'The day before I was told [about the residency], I was just returning from a test screening of an all-consuming three-year project. While landing at Auckland International Airport, I speculated on the fact that I had no plans for the future. I watched a plane take off and dreamed about journeying overseas to reflect and develop ideas. The offer of the residency came at a perfect time.' Florian Habicht, inaugural recipient of the Harriet Friedlander Residency in New York.

Born in Germany, Florian moved to New Zealand at the age of eight with his family. He has directed a number of films including Liebesträume 2000, Woodenhead 2003 and Kaikohe Demolition 2004.

Woodenhead is renowned for the innovation of recording the dialogue, as Florian used different actors to record the narrative before shooting the film.

Kaikohe Demolition won the Best Digital Feature at the New Zealand Screen Awards in the year it was released. Florian developed a feature script Permissive Paradise at the Binger Filmlab in Amsterdam.

In 2008 Florian completed the feature Rubbings From a Live Man, a documentary performed by and based on the life of Warwick Broadhead, which he co-produced with Philippa Campbell. Long time collaborator Chris Pryor is Director of Photography. Rubbings From a Live Man premiered in the New Zealand International Film Festival in July 2008. Florian says of this production “in a career that spans forty years, Warwick Broadhead has conceived, directed and performed in over sixty original shows presented in a huge variety of venues both in New Zealand and abroad. He has never allowed his work to be recorded. But now, faced with a film maker’s provocations, the flamboyant performer is pushed to re-enact the highest and the lowest moments of his life using his own cast of alter egos.”

Fishing meets philosophy in Florian’s documentary Land of the Long White Cloud. Set entirely on 90 Mile Beach and a Far North pub, the doco takes place during the world's largest Snapper fishing contest.  The film premiered in 2009 in Auckland shortly before Florian took up his year-long residency in New York.  Florian returned for the nationwide theatrical release in January 2010.

Florian was the inaugural Harriet Friedlander New York Residency recipient.  His stay in New York in 2009 and 2010 resulted in the production of the acclaimed film Love Story, which opened the NZ International Film Festival in Auckland and went on to be awarded Best Director, Best Editing and Best Feature Film at the 2011 Aotearoa Film & Television Awards.

In 2014 Pulp: a Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets won the Audience Award at In-Edit Barcelona and an Honorable Jury Mention at the Athens International Film Festival. It was listed as one of 2014's top ten film's in New York's Village Voice magazine and in 2015 the film won best Music Film at the NME Awards in London.

Spookers, Florian's latest documentary, had it's world premiere at Hot Docs 2017, North America’s largest documentary film festival.  Spookers tells the story of a quirky and close-knit family of New Zealand sheep farmers who run the most successful scare park in the Southern Hemisphere –creating a family of scarers like no other. 

Florian was awarded a senior mentorship place on the 2017 FilmUp Mentorship Programme and one of eight award recipients. Also in 2017, Florian's project 'Under a Full Moon' was been accepted into the Three Rivers Filmmaker Writers Residency in Italy taking place in August and September. The project is one of only four projects selected from around the world.


By Jo Smith - from ILLUSIONS Magazine Number 36 Winter 2006. In this article Jo Smith discusses Florian Habicht's work in relation to international developments in digital film making.


Love Story is part romantic comedy, part documentary - Florian Habicht searches for love in New York
Full version of Florian Habicht's Land of the Long White Cloud, watch in HD and enjoy - courtesy of Pictures for Anna
Florian asks New Yorkers "do fish have feelings".
New Zealand film maker Florian Habicht discusses his work as part of "Art Now: New Generation Artists Talk About Their Work", an Arts Foundation event held at the TSB Showplace, New Plymouth on 11 September 2008.
A hybrid documentary... performed by Warwick Broadhead and directed by Florian Habicht


Florian travelled to New York in 2009 as part of the Harriet Friedlander residency, supported by the Arts Foundation.
born Berlin, Germany
moved to New Zealand
graduated, Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University
Liebesträume released
Woodenhead released; Attended Binger Institute Filmlab, Amsterdam
Kaikohe Demolition released Best Digital Feature at NZ Screen Awards; SPAPA new NZ Film-Maker Award; Woodenhead - finalist, NZ Film Awards
Rubbings From a Live Man released; Inaugural recipient Arts Foundation Harriet Friedlander Residency (New York)
Land of the Long White Cloud released; Began Harriet Friedlander Residency
Love Story (shot while in New York) opened the NZ International Film Festival in Auckland and was awarded Best Director, Best Editing and Best Feature Film at the 2011 Aotearoa Film & Television Awards
Pulp: a Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets released; Audience Award In-Edit Barcelona; Honorable Jury Mention at Athens International Film Festival; One of 2014's top ten film's in New York's Village Voice magazine; Best Music Film at London NME Awards 2015
Spookers released; World premiere at Hot Docs 2017; Awarded senior mentorship place on 2017 FilmUp Mentorship Programme