Spy: Kiwis shine at international film festivals

Jane Campion debuted her movie, The Power of the Dog, at The 78th Venice International Film Festival last week — and showed off Otago’s stunning scenery.

Campion appeared on the socially distanced red carpet on Venice Lido with her two stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Campion’s highly anticipated Netflix movie, which is expected to stream at the end of this year, earned a four-minute standing ovation, rave reviews and Oscar rumblings for Cumberbatch.

Thomasin McKenzie, who is also in The Power of the Dog, was also debuting in Venice Last Night in Soho, in which she co-stars with The Queens’ Gambit actor Anya Taylor-Joy. McKenzie cheered on her movie virtually from Wellington on Father’s Day.

Last Night in Soho is an Edgar Wright movie and is described as a nostalgic, yet nightmarish tribute to 1960s London. It has won early plaudits from critics.

Last weekend, McKenzie wrote on Instagram: “I’m currently in a countrywide lockdown in NZ so am not able to be there in person, but I’m sending all my love and support to Edgar Wright and Anya Taylor-Joy and the crew from afar. I can’t wait to see them again soon and for you all to see the film.”

Venice isn’t the only festival McKenzie has missed out on. This week her mother, acting veteran Miranda Harcourt, posted to Instagram that the family would be remotely tuning in to the Toronto Film Festival, where Thomasin’s movies will premiere in North America.

“Remarkably Davida [Thomasin’s younger sister] has the world premiere Gala presentation of Silent Night by Camille Griffin, starring Keira Knightley,” Harcourt said.

Harcourt herself is one of the four Governors leading the Emerging Film-makers and Rising Stars programmes at Toronto for the second time.

Also on the red carpet in Venice were Kiwi rich-listers Simon and Paula Herbert, who were thrilled to attend the premiere of sci-fi movie Dune and mix it up with the film’s stars, including Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya.

The Herberts have been doing business and pleasure in southern Europe over the summer and, from Venice, have now returned to southern France for the Cannes Yachting Festival and to St Tropez to watch the SailGP and hopefully see sailing stars Blair Tuke and Peter Burling win.

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