Lights, camera, action – The 70th Melbourne International Film Festival opens today


The 70th edition of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) opens today, with a spectacular red carpet gala that will kick off the opening weekend of the country’s longest running film festival.

Back in cinemas for 18 days of action-packed cinema, MIFF’s in-person program – the first since 2019 – will wrap Melbourne CBD with a series of special anniversary events, live concerts, immersive experiences, organized lectures and even a Dolly Parton-themed party for the people.

For the first time in three years, MIFF will welcome guests from around the world, welcoming some of the world’s brightest and boldest filmmakers, who are here to present their films first-hand.

MIFF’s stellar guest list includes accomplished artists, legendary authors and new film voices, with the likes of Oscar-nominated Brett Morgen; revered Mexican director Carlos Reygadas; and recent Cannes breakout and award-winning Charlotte Wells, all appearing live, among many others.

An Australian classic in the making, Goran Stolevski’s Of an age will make its world premiere at the festival’s opening gala, with the film’s stars – Elias Anton, Thom Green and Hattie Hook – joining Stolevski for the red carpet event at Hamer Hall tonight.

Alumnus of the MIFF Accelerator Lab and rising star, Stolevski returns to his hometown of Melbourne for the film’s premiere after recently being named one of Variety’s ’10 Directors to Watch’ for 2022.

Supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, Of an age follows the brief but lingering romance between two young men during a sweltering Melbourne summer day in the late 1990s. Stolevski’s feature debut which premiered at Sundance earlier this year, You won’t be alone is also part of the festival program.

“We are so thrilled and so grateful to be bringing MIFF back to Melbourne, in our 70th year – in what will be a true adventure through film and a chance for artists and audiences to reconnect and celebrate after years of separation,” MIFF said. Artistic Director, Al Cossar.

“In 2022, with programming taking place in the CBD, suburbs, regional Victoria, as well as MIFF Play showcasing festival highlights across Australia, and our MIFF XR platform taking over the world, the MIFF presents an evolution for the festival as much as a return – an extraordinary array of filmmakers and filmmakers poised and ready to bring the world to the screen in our city, and far beyond,” Cossar said.

“The MIFF is a beloved festival that has woven itself into the cultural fabric of Victoria over the past 70 years, captivating audiences across generations while showcasing the state’s vibrant film industry,” said Creative Industries Minister Steve Dimopoulos.

“This year is set to deliver another outstanding program for Victorians, while the new Bright Horizons Best Film award of $140,000 will reinforce the festival’s leading role among top film events and showcase local talent on the world stage. .”

“We are investing in the future of Victoria’s film industry to provide growth, jobs and opportunities for our creative industries workforce,” said Minister Dimopoulos.

MIFF’s opening weekend will also see the Australian premiere of a number of top selections from Cannes 2022, including Un Certain Regard’s 2022 Best Screenplay winner, Mediterranean fever from director Maha Haj; The dark satire of Kristoffer Borgli sick of me; The Golden Camera of Riley Keough and Gina Gammell in Cannes war pony; and the dream of George Miller Three thousand years of nostalgia.

Other opening weekend highlights include this year’s Palme d’Or winner. Triangle of Sadness; funny and touching Broker, by master filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda; Cannes Grand Prix-winning steamy romance, The stars at noon; politically charged documentary thriller, Navalny; the lucky nominee for the Golden Bear Call Jane, with Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver; and the extraordinary anthology work Kaingawith the film’s eight directors joining the festival from New Zealand.

Presented by the University of Melbourne, the festival’s extensive Melbourne on Film retrospective will kick off on August 5 with a special screening of Emma-Kate Croghan’s beloved romantic comedy, Love and other disasters at ACMI. In the coming weeks, an additional 40 local features and shorts from Melbourne’s rich cinematic history are set to be rediscovered in cinemas, with a selection also available through the festival’s online streaming platform, MIFF Play. .

The release of Black Inc.’s companion essay collection, Melbourne on Film: the cinema that defines our citywill be explored and celebrated the next day in a thoughtful discussion at the Wheeler Centre.

