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 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.

INTERVIEW with Kevin Pearce for The Crash Reel

Posted on Wednesday 3/26/2014 March, 2014 by Melanie Curry-Irons

At the age of 22, Kevin Pearce was one of the world’s top halfpipe snowboarders and months out from competing at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He was living the dream. That dream came to a crushing end when Kevin clipped the edge of his board while practicing a cab double cork at Salt Lake City in late 2009. On the way down he struck his head, sustaining career-ending traumatic brain damage.

Thanks to excellent hospital care and never-ending support from his family, Kevin has made a remarkable recovery, all of which has been captured in Oscar nominated director Lucy Walker’s documentary The Crash Reel. Pearce met Lucy at a Nike Camp called A Better World - his first trip after the accident. Kevin shared photos and emails his aunt had written after the accident keeping family and friends up with Kevin’s recovery. While Walker knew nothing about snowboarding, she saw the potential for a documentary. Interestingly, it was Kevin’s family rather than Kevin himself, who first realised how beneficial and important this documentary, could be to others. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week 24th March

Posted on Monday 3/24/2014 March, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

Philip Seymour Hoffman is no longer with us, but his life and Oscar winning career live on in his many wonderful performances. He was known for films such as Scent of a Woman (his first major film role),Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Charlie Wilson’s War, Capote and more recently The Master and Doubt. Hoffman had four Oscar nominations to his name, including a win for Capote and not only was he a success on the big screen, but on the stage too winning three Tony Award nominations for True West,Long Day's Journey into Night and Death of a Salesman. This week Rialto Channel is screening the 2012 drama Performance (know as A Late Quartet in the US) in which Hoffman once again proves his class and versatility by playing a world-class violinist.

INTERVIEW with Stacy Peralta for Bones Brigade: An Autobiography

Posted on Thursday 3/20/2014 March, 2014 by Francesca Rudkin

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.
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