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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Posted on Monday 9/2/2013 September, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

My first highlight this week is From up on Poppy Hill produced by the famous Japanese animation studio that brought us the beautiful Spirited Away and Ponyo, Studio Ghibli.

Akira Kurosawa - Rialto Directors

Posted on Friday 8/30/2013 August, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin


Director Akira Kurosawa is one of the greatest and most influential Japanese directors of all time, and during September a prestigious collection of his films will play on Rialto Directors, every Sunday at 8.30pm.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 8/26/2013 August, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

For many of us, Richard Gere will always be the knight in a limo who fell for the goofy (and gorgeous) prostitute in Pretty Woman, played by Julia Roberts. Despite having also starred in films as diverse as An Officer and a Gentleman, Days of Heaven, Chicago and I’m Not There he will always be defined by Pretty Woman. Last year though he delivered another gritty performance to remind us he’s not done yet, playing a highflying businessman in the thriller Arbitrage. It’s a great film and reminds us that while Gere has a face for romantic comedies he can also really act.

Here are my highlights for the week...

TIFF Gives Us a Taste of What’s to Come

Posted on Thursday 8/22/2013 August, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

It’s time to talk Oscars. It’s ridiculous I know, the award ceremony isn’t for five months, but with the Toronto International Film Festival about to kick off (5th – 15th September) the buzz about films with ‘Oscar-potential’ will begin.

And be in to WIN one of 3 double passes to The Patience Stone...

Celebrating Zombies – The Best Zombie Flicks this Century

Posted on Friday 8/16/2013 August, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

This week marks the beginning of cool, stylish new French television series Rebound on Rialto Channel (every Wednesday night from 8.30pm).

It’s being described as a mix between Lost and Twin Peaks, and is set in a small picturesque Alpine village where several years earlier a school bus filled with students went off the road with all on board killed. Years later, as the community prepares to erect a memorial, the dead begin returning to their homes and live as if nothing has happened. Each episode focuses on one zombie’s story, and it’s easy to see why this series has been a smash hit in France. Understated, slick and creepy, only the French could make zombies look this good.

Zombies haven’t reached the same feverish popularity as vampires over the last decade but it’s still hard to keep a good zombie down. So, to celebrate the release of these Gallic zombies I thought I’d take a look at some of the best Zombie flicks released this century.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 8/12/2013 August, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

Congratulations to filmmaker and actress Aidee Walker who with her short film Friday Tiger won both the Jury Prize and the Audience Prize at the New Zealand International Film Festival. A story about a mother who creates a fantasy world for her 3 year-old daughter, the judges’ comments were that “the story moves crisply, the acting is beguiling, and the ending - a vote for courage and the power of the imagination - is a surprise and a delight.” Aidee was also part of the team Traces of Nut that produced the Grand Final winning film at the Rialto Channel 48 Hour Film Competition, The Sleeping Plot.

Here are my highlights for the week...

The Big Screen Symposium

Posted on Friday 8/9/2013 August, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

If you’re involved in any part of filmmaking the place to be this weekend (10th, 11th August) is The Big Screen Symposium, which is being held at the University of Auckland Business School.

Francesca's Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 8/5/2013 August, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

6 hours of gloriously filmed television is wrapped up this week as the first series of Rectify comes to an end. The series follows the six days after Daniel Holden (Aden Young) is released from death row, on a technicality, where he lived mostly in isolation for almost two decades after being convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend. The season finale is the top of my highlights list this week.

Rialto Directors this month - Jean Renoir

Posted on Monday 8/5/2013 August, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

Here at Rialto Channel the Sunday Rialto Directors night over the last year has shown the works of French New Wave artists Truffaut, Godard and Chabrol. If you’ve been wondering when you’ll be able see the best of Jean Renoir, the “father of the New Wave” - the answer is this month.

Great Television Shows Premier on Rialto Channel in August

Posted on Monday 7/29/2013 July, 2013 by Francesca Rudkin

The print media often publish articles lamenting the quality of television programmes on our screens, for the most part this confuses local with international shows, quality with popularity, and where shows are available to watch rather than what’s being produced.

You certainly wouldn’t claim shows The Sopranos, Madmen, The Wire, Homeland and Game of Thrones have diminished the medium over the last decade. Top talent, in front and behind the camera, has for many years been lured to television by the greater time available for storytelling and has helped drive the high level of creativity, excellent writing and slick production values in the medium today...

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