Kids’ Film Festival

transformers in disguise!One of the more excellent things we’ve seen land in the Wellingtonista’s intray that allows harried parents to entertain their kids for FREE these holidays, is the Film Festival taking place down at the Film Archive. So if you’ve got a loved one at home looking after some housebound kiddy-winkles, give ’em a call and tell them to head along…

Classic Cartoons for Kids includes the world’s first Mickey Mouse cartoon Steamboat Willie (1928), Walt Disney classics To Itch His Own (1958) and Ferdinand the Bull (1938), plus a 1933 puppet animation by New Zealand’s own Len Lye. Also on the programme is Maurice Sendak’s classic childrens tale Where The Wild Things Are (1973). This programme is for children aged 5-12.

Animation Nation – New Zealand Animation 1936-2006 collects New Zealand animations from the past 70 years for an audience of kids aged 10-13+. The programme takes in classic stop-motion, claymation and 3D animation. One of the highlights of Animation Nation is Mr Stinky’s World of Trash (2006), a 3D film made by local animator Mike Heynes. Visitors to the screening will be given a special pair of glasses to enhance the effect of characters leaping out from the screen and moving in space! Also on the entirely New Zealand bill are two films by Len Lye including The Birth of the Robot (1936), and James Cunningham’s award winning digital animation Delf (1997). This programme is for children aged 10-13+.

Both programmes run for approximately 45 minutes are guaranteed to entertain kids and their parents. The Archive will selling it’s usual range of coffee, tea and refreshments to hungry Kids Film Festival goers.

Location: New Zealand Film Archive Mediatheatre
Time: 11am

  • Wednesday 4th July
    Classic Cartoons for Kids (Ages 5-12)
  • Monday 9th July
    Stop Motion, Claymation & 3D (Ages 10-13+)
  • Tuesday 10th July
    Classic Cartoons for Kids (Ages 5-12)
  • Wednesday 11th July
    Stop Motion, Claymation & 3D (Ages 10-13+)

[photo: frame enlargement from The Birth of the Robot (1936) by Len Lye. courtesy of the Len Lye Foundation Collection; New Zealand Film Archive / Ngä Kaitiaki O Ngä Taonga Whitiähua]

Right up your Hutt Valley

The winter carnival is on in sunny Petone next weekend (7th July). There will be circus acts, trapeze, and extremely chilling dip in the ole briny during the day.

The best bit of all is in the evening, when there is a huge fireworks display off the pier. The middle of winter lends itself to a very civilised start time of 7.30pm.

Wrap up warm and bring a thermos of whatever you like to warm you from the inside.

Come early, enjoy dinner at one of the local eateries and avoid the traffic, which can get a little sticky approaching kick off.

More sensible and detailed information can be found here.

Glancing at the Stars

If this were the Aucklandista site, this’d surely be about Millie. But it’s not. Besides, we’d never heard of her until yesterday. Millie Elder? Millie Holmes?

Anyway… that’s just alluding to celebrity gossip to lure you in. And to trap the googlers… yoohoo!!

Here in the Capital city, when we talk about stars we talk about the really big ones! Real stars.



In May or June each year, just before dawn (yeah right!) look toward the North Eastern horizon & you should see the Matariki constellation. The Greeks called it Pleiades (although they view it upside down to us) or the Seven Sisters, the Japanese called it… Subaru!

To Maori, it marks the New Year, and is associated with the Winter Solstice. The name itself literally refers to the Eyes of God.

This month till the 1st of July, Te Papa are hosting a Matariki Festival, click through for further details.

Further information on Matariki itself, can be found here, here & here.

Film Festival Sneak Peak

Some of you will be like me and saving your pennies up for the 36th Wellington Film Festival. It hits town on July 20th and runs till August 4th.

If the early line up announcement of some globally anticipated films is anything to go by it’s going to be yet another great see festival.

My top 3 picks are:


A Friday night and a Saturday morning

Down at the City Gallery on Friday night they are running another one of their Late Night Sessions, where you get to cruise around the big exhibition (this time it’s the biennial Prospect show) in relative peace and listen to lovely live music while you do so. And all for free.

City Gallery’s popular late night Friday returns. Wander through Telecom Prospect 2007: New Art New Zealand to a backdrop of independent and electronic sounds by local performers. Featuring Peneloping, Tc Wedde with Luke Buda, and Aspen.

The lovely Luke Buda is of course in The Phoenix Foundation, as is (the equally lovely) Tc Wedde. Aspen is also lovely and also known as Signer, and is one half of Over the Atlantic and one half of Skallander. And the "medium-core girl-boy plinkpop!" Peneloping also have a very good reputation as a live act. Having experienced Late Night Sessions many times before – from the point of view both of a performer and a patron – I can heartily recommend this event.

Cuba Street Carnival Feedback

Cuba St Carnival - Photo by Chillu, stolen from flickrDid you know that the Council supported the carnival?

Do you think they should support the carnival?

Got 2 minutes to answer those & a few other questions right here?

Supplementary question:

Are you offended by nudity at carnivals? If no, were you not outside Floriditas with half the Wellingtonista?

Then go here… and if that’s your wife/girlfriend/mother/daughter wrapped around that pole….

Well, way to go.

Plenty to wine about

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they feel the need to leave Wellington, even if it’s just for one day. No really, it happens! And a particularly good day to get out of town, if you don’t like the colour green, or potatoes, or Guiness or drunken fake-Irish louts, would be this Saturday. So where to go to get away? How about a wine festival – after we all know, that wine drinkers are a better class of people than beer drinkers – somewhere out of town but still nearby?

Well it just so happens that March 17 is your lucky day, with not one but two festivals taking place nearby. There’s the Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival in Gladstone (as well as the International Balloon Fiesta and the day before Round the Vines, and also the Great Wellington Wine and Food Festival in Paekakariki. So how do you choose which one to go to when they both cost $25 for an entrance fee? Take our quiz to find out.

Sounds of the city

Frey (aka Damian Stewart, aka Mr bleep) is putting together a reactive sound and light installation for next month’s Fringe Festival, and he wants your help. Specifically, if you know of any interesting sounds around Wellington that he can record and use in the installation, drop him a line.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Tulip SundayWell… around them anyway, if you don’t want the gardeners getting medieval on you…

Spring Festival, Sept 23 to Oct 8.

Botanic Gardens & Otari Wilton’s Bush

The Botanic Garden and Otari Wilton’s Bush will host two weeks of family orientated events.

Activities include:

  • glow worm tours
  • live music
  • petting zoos
  • plant sales

Brochures outlining the events will be available from both gardens and all Feeling Great stands from 1 September. PDF files here:

Spring Festival Brochure
Stamp Your Name on the Stump
Spring Festival Photo Contest

Celluloid architecture

These days it seem like there’s a specialist film festival for every taste and interest: human rights, vegetables, silent films and even Phoenix dactylifera. There’s even one for architecture buffs, and the Wellington season starts at the Penthouse this Friday.

[Read on…]