MIFF programmer Kate Fitzpatrick will be joined by some of the iconic filmmakers and creators behind the films featured in the book, including award-winning producer Yael Bergman (Love and other disasters); legendary director Richard Lowenstein (dogs in space); and the prolific director, producer and cinematographer David Parker (Malcolm).

Aussie cinematic talent also hits opening weekend with the heartwarming family documentary, Everyone is Oma; the horror comedy filmed in Canberra, sissy, with Aisha Dee; and the Australian premiere of Bruce Gladwin and Back to Back Theatre’s Shadow which received the People’s Choice award from the Visions section at this year’s SXSW.

Beneficiaries of the MIFF Premiere Fund, Because we have each other from director Sari Braithwaite, and volcano man by debut filmmaker James Crawley, will also have their world premieres during the first weekend of the festival.

During MIFF’s 70th anniversary program, Melbourne will come alive with special events and festive programming, including the Australian premiere of David Bowie’s epic documentary, Lunar Reverie at IMAX with director Brett Morgen in attendance; the very Melbourne pairing Chopper and Mick Harvey for a live re-scoring event, hear my eyes; and a Dolly Parton-themed extravaganza to accompany a fun Friday night screening of Gracie Otto seriously red at the Astor Theatre.

The moderated MIFF Talks programme, presented by the University of Melbourne, will kick off with franklin director Kasimir Burgess and the subject of the documentary, Oliver Cassidy, discussing environmental activism on screen alongside Delikado director, Karl Malakunas at the Wheeler Center. Later, Jessica Kiangan hosts an intimate masterclass with revered Mexican director Carlos Reygadas, whose revelatory and majestic films have made him a multiple Cannes winner and industry leader.

And in an exclusive screening of MIFF Ambassadors on Sunday, August 7, acclaimed director Justin Kurzel (Nitram) presents a jewel of Australian cinema, The sound of a hand clapping, followed by an illuminating conversation with its director, Booker Prize-winning novelist Richard Flanagan and revered actor Essie Davis. MIFF Ambassador screenings are personal journeys through cinema, by incredible artists, who only perform at MIFF.

This year, MIFF is organizing the prestigious Bright Horizons competition for the first time. The $140,000 Bright Horizons Best Picture Award, supported by the Government of Victoria, will recognize the voices of daring directors and emerging filmmakers. This new competition strengthens MIFF’s position among some of the best film events in the world.

Today, the judging panel for the inaugural MIFF Bright Horizons competition was revealed to include Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and artist Lynette Wallworth alongside internationally acclaimed Australian cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kingdom, real detective), actress and acclaimed theater and film director Shareena Clanton (Wentworth, last taxi to Darwin) and Indonesian director and screenwriter Mouly Surya (Marlina the assassin in four acts).

The independent jury will award the $140,000 Bright Horizons Best Film Award and the $70,000 Blackmagic Design Australian Innovation Award, which recognizes Australian filmmaking talent for their work – whether as director, creative director or production manager. photography – as part of a film screening at the festival. .

The shortlist for the Blackmagic Design Australian Innovation Award was also announced today, with the following designs awarded:

  • David Easteal – The plains – Staging
  • Johanna Scott – front of fire – Assembly
  • Bruce Gladwin, Michael Chan, Mark Deans, Sarah Mainwaring, Simon Laherty, Scott Price, Sonia Teuben – Shadow – Scenarisation
  • Jub Clerc – sweet as – Staging
  • Del Kathryn Barton– Flambé – Staging
  • Plato Theodoris – Lonely Spirits Variety Time – Production design

“Congratulations to all the nominees selected for the Blackmagic Design Australian Innovation Award and the Melbourne International Film Festival for 70 years of supporting global and Australian filmmakers,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design.

“What a tremendous honor to sponsor this award, which reflects our own vision to constantly innovate to give every creative the opportunity to use the best cinematic technology, regardless of their budget,” said Mr. Perry.

The winners of both awards – along with the MIFF People’s Choice Award – will be announced at the MIFF Awards Ceremony on August 20 at Forum Melbourne, hosted by Nicolas Feuillatte.

The 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) runs from August 4-28. For more information and the full program visit: for details. Check out the trailer here!

Image: Hattie Hook, Thom Green and Elias Anton in of an age (still from the film) – courtesy of MIFF


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