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

Posted on Monday 4/04/2016 April, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

This month on Rialto Presenters, Judy Bailey introduces a series of human-interest documentaries that cover a range of topics from public education in America to the plight of firefighters in the city of Detroit. Kicking off the series is the delightful Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, a film that Bailey enjoyed so much she’s even thinking of attempting the 800 km pilgrimage herself.

Catch Rialto Presenters on Wednesday evenings at 8.30pm. Here are a few other highlights for the week.

That Sugar Film - Interview with Damon Gameau

Posted on Tuesday 29/03/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

For a couple of years now I have guiltily turned a blind eye to the sugar debate – like most people with a sweet tooth. However, all that changed after watching Australian actor and director Damon Gameau‘s documentary That Sugar Film. Turns out, the occasional piece of chocolate is the least of my problems as Gameau’s documentary reveals it’s the foods perceived to be healthy we’ve got to watch out for. This highly entertaining film aimed as kids as much as adults, tackles the issue of sugar in a clear and concise way.Gameau doesn’t lecture his audience, instead he encourages us to make our own choices – as long as they’re educated – and there’s no better place than with The Sugar Film

Damon kindly took some time out of his very busy schedule to have a chat to Rialto Channel about his debut film that’s taking the world by storm.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Thursday 24/03/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

I hope you’re having a relaxing Easter with family and friends, and aren’t beating yourself up over your chocolate and hot cross bun intake! This is week there are some beauties on Rialto Channel for you to enjoy, including the popular documentary That Sugar Film, the hilarious New Zealand splatter flick Deathgasm, and the moving British drama Testament of Youth. These are my highlights for the week, enjoy. 

Judy Bailey for ‘Rialto Presenters’

Posted on Tuesday 22/03/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

The series Rialto Presenters continues on Wednesday evenings throughout April, and this month Judy Bailey, one of New Zealand’s most respected journalists and presenters, introduces a diverse collection of human-interest documentaries.

The series begins with the charming Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, where filmmaker Lydia Smith follows a group of individuals attempting to trek the Camino, an ancient pilgrim path from France to the shrine of St. James in Galicia, Spain. It’s an extraordinary 800 km journey filled with many emotional, mental and physical challenges, and yet it will have you throwing on some sneakers and thinking about your own pilgrimage. 

This journey of self-discovery is followed by Burn, a fascinating film that looks at the tragic affect the demise of the Detroit motor industry has had on the city through the eyes of its firefighters. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 21/03/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

It’s a fascinating week on Rialto Channel. Nicole Kidman masturbates in The Paper Boy, the FBI fail to notice a filmmaker is documenting the work of one of their informants in T(ERROR) and a rebellious young woman challenges Brazil’s class structure in The Second Mother. Here are the highlights! 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 14/03/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

This month on Rialto Presenters, Ant Timpson introduces a collection of Incredibly Strange films to liven up your Wednesday nights. This week, he showcases horror flick Cub (Wednesday 6th March), the debut feature by Flemish filmmaker Jonas Govaerts about a group of boy scouts on a camp-out who are tormented by a feral kid who booby traps the woods. Let’s just say, it’s not for the fainthearted. Over the coming weeks you can also catch the genre-bending romantic horror Spring, as well as the awesome New Zealand spatter flick Deathgasm. If horror films aren’t your thing, no worries, there’s still plenty to check out on Rialto Channel this week. Here are my picks. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 7/03/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

Can you believe its March already? The year might be flying by, but for me life over the past week has been suspended in time between episodes of Scandinavian noir thriller The Bridge. Yes, I’ve binged – it’s that good. Even if you missed the first two series, it’s still worth getting on board this crime thriller. Psychology is also on my mind this week after watching Experimenter, the unique biopic of social psychologist Stanley Milgram. If you watched Hannah Arendt on Rialto Channel last year, or are at all curious about humans, obedience and our ability to inflict pain on each other, then this film is a must see. 

Here are my highlights for the week. 

The Morning After…

Posted on Tuesday 1/03/2016 March, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

There will be more than a few sore heads in Los Angeles as morning breaks as relieved actors and actresses put aside their Award’s season diets and tuck into a big breakfast.

As Hollywood and the world reflect on the 88th Annual Academy Awards, now also known as the ‘White People’s Choice Awards’ thanks to hostChris Rock, there’s a sense of a job well done.

2016 Oscar Predictions

Posted on Monday 29/02/2016 February, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

Picking who would win The Oscars has been a breeze over the last couple of years, however this year I’m not so confident when it comes to stating who should have their acceptance speech ready. And that’s a good thing!

The air of unpredictability surround The 2016 Oscars makes the inane conversations on the red carpet tolerable, and the lengthy ceremony that much more exciting. The acting categories are by far the easiest to predict (the awards will go to white people), but when it comes to the best picture category, we’ve got a real race on our hands. I’m also looking forward to how Chris Rock handles the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. Harvey Weinstein, the co-chief of The Weinstein Co, predicts Rock is going to “annihilate every one of us” in his opening speech. Can’t wait.  

Here are my predictions for the main glamour awards this afternoon. Let me know yours!

A Beginners Diary of Driving a Luxury Car For a Week.

Posted on Monday 22/02/2016 February, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

A Beginners Diary of Driving a Luxury Car For a Week. 


I’m excited. No one has given me a luxury car to drive for a week before, and being an amateur European car specialist (my car CV reads Fiat, Peugeot x 2, and a Skoda – which is pretty much a VW), I’m looking forward to driving my first DS Automobile.

It’s thanks to the fashion documentary series presented by Adrian Hailwood currently screening on Rialto Channel. As a sponsor of the series, Citroën has very kindly offered me a DS 5 to drive a car. 

DS Automobile is the up market, prestigious brand of Citroën. If it was a fashion label, DS would be the ‘Kate Sylvester’ label while Citroën would be the quirkier ‘Sylvester’ label. 

“So, what are the do’s and don’ts of test driving a car for a week?”, I ask the lovely marketing woman. Apart from having a driver’s license, the only other advice I get is said with humour, “No pets” and “Try and keep kid’s sticky fingers off the leather where possible”. 

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