Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is coming back this August for its 71st year. Look forward to a massive line-up of 267 films, with features, shorts, restorations, retrospectives and XR experiences. See Cannes winners, World Premieres, documentaries and more. MIFF will return to cinemas from August 3 to 20. It’ll also take over regional locations from August 11 to 13, and August 18 to 20. Find it in Bendigo, Bright, Castlemaine, Echuca, Geelong, Rosebud and Warrnambool. If you can’t make it in person, you can also hop online for MIFF Play between August 18 and 27.
MIFF Gala Screenings
Shayda will open the season at the festival’s Opening Night Gala on Thursday August 3. It’s an autobiographical feature from Noora Niasari, a Tehran-born and Australian-raised writer-director. The film follows an Iranian woman and her young daughter as they arrive at a local women’s shelter in suburban Melbourne, seeking an escape from their oppressive home life. Based on Niasari’s upbringing, this project is a love letter to mothers and daughters, and received an Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year.
Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story
This documentary about Australian music industry legend Michael Gudinski will make its World Premiere at the Music on Film Gala on Thursday August 10. This film explores his legacy and life, with behind-the-scenes stories and interviews with artists like Kylie Minogue, Dave Grohl, Sting, Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Jimmy Barnes. The doco also looks at the unorthodox tactics that helped Gudinski shape music history.
The MIFF Closing Night Gala will showcase the Australian Premiere of Theater Camp, a musical mockumentary that follows ragtag group of theatre nerds, who bring the drama to save their summer camp. This hilarious film won hearts at Sundance and SXSW, and will play in Melbourne on Saturday August 19.
This year, MIFF will play 49 films from the prestigious international film festival circuit. Watch Tilda Swinton play both mother and daughter in Joanna Hogg’s The Eternal Daughter. See Julianne Moore team up with Natalie Portman in the film, May December. Listen to Ryuichi Sakamoto’s final piano score in his last screen work before his death, in Monster by Hirokazu Kore-eda. See all the headliners here.
In Sundance Audience Award-winner, Beyond Utopia, you’ll see individuals risk their lives to defect from North Korea. Watch auteur Wang Bing capture the extremely fast pace of China’s garment factories in Youth (Spring). Enjoy a tribute to William Shatner in Alexandre O. Philippe’s You Can Call Me Bill. See 30 prominent filmmakers at Cannes discuss the future of cinema in Room 999. See more documentaries here.
Retrospectives and more
Look back on the legacy of Safi Faye, the ‘mother of African cinema’, and explore her journey from actress to the first Sub-Saharan African woman to direct a commercially distributed film in the retrospective, Director in Focus: Safi Faye.
Horror lovers will enjoy Director in Focus: Argento Restored. Presented by Istituto Italiano di Cultura, this special event has twelve new 4k restorations by the master of Italian horror.
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Critics Campus with a retrospective on forgotten gems, cult classics and misunderstood pieces with Critical Condition. Join critics like Guy Lodge and Michael Koresky as they discuss overlooked, underrated and polarising films alongside screenings.
Feeling hungry? Match your movie night with a meal at some incredible restaurants and bars around Melbourne. Try MIFF-curated pairings, like The Rooster and Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters, The Shadowless Tower and ARU, Anatomy of a Fall and La Madonna and more. These hospitality venues are all within walking distance of the movie screening, so you don’t have to worry about rushing around town. Make reservations and learn more here.
Otherwise, pop into the Campari Cinema Lounge at ACMI, and enjoy specialty cocktails, delicious bites and more. The lounge is open from 5pm until late throughout the festival, with guest DJs playing for an extra dose of entertainment.
This was truly just scratching the surface of all the wonderful things to see at MIFF. To see the full program, click here.