The film that taught director Florian Habicht how to make ‘not having a script’ part of the story

Florian Habicht is the guest selector for NZIF's Best short film competition.


Florian Habicht is the guest selector for NZIF’s Best short film competition.

Film-maker Florian Habicht has brought us wonderful movies and documentaries including Kaikohe Demolition, Land of the Long White Cloud, Love Story and a deep dive into British band, Pulp.

This year he is the guest selector for NZ International Film Festival’s NZ’s Best short film competition, screening during the festival. A colored version of Habicht’s 2003 cult classic Woodenhead will also screen in Auckland. Visit for more information.

Florian’s favorite things

TV show

Curb Your Enthusiasm. I met Larry David while they were filming at Central Park for the New York City season, and he was totally rude to me. Larry Charles the director was super friendly and we instantly clicked – maybe cause we were wearing the same colored Chuck Taylors.

I introduced myself as a failed film-maker from New Zealand, and he introduced himself as a failed film-maker from Brooklyn. I had to laugh knowing that he directed Borat!

* James & Isey: Florian Habicht’s tiny tale an aroha-filled, sentiment-free joy
* Florian Habicht: ‘I didn’t tell anyone I was making this film’
* Pulp doco showcases Sheffield’s common people

Favorite Song?

Recently I’ve been playing Remix ED (2021) from Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker while I write in the morning. The first track Save the Whale seductively begins with: “Take your foot off the gas, cos it’s all downhill from here. You are a manifestation of the universe, your form is unimportant, but please, come over here. “

With pandemic life, and people I’m close to getting older, it has all felt a bit down hill recently!


How to Write a Movie in 21 Days – The Inner Movie Method. I began reading this book seven years ago, and have almost finished my new drama script!

A still from Habicht's 2003 cult classic film, Woodenhead.


A still from Habicht’s 2003 cult classic film, Woodenhead.

Piece of art?

Fountain from Marcel Duchamp. It is a ready-made sculpture made in 1917, consisting of a signed porcelain urinal. (An ordinary piece of plumbing). And oh, I have a few Peter Stichbury paintings from art school on the walls that I admire every single day.

Item of clothing

Right now I’m wearing merino leggings and a merino thermal top – to keep warm. When you don’t have much meat on your bones, that’s priceless. I also bought a merino balaclava, but find it a bit claustrophobic.

In true Curb Your Enthusiasm style, Habicht says of meeting Larry David:


In true Curb Your Enthusiasm style, Habicht says of meeting Larry David: “he was totally rude to me.”


Federico Fellini’s 8½ with the jazzy circus-like soundtrack from Nino Rota. About a film-maker having a midlife crisis, struggling to make his next film, and escaping into his fantasies and memories of him. The film inspired me to make my NYC romance Love Story. To act in my own film, and to make “not having a script” part of the film’s story. Nino Rota’s music is my soundtrack to life. His music di lui inspired my first short films after my father gave me a Fellini soundtrack on vinyl.


The Atlanta Hotel in Bangkok. It’s the oldest hotel in the city, established in 1952, art deco, and has a swimming pool (with turtles) that has featured in a few James Bond films. Every day, between noon and 1pm, the restaurant plays jazz music composed by the late King of Thailand. Time has literally stood still in this wonderful hotel – I highly recommend it!

Weekend ritual

Playing guitar (and badly singing) on ​​the grass in the morning if the sun is shining.


Despite the hard times we (and the world) are in right now, I’m so grateful to Jacinda Ardern for everything she has done for the people of Aotearoa during the pandemic.


I feel very lucky to love my job – being a film-maker. I haven’t had a “real job” since being a wedding photographer!

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