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 16th June

Posted on Monday 6/16/2014 June, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) 2014 is only a month away, and while we wait with great anticipation to find out what this year’s programme has for us, it’s been announced New Zealand film The Dark Horsewill open NZIFF, in Auckland on 17 July at the Civic Theatre and Wellington on 25 July at the Embassy Theatre. Directed by Napier Robertson and staring Cliff Curtis, the film tells the story of Genesis Potini, the speed chess champion who passed on his gift to countless East Coast children. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 9th June

Posted on Monday 6/9/2014 June, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Congratulations to all the winners announced recently at the Grand National Final of the Rialto Channel 48 Hour Film Competition. The competition kicked off on April 4th when over 700 teams were given a genre, a line of dialogue, a prop, a camera angle, a character, and 48 hours to complete a short film. The films were then judged at a regional level with the top films, along with Peter Jackson’s wildcard selections, judged by an international judging panel. 

This year there were 14 incredibly strong finalists up for Best Film, and the Grand National Champion award was taken out by team Lense Flare for their short Pants on Fire. The Runner Up award went to team Noise and Pictures for Rubble

You can catch these impressive shorts, as well as meet the talented teams behind them, when Rialto Channel screens 48 Hour Film Competition 2014 on Wednesday 25th June at 8pm.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 2nd June

Posted on Friday 5/30/2014 May, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

There are a few changes on Rialto Channel this June. Rialto World, which brings you the best in foreign film, will begin screening on Mondays at 8.30pm. On Tuesdays you can catch top international dramas and returning hits like acclaimed series Rectify, while on Wednesdays new series Rialto New Wave continues screening the work of first time feature film directors. Thursday evening remains dedicated to documentaries, and Saturdays are still the best place to see our finest independent premieres, with Rialto Selection. In another change, Sunday evening is now the best place to catch quality British drama, with Rialto British. Got all that? Now, here are my picks for the week

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 26th May

Posted on Tuesday 5/27/2014 May, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

The 2014 Cannes Film Festival wrapped up over the weekend with the Jane Campion led Jury announcing Nuri Bilge Ceylan's three-hour plus drama Winter Sleep as the winner of the Palme d'Or. The film beat out Xavier Dolan's Mommy, which settled for the Jury Prize, along with Jeal-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language. The runner-up Grand Prix award went to Alice Rohrwacher's Italian-language film The Wonders. Here is a list of the winners:

Grand Prix: The Wonders, Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Prix de la Mise en Scene (best director): Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Prix du Scenario (best screenplay): Leviathan, Writers: Andrey Zvyaginstev and Oleg Negin
Camera d’Or (best first feature): Party Girl, Directors: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis
Prix du Jury (jury prize): Mommy, Director: Xavier Dolan; and Goodbye to Language, Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Prix d’interpretation feminine (best actress): Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars
Prix d’interpretation masculine (best actor): Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 19th May

Posted on Tuesday 5/20/2014 May, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

There are so many fabulous films screening on Rialto Channel this week so clear the PVR and get recording! Below are three moving, delightful and unique films for you to enjoy, but also this week, keep an eye out for Matteo Garrone’s reality television satire Reality (Tuesday 20th May), the intense Russian drama In the Fog, and the charming French rom-com Happiness Never Comes Alone.

Here are my picks for the week. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 12th May

Posted on Tuesday 5/13/2014 May, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) has revealed the first four films it has confirmed for it’s 2014 lineup, and they all feature a musical theme. I’m excited to see New Zealand director Florian Habicht’s documentary on British band Pulp, titled Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets is on the list, as well as 20,000 Days On Earth, an award winning experimental documentary on musician Nick Cave. For festival updates and dates, check out their slick new website at 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 5th May

Posted on Monday 5/5/2014 May, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

The Cannes Film Festival has announced the Jury for the 2014 Festival, lead by New Zealand director Jane Campion. Campion is the first and only female filmmaker to receive the Palme d’Or in Cannes and joining her on the jury are

Carole Bouquet (Actress – France), Sofia Coppola (Director, Screenwriter, Producer – United States), Leila Hatami (Actress – Iran), Jeon Do-yeon (Actress – South Korea), Willem Dafoe (Actor – United States), Gael Garcia Bernal (Actor, Director, Producer – Mexico), Jia Zhangke (Director, Screenwriter, Producer – China) and Nicolas Winding Refn (Director, Screenwriter, Producer – Denmark). 

The Festival kicks off in less than two weeks, and it’s the Jury’s job to decide who will win this years coveted Palme d’Or award, chosen from the 18 films screening in competition. The winner will be announced on Saturday 24th May. 

In the meantime, on Rialto Channel you can enjoy an eclectic collection of films that have screened at the Cannes Film Festival over the last couple of years. Here are my picks for the week. 

Cannes Month on Rialto Channel

Posted on Thursday 5/1/2014 May, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

May is an exceptionally good month on Rialto Channel as we celebrate the Cannes Film Festival by screening an eclectic collection of award winning and critically acclaimed feature films that have screened in competition at Cannes recently.

The most prestigious of the European Film Festivals, Cannes is highly regarded for its competition list each year and is one the glamour events on the festival calendar. It prides itself on presenting the work of auteurs, rather than showcasing potential Oscar winners, and is as enthusiastic about discovering new talent as it is about celebrating the work of established filmmakers. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 28th April

Posted on Monday 4/28/2014 April, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Throughout May, Rialto Channel is all about the Festival de Cannes and each night I’ll be introducing you to an eclectic collection of award winning and critically acclaimed feature films that have screened in competition at Cannes recently. It’s fitting we kick off our celebration of Cannes with festival veteran David Cronenberg and his anti-capitalist day of reckoning story Cosmopolis. The film stars Sarah Gadon, who appeared in Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, and who also stars in his son Brandon Cronenberg’s debut feature film Anitviral that screens the following evening. Before the Cronenbergs and Gadon take over the weekend though, don’t miss Lebanese director Nadine Labaki’s charming and chaotic melodrama in Rialto World on Tuesday.

2014 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup

Posted on Thursday 4/24/2014 April, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

In just under a month, some of the biggest names in the film industry along with a large proportion of the world’s press will descend upon the French Riviera for one of the year’s most prestigious film festivals, the Festival de Cannes.

This year’s lineup consists of 49 films that will screen either in Competition, in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, or out of competition, and out of those 49 there are five first-time directors and 15 female directors.

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