentary-style photography. In the central role, the striking de Molina’s haunting performance is painfully expressive and combined with Castillo’s absorbing script, gives a somber, unsentimental but completely compelling X-ray of a southern Europe in crisis.

Documentarian Andrew Rossi chronicles the creation of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's most attended fashion exhibition in history, 'China: Through The Looking Glass'. With unprecedented access, filmmaker Andrew Rossi captures the collision of high fashion and celebrity at the Met Gala, one of the biggest global fashion events chaired every year by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. Featuring a cast of renowned artists in many fields (including filmmaker Wong Kar Wai and fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano) as well as a host of contemporary pop icons like Rihanna, the movie dives into the debate about whether fashion should be viewed as art.

One misty dawn, in a quiet fishing port in northwest Spain, the body of a sailor washes up in the harbour. Detective Inspector Leo Caldas (Goya Award Winner Carmelo Gómez, El Método) and his assistant Rafael Estévez (Antonio Garrido) are called in from the nearby city of Vigo to sign off on what appears to be a suicide; but details soon come to light that turn this into a complex murder investigation. Uncovering the truth, however, is not easy when the villagers are so suspicious of outsiders. As Caldas delves into the maritime life of the village, he uncovers a disturbing decade-old case of a shipwreck and two mysterious disappearances. Based on Domingo Villar’s best-selling novel Death on a Galician Shore (and adapted for the screen by the author himself) this atmospheric mystery immerses its audience in the day to day life of Galicia, slowly drawing them into a tangled net of superstition, myth, lies and betrayal.

Fernando Colomo’s 20th feature film offering is nothing short of a delightful gem dealing with matters of the heart – both young and old. Colomo himself stars as Fer, a Woody Allen-esque divorced filmmaker in the midst of a life-crisis who makes ends meet by shooting adverts. While on an impulsive trip to Menorca with an old friend, Fer takes residence in the spare room of Nuria and her daughter Olivia (Olivia Delcán). Over the course of his stay, Fer will battle with an awkward crush on Nuria, while Olivia deals with the fickle nature of young summer love. When Nuria has to leave unexpectedly, Olivia and Fer explore the island and bond. Together with this dynamic duo, we pay a visit to the more remote corners of this paradise - we’ll laugh, and we’ll find ourselves succumbing to the carefree idleness of the radiant Balearics. Olivia will infect Fer with her boundless energy and free-loving spontaneity, and bring new life and inspiration into his work, with surprising outcomes.

After the success of My First Wedding and To Fool a Thief, Argentinian comedy maestro Ariel Winograd returns with another box-office hit that’s sure to delight audiences at the festival. Hapless charmer Diego Peretti (known as Argentina’s Hugh Grant) and the fiery Maribel Verdú (SFF13 Festival Guest) sizzle on screen as a mismatched couple with very, very different views on parenthood. Gabriel (Peretti) is a divorced dad whose daughter Sofía is the centre of his universe. So much so that he hasn’t had a relationship in four years. His world is rocked by the sudden reappearance of Vicky, a childhood crush who has grown into a beautiful, independent, self-assured woman. Sparks fly, they fall for each other…there’s just one catch. Vicky hates kids. Gabriel hatches a farcical plot to keep Sofía’s existence a secret from Vicky, but it soon transpires that Sofía has plans of her own for Vicky. Featuring a stand-out debut performance from childactor Guadalupe Manent, this is the ultimate crowd-pleasing comedy.

Elia (Maribel Verdú) has a secret. In an extravagant gesture, she rents a luxury villa to celebrate her 40th with family and friends. Amongst her invitees is her vulnerable sister Cati, her tough husband Juan (Antonio de la Torre) and their 15-year-old son Bruno, as well as Elia’s ex Mario (Ginés García Millán) and his insufferable new fiancée Claudia. At Elia’s birthday dinner, the group shares the best recent news about their lives, but none compare to Elia’s bombshell. She’s won 140 million euros. Far from celebrating Elia’s good news, her guests begin secretly plotting against her. As the air thickens with tension, Elia’s good intentions take a startling turn for the worse, culminating in the ultimate moral crises for all. Director Gracia Querejeta recruits a prestigious, multi-Goya award-winning cast to bring her gripping black comedy to life. Happy 140 explores conflicting notions of generosity and deservedness, and masterfully connects the lives of the characters in order to question, how far would any of us go for 140 million?

