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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Judy Bailey for ‘Rialto Presenters’

Posted on Tuesday 3/22/2016 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 3/21/2016 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 3/14/2016 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 3/7/2016 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 3/1/2016 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 2/29/2016 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 2/22/2016 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”. 

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Monday 2/22/2016 February, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

If you love French cinema I hope you’ve been enjoying Rialto World on Monday and Tuesday evenings showcasing some of the best drama and comedy to come out of France recently. This week catch one of France’s most beloved actors Fabrice Luchini in the dramedy Gemma Bovary. In the film, Luchini plays a small town baker who becomes obsessed with the fate of his new neighbours’ relationship. He also whips up mouth-watering breads and pastries that will have you salivating. Don’t watch this film hungry – you’ll eat a loaf.

Here are my highlights for the week.

The best indie films and documentaries on TV this week.

Posted on Monday 2/15/2016 February, 2016 by Francesca Rudkin

Dior and I …
Wednesday 17th February, 8.30pm

An absolute must see, Dior and I presents us with an unprecedented glimpse into the workroom of distinguished fashion house Christian Dior, with a behind the scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons first haute couture collection. Directed by Frederic Tcheng (Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel), Dior and I shows off the incredible talent involved in bringing Simon’s visions to life, and reveals the pressure and struggle involved in balancing creativity and business. You’ll have a newfound respect for the fashion industry after watching this film, and a better understanding of how it works. It’s not all air kisses and front row celebrities; it’s big, serious business.

Francesca’s Picks for the Week

Posted on Friday 2/5/2016 February, 2016 by Rialto Admin

It’s always good to start the year with new dinner party conversation starters - aside from where you went in the holidays and what the weather was like. So, catch Rialto Documentary this month for some cutting edge docos that will get you thinking and talking. Animal rights come under scrutiny in Aussie film The Animal Condition (Thursday 10th February), Poverty Inc.(Thursday 18th February) explores the downside to doing good in developing countries, and in The Emperor’s New Clothes(Thursday 25th February), Russell Brand asks why nothing has changed economically since the GFC in 2008. 

Here are my highlights for the week. 

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