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 Monday 1/11/2016 January, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

Well, here we go again! Another year has arrived and this January Rialto Channel has another superb lineup of films ready to go, including a series of political documentaries profiling an eclectic collection of politicians such as Pras Michel of the Fugees, and American Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Series 2 of the haunting French television series The Returned continues, and Rialto Selection premieres some stunning feature films such as Escobar: Paradise Lost staring Benicio Del Toro, and Lullaby staring Richard Jenkins and Amy Adams. Don’t forget the Rialto Channel Film Star Face Off continues, this month featuring Julianne Moore vs. Tilda Swinton. 

Here are a few of my highlights for the week: 

Ariel Kleiman Interview for Partisan

Posted on Friday 1/8/2016 January, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin


Partisan is the debut feature film from talented Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman. It’s a mesmerising, dark and twisted story centered on child assassin Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel), who lives in an isolated commune run by his father, the charismatic Gregori (played by French actor Vincent Cassel).

The film premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema - Drama Best Cinematography Award, and has gone on to screen at festivals around the world, including our own NZIFF. By the end of 2015, Partisan was getting honorary mentions on Best of the Year lists, and Kleiman is now regarded internationally as a director to watch.

Partisan screens on Rialto Channel on Saturday 9th January, 8.30pm and recently I had the pleasure of talking to the delightful Kleiman about the making ofPartisan, and the joy of working with children.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 12/21/2015 December, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin

It’s hard to believe another year is almost over. Well done - you’ve almost made it! I love this time of year. Like everyone else it’s about family, holidays and long summer days – three of my favourite things. However, unlike most people that like to get as far away from their work as possible, I just can’t stop myself watching movies. There’s nothing better than a day at the beach, dinner around the outside table, a game of family cricket or cards, and then ending the day with a good movie.

And on Rialto Channel there’s plenty to choose from.

In January Tilda Swinton and Julianne Moore take over from Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender in Rialto Channel’s Film Star Face Off. Rialto Worldembraces Scandinavian cinema and the theme of Rialto Documentary is politics. The French television series The Returned continues on Tuesdayevenings, and Saturday’s Rialto Selection continues to screen an impressive lineup of films, from Half a Yellow Sun (Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor) to Escobar: Paradise Lost (Benicio Del Toro)

So put your feet up and relax. You’ve earned it. Have a wonderful Christmas, and all the best wishes for the New Year.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 12/14/2015 December, 2015 by Donna MacKenzie

Last week I mentioned Michael Fassbender was back on the Oscar’s radar for his performance as Steve Jobs in the film, creatively titled, Steve Jobs. This week, an Oscar nod became even more of a possibility with the announcement of the Golden Globe nominations. Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, Fassbender’s Steve Jobs’ Oscar campaign will now be in full swing. This weekhowever, you can catch the critically acclaimed actor in my first pick of the week, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method.


Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 12/7/2015 December, 2015 by Donna MacKenzie

Normally each year I start talking about the Oscars in September when the Toronto International Film Festival takes place – it does after all represent the unofficial launch of the award’s campaign season. However this year I’ve been restrained, mostly due to the fact that the front runners (Carol, Joy, The Revenant, Spotlight etc) don’t start hitting our shores until about now. As we launch into week two of our Film Star Face Off, I began contemplating the chances of Ryan Gosling or Michael Fassbender scoring an Oscar nod in 2016. Gosling, has had a quiet year with the release of one film The Big Short, but Fassbender has continued to churn out impressive performances in Macbeth and the upcoming Steve Jobs. The odds are on Fassbender getting a nomination for his role as the entrepreneur, but on Rialto Channel this week you can enjoy one of his early performances in the stunning British film Fish Tank 

The best indie films and documentaries on TV this week.

Posted on Monday 11/30/2015 November, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin

This week one of my favourite series of the year kicks off – the Film Star Face Off starring Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling. Every Friday night a Fassbender film will face off against a Gosling film, giving you the chance to admire and respect the work of these fine actors. Friday nights don’t get much better than this! Here are my picks for the week.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 11/23/2015 November, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin

As you’re probably more than aware, December kicks off next week and along with it a whole new collection of films on Rialto Channel. The highlight for me is the Film Star Face Off featuring the works of two of the most talented and rather gorgeous actors working today; Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling. They’re both fearless, versatile, intense and likeable actors who flit comfortably between the indie and mainstream worlds, and they’ve both worked hard to become know as more than just ‘the guy from The Notebook’ and the ‘hung actor’. Every Friday night, Rialto Channel will screen a film from both actors such as Fassbender’s Hunger, A Dangerous Method and Shame, and Gosling’s Half Nelson, Drive and Only God Forgives. If you don’t already have a favourite, you will by the end of this Film Star Face Off. I can’t think of a better way to wind down the year.

This week there’s plenty to enjoy on Rialto Channel as ambitious filmmakers from around the world take us on delightful and unique adventures. Here are my picks for the week.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 11/16/2015 November, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin

Throughout November, Rialto Channel is screening a diverse collection of films from Australian filmmakers on Wednesday evenings. This week catch The Infinite Man, the debut feature film from director, producer and editor Hugh Sullivan, and coming up next week is Cut Snake, the 1970s set crime thriller by Tony Ayres (The Turning, Walking on Water). 


Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 11/9/2015 November, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin

I keep walking past shops, or getting emails from folks determine to remind me that Christmas is just around the corner. These constant reminders send shivers down some people’s spines, but for others like me who refused to be dragged into the often self-inflicted chaos of the festive season, I say, bring it on! The best way of ignoring the pressures of Christmas is to get lost in other people’s lives and worlds by watching movies. You think you’ve got problems; the protagonists in my film picks for the week will have you thinking twice.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 11/2/2015 November, 2015 by Francesca Rudkin

Food documentaries have become popular over the last decade as we’ve become more obsessed about what we’re eating and where our food comes from. Films like Food, Inc. Forks over Knives, Supersize Me and The Truth About Sugar have given us plenty to discuss around the dinner table. Following in the footsteps of Bananas!, a documentary that looked at the conflict between the Dole Food Company and it’s banana plantation workers in Nicaragua, comes Food Chains, a film that explores the treatment of migrant horticultural workers in America. It’s a fascinating story and it’s my first highlight for the week.  

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