The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps

The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps

Martin Phillipps came tantalizingly close to conquering the international musical world with his band The Chills, but instead fell into decades of debt and addiction in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand. At 54, he’s been given a dire medical prognosis, forcing him to face his demons and realise his musical ambitions before it’s too late.

This intimate portrait follows the eccentric Martin as he reconciles a lifetime’s worth of curious collections, looks back on a catalogue of heavenly pop hits and relives his place in the iconic Flying Nun and Dunedin sound. With a startling sense of humour even in the blackest moments, we bare witness to one man’s universal battle with the fear of failure and the jarring reality of his own mortality.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Julia Parnell

Rob Curry




Directors: Julia Parnell, Rob Curry
Executive Producer: Brett Mills, Michael Harper, James Nicholls, Paul Reid
Producer: Nicola Peeperkorn, Tim Riley, Julia Parnell
Cinematographer: Timothy Flower
Editor: Dion Schmidt
Music: The Chills


Submarine Entertainment
Public Film Contact
Jasmin McSweeney
New Zealand Film Commission
+64 4 382 7680
Publicity Contact
Nicola Peeperkoorn
+64 21 131 5529
Primary Entry: Platinum Badge, Film Badge
Secondary Entry: Music Badge, Interactive Badge, Film Festival Wristband

Year: 2019
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Genre: Biography, Documentary, Music
Screening Section: 24 Beats Per Second
Screening Category: Documentary Feature
Country: New Zealand
Language: English
Runtime: 95:23 mins