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Your high five for Monday 30 July

Authors, films, UFOs and an amazing technicolour dreamcoat are on the agenda today.

Writer, activist and former social worker and Auckland city councillor Maire Leadbeater will speak about her new book at Unity Books today from 12:00pm to 12:45pm. See No Evil: New Zealand’s Betrayal of the People of West Papua focuses on the impact of New Zealand’s foreign policy on the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants, and the change from support of self-determination for the former Dutch colony in the 1950s, to backing Indonesia in 1962 as it took over the territory. For the past 25 years Leadbeater has campaigned for freedom for East Timor and West Papua; her research and OIA requests have uncovered the untold story of New Zealand’s unprincipled and often hypocritical diplomacy.

Another author event takes place around the same time at the third of this year’s Writers on Mondays series, presented by the International Institute of Modern Letters and The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Poet, editor, biographer, critic and academic, Harry Ricketts, who teaches English literature and creative writing at Victoria University of Wellington and has published over 30 books, will talk about his eleventh collection of poetry, Winter Eyes, with editor and Victoria University Professor of English Jane Stafford, from 12:15pm to 1:15pm at Te Papa, 55 Cable Street. Free admission.

After an opening weekend full of sell-out sessions, the New Zealand International Film Festival continues with 35 screenings today. If you couldn’t get into the first sold-out session of Leave No Trace last night, the new film from Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) receives another Embassy screening at 12:45pm. It includes a Q&A session with the visiting director afterwards. Fun fact: Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie pictured above, with Ben Foster), the Wellington actor who has been stunning festival audiences since the film debuted at Sundance, was serenaded by the Auckland audience at the film’s screening at the Civic on Saturday night with “Happy Birthday”.

A multimedia presentation that could possibly have fitted in to the Incredibly Strange section of the NZIFF programme takes place from 7:00pm at Trinity Union Church, Lychgate Centre, 100 Riddiford Street, Newtown. UFOs and Crop Circles: Their Mission and Meaning is not only a free event, but has free car parks, and explores world-wide UFO sightings across cultures throughout history, myths and legends, and asks if this could possibly herald a global spiritual awakening. The big question remains: in this era of ubiquitous high-quality cameras and social media, why has been no accurate documentation of any of these happening?

Opening tonight at 7:00pm and continuing through to Thursday, is another religious happening: the production of popular musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at St Patrick’s College, 581 Evans Bay Parade, Kilbirnie. St Patrick’s, in association with St Catherine’s College, St Mary’s College and Wellington East Girls’ College present the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical in a three-hour production. General admission is 25.00, and tickets for students are $20.00.