These changes from MIFF are a result of Melbourne’s COVID situation.
The Melbourne International Film Festival was going to be a hybrid mixture of cinema sessions and online viewing this year. The festival format has been adjusted multiple times due to the uncertainty of COVID. Only last week, festival organisers pushed back cinema sessions to August 12 instead of August 5. But now, Melbourne’s lockdown has been extended for another week. As a result, all cinema screenings in Melbourne have been cancelled and MIFF will focus solely on online streaming, from now until August 22.
MIFF changes lead to cinema cancellations
Due to the current lockdown, in-cinema sessions between August 12 and 22 have been cancelled. Refunds will be given out to anyone that booked a ticket. Refunds will also be issues to all MIFF pass holders.
Meanwhile, as regional Victoria is not under lockdown, MIFF’s regional cinema season will go ahead.
The festival will instead live on through their online service, MIFF Play. There are over 100 titles to choose from, which will be streaming across the nation until August 22.
Sad day here at MIFF HQ but our online festival lives on (with new titles!) across Australia until 22 Aug, available on MIFF Play ♡ please support not just but the filmmakers who we have been working with over the last 12+ months! Some really incredible titles available. https://t.co/8sLtdsF1EJ
— Kate Jinx (@katejinx) August 11, 2021
From Thursday August 5 to Sunday August 22, over 90 feature films will be available to stream across the nation on MIFF Play. This is an expansion from the original 62 films announced for the digital program. The digital festival kicked off last week with CODA, a heartfelt story about a teenager finding new ways to connect with her deaf family. This coming-of-age story won four awards at Sundance.
For something different, try MIFF XR. Nine different experiences will push the boundaries of storytelling through complete immersion. These experiences are available online for free. Some of stories are immersive, 360 VR pieces while others can simply be viewed on a laptop or phone screen. Head underwater and encounter bioluminescent creatures, explore Soviet ruins or weave your way through the streets of Lagos.
For more details about MIFF, the program and its changes, head to their website.