Spy: kiwis shine at international film festivals


The family conquers the world of cinema: Miranda Harcourt, Thomasin McKenzie and Davida McKenzie.

Jane Campion made her film debut, The Power of the Dog, at the 78th Venice International Film Festival last week – and showed the stunning scenery of Otago.

Campion appeared on the socially distanced Venice Lido red carpet with her two stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Campion’s highly anticipated Netflix film, due to premiere later this year, received a four-minute standing ovation, rave reviews and Oscar rumors for Cumberbatch.

Thomasin McKenzie, who is also in The Power of the Dog, was also making her Venice Last Night debut in Soho, in which she co-starred with The Queens’ Gambit actor Anya Taylor-Joy. McKenzie applauded his film virtually from Wellington on Father’s Day.

Last Night in Soho is a film by Edgar Wright and is described as a nostalgic but nightmarish tribute to 1960s London. It won critical acclaim.

Director Jane Campion, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst at the Venice International Film Festival.
Director Jane Campion, Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst at the Venice International Film Festival.

Last weekend McKenzie wrote on Instagram: “I’m currently blocked nationwide in New Zealand so can’t be there in person but send 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 movie. “

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

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

Harcourt herself is one of four governors who are leading the Emerging Filmmakers and Rising Stars programs for the second time in Toronto.

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

Simon and Paula Herbert on the red carpet.
Simon and Paula Herbert on the red carpet.

The Herbs have been doing business and pleasure in southern Europe over the summer and, from Venice, have now returned to the south of 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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