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Kiwi fest goes global for pics

Noncompetitive event will screen 'Metropolis'

AUCKLAND — Folk music mockumentary “A Mighty Wind” plus Cannes and Sundance award winner “American Splendor” bookend the New Zealand Film Festival which unspools here July 11.

Noncompetitive fest, which then tours major cities and, in abridged format, provincial cities through November has grown since the 1990s to be a showcase of international product from the arcane to the crossover, which has nurtured audience tastes and stimulated the general arthouse market year-round.

Director Bill Gosden has skedded 130 separate programs in the 16-day fest. Included is a clutch of top documentaries; silver-screen classics like Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and the 1925 version of “The Phantom of the Opera” (with live orchestral accompaniment); a retrospective of Jacques Tati comedies; and the pick of the crop from the 2002 Northern Hemisphere festivals.

Organizers hope, however, the program doesn’t attract the attention of a morals group that last year unsuccessfully tried to stop the screenings of “The Piano Teacher” and “Y tu mama tambien.”

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