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 17th March

Posted on Monday 3/17/2014 March, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin



Recently I caught up with Stacy Peralta (Riding Giants and Dogtown and Z-Boys), one of my favourite extreme sports documentary filmmakers, about his documentary Bones Brigade: An Autobiography. A pro-skater in the 70s, Peralta created his own team of very young skaters in the early 80s called the Bones Brigade who went onto become household names – and still are today. Interestingly, Peralta didn’t want to make this documentary, but Tony Hawk and other original members of the Bones Brigade felt it was time to share their remarkable story. Read my blog onThursday 20th, as Peralta shares his thoughts with me on the making of this personal film. 

Here are my picks for the week. 

Jeremy Thomas talks about Kon-Tiki

Posted on Tuesday 3/11/2014 March, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin


Screening this Saturday on Rialto Channel is Norway’s most expensive film, the incredible ocean adventure Kon–Tiki. It tells the true story of Thor Heyerdahl’s epic 1947 journey across the Pacific from Peru to Polynesia in an attempt to prove it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia more than 5000 years earlier.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 10th March

Posted on Monday 3/10/2014 March, 2014 by Melanie Curry-Irons


Among the crime series (Braquo, Wallendar and Love/Hate), excellent extreme sports documentaries and eclectic mix of Canadian dramas this month, don’t forget Rialto Channel is also celebrating the work of acclaimed American director Jim Jarmusch. Jarmusch has spent his career meshing together European and Hollywood cinematic sensibilities across a variety of genres. He’s known for his static camera shots and panoramic American landscapes, working with musicians, and happily avoiding large studios. His latest film, the exceptionally cool and funny vampire flick Only Lovers Left Alive will screen in May during Rialto Channel’s Cannes Month, but in the meantime don’t miss the opportunity to catch his earlier films Mystery Train(Sunday 9th March) followed by Night on Earth, Dead Man and the classic Coffee and Cigarettes.

Sports Documentaries

Posted on Thursday 3/6/2014 March, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

For years, Hollywood has turned to the world of sport for inspiration, producing films about sports people, teams and coaches who have defied the odds and overcome challenges to rise to the top - or who have at least given it a damn good shot.

Sport provides great drama, it produces stories filled with passion and desire, triumph and despair. Films such as Raging Bull, Chariots of Fire, Rocky,Remember the Titians, The Wrestler, Field of Dreams and Moneyball aren’t just ‘great sports’ films, they’re great films that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves watching humanity at it’s best, and worst.

But sport also provides great reality, and this month Rialto Documentary is screening a handful of sports documentaries that will have you laughing one minute, and crying the next.




Winners of the 86th Academy Awards

Posted on Tuesday 3/4/2014 March, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

When it comes to the winners of the 86th Academy Awards that took place on Sunday 2nd March at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, there are few surprises.

A panda bear could have predicted this year’s winners they were so obvious, so I’m not going to make a big deal about the fact I correctly picked the outcome of the eight main awards in a blog last week. As I tell my kids, no one likes a showoff. 

Oscar Predictions

Posted on Thursday 2/27/2014 February, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

I love an occasion, a good show and celebrating film, so I’ll be glued to the television from 2.30pm this Monday (3rd March) for the 86th Academy Awards. Months of speculation will finally come to an end as we see ifGravity or 12 Years a Slave will triumph as Best Film and if the cast of American Hustle have conned their way to Oscar glory in the acting categories.  

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 2/24/2014 February, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin



It’s only February, but while many of us feel like we’re just starting the year the film industry has been busy. It’s amazing to think the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival have already been and gone.

You might have registered the Berlin Film Festival was taking place thanks to the bizarre behavior of actor Shia LaBeouf. LaBeouf turned up at the gala premiere for his latest film, Lars von Trier'sNymphomaniac I, with a paper bag on his head that read, “I am not famous anymore.” The reason for this attention seeking behavior steams back to December when it was discovered the short film he wrote and directed, HowardCantour.com, had monologues and scenes directly lifted from a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes. As the plagiarism accusations built, LaBeouf began a series of apologies including sky sign writing and in January announcing he was retiring from public life.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 2/17/2014 February, 2014 by Melanie Curry-Irons



 The 67th BAFTA British Academy Film Awards have just wrapped and it was another good night for Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett, who failed to thank her Blue Jasmine director Woody Allen in her Best Actress acceptance speech. These wins were both highly predicted, but it’s nice to see the awards being shared around a little more in the male acting categories. Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor for his excellent work in 12 Years a Slave, and Barkhad Abdi scooped the award for Best Supporting Actor for Captain Phillips.

Gravity won three awards including Best Director with 12 Years a Slave picking up Best Film. I suspect this is how the Oscars will unfold as well. There’s a full list of winners beneath my Rialto Channel highlights for the week.

The BAFTA’s and the Road to The Oscars

Posted on Thursday 2/13/2014 February, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin


I feel I’ve been talking about The Oscar’s for ages, but after reading stories about potential nominees for next year’s Oscars (off the back of the recent Sundance Film Festival) I’ve realised that obsessing for a couple of months about this year’s Oscars seems reasonable.

The 86th Academy Awards are still several weeks away, and while we’ve already got through the Screen Actors, Directors, Producers and Writers Guild Awards, as well as the NY Film Critics Circle Awards, the Golden Globes, The Critics Awards and National Board of Review Awards (all in January and early February), there are still two important award ceremonies to come on the long, long road to the Oscars.

First up are the 67th BAFTA Film Awards on Sunday 16 February, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, hosted by Stephen Fry - for the ninth time.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 2/10/2014 February, 2014 by Melanie Curry-Irons


Award season might be in full swing, but the year’s film festival season is also under way. TheSundance Film Festival wrapped in Utah on February 1st and Damien Chazelle’s drama Whiplashtook home the Grand Jury Prize for a Drama at Sundance this year, as well as the Audience Award for a Drama.  Originally a Sundance Film Festival award-winning short film, Whiplash tells the story of Andrew, an ambitious young student at a cutthroat Manhattan music conservatory who strives for greatness and perfection at any cost. The film stars Miles Teller as Andrew and J.K. Simmons as his teacher in what have been described as “fierce, searing performances”. For a full list of winners, head to www.sundance.org/festival/stories/award-winners/.
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