Punk arrives in New Zealand, a little bit late, in Head South, the new dramedy from New Zealand director Jonathan Ogilvie (Lone Wolf, The Tender Hook) which opens this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) on Thursday, January 25.

Ogilvie took inspiration from his own life in sleepy Christchurch in the late 70s for the semi-autobiographical tale of Angus (Ed Oxenbould), a shy and slightly awkward teen who gets drawn into the underground post-punk music scene. Marton Csokas plays Angus’ world-weary father Gordon. Stella Bennet, better known as New Zealand singer/songwriter Benee, plays Angus’ musically talented friend Kristen. Trendall Pulini, Roxie Mohebbi, Arlo Gibson, Demos Murphy, Jackson Bliss and Oscar Phillips co-star.

In the exclusive first trailer for the film (see below), Angus’ world literally expands — the screen stretching from blocky academy ratio to widescreen —the first time he hears post-punk band Public Image.

“This is very much how I felt in 1979,” says Ogilvie, who calls the period a “liminal time of great do-it-yourself creativity and energy that I felt deserved to be celebrated in a screen story.”

The 53nd edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam takes place from 25 January until 4 February 2024.

Check out the trailer for Head South below.

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