Francesca Rudkin

Francesca Rudkin

Over the last 15 years Francesca Rudkin has been working in the media as a film and music reviewer (NZ Herald, Breakfast TV), a television presenter and producer, and voice over artist. Recently, Francesca joined Rialto Channel as their resident blogger, allowing her to indulge in her love of world cinema. Her next challenge is to convince her young children that being a “Cinephile” is a legitimate profession.

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Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Friday 4/22/2016 April, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin



French icon Juliette Binoche and Twilight star Kristen Stewart are two actresses you might not have thought would ever co-star in a film together, and yet in Clouds of Sils Maria they do a fine job of holding this overly talky French drama together. The film about an actress facing a transition in her career due to her age was written and directed by French director Olivier Assayas after Binoche challenged him to write a film centered on women. It’s a mature, beautiful shot film that explores perceptions of age, and while at times it’s a little ambiguous, you can’t miss the obvious – Stewart is surprisingly good in it, and Bincohe is the class act we expect. Clouds of Sils Maria screens on Saturday 30th April at 8.30pm.

Here are my other highlights for the week. 

Cartel Land - Interview with Matthew Heinman

Posted on Monday 4/18/2016 April, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin



Cartel Land is a riveting, on-the-ground documentary that follows parallel stories of a group of US and Mexican vigilantes. The Arizona Border Recon is a group of volunteers run by exsolider turned vigilante Tim Foley, who protects the Arizona border from Mexican drug and people smugglers. 

On the other side of the border, Dr José Mireles, a Michoacán-based physician leads the Autodefensas, a group of everyday people who have taken the law into their own hands to rid the area of ruthless drug cartels. 

It’s a thoroughly engaging, thought provoking and revealing documentary from producer and director Matthew Heineman. This Academy Award nominated documentary screened in the 2015 NZIFF, and premieres on Rialto Channel on Thursday 21st April. 

Ahead of its television premiere, Rialto Channel caught up with Matthew Heinman to talk about why he risked his life for this documentary, and his love of the documentary genre. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 4/18/2016 April, 2016 by



If you were delighted by Jean Dujardin’s performance in the Academy Award winning film The Artist, then you might like to check out The Connectionscreening Monday 18th April at 8.30pm. In The Artist, Dujardin played a 1920’s matinee idol, and in The Connection he steps into the 70s as a French police magistrate trying to clean up the heron trade in Marseilles. Shot in the style of a 70s cop drama, The Connection is stylish and sexy, and once again Dujardin embodies his character and the era. 

Here are my other highlights for the week. 

Francesca's Picks of the Week

Posted on Monday 4/11/2016 April, 2016 by Donna MacKenzie

Alan Rickman passed away in January this year leaving behind an almost 40 year long acting career that spanned film, theatre and television, as well as venturing into directing. His first foray into directing was in 1997’s The Winter Guest, a relationship dramastaring Phyllida Law and Emma Thompson. In 2014 he stepped behind the camera again to direct the delightful period romance A Little Chaos, set in the gardens of Versailles, and in which he also stared. It was his third to last performance on screen, and one that reminds us there is so much more to Rickman than his reputation as a memorable villain (Die Hard, Harry Potter, Robin Hood). His languid drawl and distinctive looks worked beautifully in any genre from drama to action, comedy to romance. A Little Chaos is a wonderful way to see Rickman on screen again, and celebrate and remember his acclaimed career.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 4/4/2016 April, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin


This month on Rialto Presenters, Judy Bailey introduces a series of human-interest documentaries that cover a range of topics from public education in America to the plight of firefighters in the city of Detroit. Kicking off the series is the delightful Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, a film that Bailey enjoyed so much she’s even thinking of attempting the 800 km pilgrimage herself.

Catch Rialto Presenters on Wednesday evenings at 8.30pm. Here are a few other highlights for the week.

That Sugar Film - Interview with Damon Gameau

Posted on Tuesday 3/29/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin



For a couple of years now I have guiltily turned a blind eye to the sugar debate – like most people with a sweet tooth. However, all that changed after watching Australian actor and director Damon Gameau‘s documentary That Sugar Film. Turns out, the occasional piece of chocolate is the least of my problems as Gameau’s documentary reveals it’s the foods perceived to be healthy we’ve got to watch out for. This highly entertaining film aimed as kids as much as adults, tackles the issue of sugar in a clear and concise way.Gameau doesn’t lecture his audience, instead he encourages us to make our own choices – as long as they’re educated – and there’s no better place than with The Sugar Film

Damon kindly took some time out of his very busy schedule to have a chat to Rialto Channel about his debut film that’s taking the world by storm.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Thursday 3/24/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin


I hope you’re having a relaxing Easter with family and friends, and aren’t beating yourself up over your chocolate and hot cross bun intake! This is week there are some beauties on Rialto Channel for you to enjoy, including the popular documentary That Sugar Film, the hilarious New Zealand splatter flick Deathgasm, and the moving British drama Testament of Youth. These are my highlights for the week, enjoy. 

Judy Bailey for ‘Rialto Presenters’

Posted on Tuesday 3/22/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin



The series Rialto Presenters continues on Wednesday evenings throughout April, and this month Judy Bailey, one of New Zealand’s most respected journalists and presenters, introduces a diverse collection of human-interest documentaries.
 

The series begins with the charming Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, where filmmaker Lydia Smith follows a group of individuals attempting to trek the Camino, an ancient pilgrim path from France to the shrine of St. James in Galicia, Spain. It’s an extraordinary 800 km journey filled with many emotional, mental and physical challenges, and yet it will have you throwing on some sneakers and thinking about your own pilgrimage. 

This journey of self-discovery is followed by Burn, a fascinating film that looks at the tragic affect the demise of the Detroit motor industry has had on the city through the eyes of its firefighters. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 3/21/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin


It’s a fascinating week on Rialto Channel. Nicole Kidman masturbates in The Paper Boy, the FBI fail to notice a filmmaker is documenting the work of one of their informants in T(ERROR) and a rebellious young woman challenges Brazil’s class structure in The Second Mother. Here are the highlights! 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 3/14/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin


This month on Rialto Presenters, Ant Timpson introduces a collection of Incredibly Strange films to liven up your Wednesday nights. This week, he showcases horror flick Cub (Wednesday 6th March), the debut feature by Flemish filmmaker Jonas Govaerts about a group of boy scouts on a camp-out who are tormented by a feral kid who booby traps the woods. Let’s just say, it’s not for the fainthearted. Over the coming weeks you can also catch the genre-bending romantic horror Spring, as well as the awesome New Zealand spatter flick Deathgasm. If horror films aren’t your thing, no worries, there’s still plenty to check out on Rialto Channel this week. Here are my picks. 

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