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 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.

Lena Dunham

Posted on Thursday 4/17/2014 April, 2014 by Melanie Curry-Irons

Since film began in shaky black and white, actors and directors have likened filmmaking to life’s most challenging events - going to war, climbing a mountain or even giving birth. And yet each year aspiring filmmakers, brimming with passion, patience and perseverance, confront the intricate web of writing, funding and production as they attempt to bring their heartfelt visions to life. 

There’s nothing more exciting and terrifying than doing this for the first time, and it’s these debut filmmakers that Rialto channel celebrates in their new Sunday evening series Rialto New Wave. 

Screening on Sunday 27th April is Tiny Furniture, the first professional full-length feature film from Golden Globe winner Lena Dunham, who is best known for writing, directing, producing and acting in Girls, the series she created for HBO that went to air in 2012. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 21st April

Posted on Thursday 4/17/2014 April, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

A newcomer and a veteran director entertain us this week on Rialto Channel. Girlscreator Lena Dunham’s debut feature film Tiny Furniture screens in our new seriesRialto New Wave, and Robert Redford’s latest directorial effort, the political dramaThe Company You Keep screens in Rialto Official Selection this Saturday. Along with the story of the irrepressible Diana Vreeland, they make up my highlights of the week.   

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 14th April

Posted on Monday 4/14/2014 April, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Rialto Channel’s month of fashion documentaries continues this week with the fabulous About Face: Supermodels Then and Now featuring some of the most recognizable faces in the world talking about modeling and aging. Also this week, catch Neil Jordan’s latest vampire filmByzantium, and find out just how tough it is to become a Master Sommelier in our New Wave flick of week, Somm.

Best Fashion Documentaries

Posted on Thursday 4/10/2014 April, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin


Rialto Documentary is filled with fabulous films about fashion this month, and it got me thinking about how well suited the industry is to the documentary medium. There’s no need for The Devil Wears Prada when there’s The September Issue! For most of us, the fashion industry is a fantasy world, a world we will never be part of and therefore venturing into it satisfies our curiosity and provides great escapism. It’s an industry that also happens to be filled with fascinating, unique and quirky characters that are so much better than anyone you could ever conjure up in a fictional world. Interestingly, this list is filed with documentaries about individuals rather than the industry in general.

Please note the documentaries Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel and Mademoiselle C are both must-see fashion documentaries, but as they are playing on Rialto Channel this month, you’ll already know that.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 7th April

Posted on Monday 4/7/2014 April, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

If you hadn’t already heard, a brand new series called
Rialto New Wave has kicked off on Rialto Channel on Sunday evenings celebrating the work of first time directors from New Zealand and around the world. This month Rialto New Wave brings you Girls creator Lena Dunham’s debut feature Tiny Furniture, the feature length documentary Somm, from American director Jason Wise, that follows four wine experts as they prepare to sit the Master Sommelier test, and we also head to France for directing duo David and Stephane Foenkinos’ sweet and quirky romance Delicacy, staring Audrey Tautou. 

INTERVIEW with David Gibson, Chief Executive of the NZ Film Commission

Posted on Friday 4/4/2014 April, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

At the end of January 2014, Dave Gibson, founder of the Wellington production company The Gibson Group, took on the role of CEO of the New Zealand Film Commission. Since then he’s been busy introducing his ideas to the film industry for a more streamlined, effective and accessible Film Commission. He kindly took the time to talk us through his proposed changes, as well as discuss his new life as a bureaucrat.
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