The tragic 1915 Galipoli Campaign of WW1 is told through the perspective of six New Zealanders who were involved.

One night. One house. One Island. Everything changes for a lonely man and three delinquent kids. Three teenagers on the run, break into an empty holiday home on Auckland`s stunning Waiheke Island. It`s party time for the siblings until the owner unexpectedly arrives home, is knocked unconscious, and one of them is seriously injured. An unlikely bond forms as they attempt to get off the island.

SCREENING FROM APRIL 7th A moving story of courage and greed, set against the magnificent backdrop of Everest. This documentary was filmed during the calamitous 2014 climbing season, when 16 Sherpa guides were killed while moving across an ice-flow to aid Western climbers. Following the disaster, climbers and Sherpas entered into a tense mountaintop stalemate. This exhilarating film exposes many truths about money, Nepal, and the meeting of first and third worlds atop this alluring, spiritual peak.

RELEASE DATE MARCH 10th - From the director of the Academy Award® nominated I AM LOVE comes a psychological suspense drama that will invite audiences into the fragile and dangerous world of relationships. When a glamorous couple decide to vacation on a remote Italian island, their rest is disrupted by the sudden visit of an old friend and his luscious daughter. Suddenly, what was supposed to be a perfect romantic getaway turns into a whirlwind of jealousy, passion and danger, sparking some flames that should not necessarily be ignited.

In the early 1950s, Eddie Mannix is busy at work trying to solve all the problems of the actors and filmmakers at Capitol Pictures. His latest assignments involve a disgruntled director, a singing cowboy, a beautiful swimmer and a handsome dancer. As if all this wasn't enough, Mannix faces his biggest challenge when Baird Whitlock gets kidnapped while in costume for the swords-and-sandals epic "Hail, Caesar!" If the studio doesn't pay $100,000, it's the end of the line for the movie star.

RELEASE DATE 24th MARCH - When a teenager in Buenos Aires quietly discovered his religious calling, little did he know that this was the first step that would eventually lead him to the Vatican in Rome. It would carry him to become the leader of the Catholic Church, the man the world today knows as Pope Francis. Young Spanish journalist Ana (Silvia Abascal) met Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Dario Grandinetti) at the papal conclave of 2005. It is here that they started a relationship that would be imbued with the same warmth, good mood and wisdom with which the future Pope will astonish believers. It is through her eyes that we begin to follow the long, hard and touching journey of Jorge Bergoglio. Father Jorge, as he has always wished to be called, used his position as the archbishop of Buenos Aires as a means to challenge the corruption and abuse of the government dictatorship. Ana was there to see his toughest battles when he gave a voice to those who had none; the victims of prostitution, slavery, and drug trafficking within the many shantytowns. Their story comes full circle at the conclave of 2013 when a Jesuit priest coming from South America is elected on the fifth papal ballot as Pope. The son of humble Italian immigrants, he chooses Francis as his Papal name partially in honor of his Grandmother for she impressed upon him the biblical values of Saint Francis when he was a young boy. The name Francis perfectly summarizes the life of Father Jorge. He is a man who placed the Gospel's message of helping the needy at the heart of his pastoral work.

An after-midnight flirtation on the streets of Berlin gets thrillingly side-tracked by another chase entirely. Filmed in a single real-time take, it’s an edit-free pièce de résistance of acting, directing and mobile camerawork.

Shu Qi plays the eponymous killer in this ravishingly beautiful foray into historical martial arts territory from Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien. Winner of the Best Director Award at Cannes.

Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.