Melbourne International Film Festival’s (MIFF) 71st edition will feature a blockbuster line-up of 267 films.
The programme raises the curtain on a selection of features, shorts, restorations, retrospectives and XR experiences this August, in cinema and on the festival’s online viewing platform MIFF Play.
MIFF audiences are invited to return to the cinema for 18 days of in-person programming, discovery and unique experiences. There’ll be Cannes titles, festival circuit favourites, world premiere arrivals, and local releases.
The Opening Night film is the Premiere Find-supported ‘Shayda’, introduced to Australian audiences for the first time off the back of its Audience Award win at Sundance earlier this year.
The Closing Night Gala features the hilarious musical mockumentary ‘Theater Camp’, and the full suite of films – all Australian premieres – vying for prizes in MIFF’s Bright Horizons feature film competition.
MIFF 2023 features a talks offering spanning artist conversations and comprehensive retrospectives. The guest programme includes visiting creatives like Celine Song, Mark Duplass, and Mel Eslyn.
'Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story' - Image © Mushroom Group Archives
“With our full 2023 programme release, audiences ready themselves again for the remarkable cinematic feats of a MIFF Melbourne takeover this August – eclectic and electric journeys through film’s present, past, and possible futures; your winter made bright on the world of the big screen,” Artistic Director Al Cossar says.
“As ever, MIFF delights in bringing Melburnians together, to create an adventure through film like no other, to make your own. We can't wait to welcome you to MIFF this year!”
Leading the MIFF Premiere Fund is Accelerator Lab alumna Noora Niasari’s Sundance award-winning ‘Shayda’. Also part of the Premiere Fund is Mark Leonard Winter’s ‘The Rooster’ starring Phoenix Raei and Hugo Weaving. From ‘The Australian Dream’ producers, ‘Australia’s Open’ gives an inside scoop on a modest Melbourne tennis tournament transforming into one of the sport’s four World Grand Slams. ‘Memory Film: A Film Maker’s Diary’ is Jeni Thornley’s cine-poem meditation on liberation, change and legacy. . . And ‘This Is Going To Be Big’ is a life-affirming exploration of arts participation changing lives and communities, as a high school group overcomes obstacles to stage a John Farnham-inspired time-travelling musical.
MIFF will also once again present the Blackmagic Design Australian Innovation Award and the MIFF Audience Award. Plus, a new award, in collaboration with Kearney Group recognising an outstanding Australian First Nations creative within a film part of the MIFF programme.
The inaugural winner of this award receives a $20,000 cash prize, and $25,000 worth of financial services from Kearney Group.
'This Is Going To Be Big'
Another Gala screening at the 2023 MIFF is the world premiere of much-anticipated rock ’n’ roll documentary ‘Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story’ in a festival-first Music On Film Gala screening.
Headliners include Justine Triet’s emotional courtroom drama ‘Anatomy Of A Fall’, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Monster’, Todd Haynes’ ‘May December’, Nuri Bilge Ceylon’s ‘About Dry Glasses’, Marco Bellocchio’s ‘Kidnapped’, Martin Scorcese’s ‘The Eternal Daughter’ and more.
Australian cinema highlights start with virtually-produced feature ‘Mercy Road’ from John Curran, and continue with ‘Voices In Deep’ from Jason Raftopoulos, ‘Rose Gold’ from Matthew Adekponya, the deliciously unpredictable ‘You’ll Never Find Me’ from Josiah Allen, Melbourne-set queer drama ‘Sunflower’, the feature debut from writer-director Gabriel Carrubba, and Jason Di Rosso’s ‘The Hidden Spring’.
There’ll also be films from overseas like the heartfelt ‘Fremont’ from Babak Jalali, Monia Chokri’s ‘The Nature Of Love’ and Kamal Lazraq’s ’Hounds’, documentaries including a look back at the arrival of the year 2000 in ‘Time Bomb Y2K’ and a tribute to the beloved William Shatner in ‘You Can Call Me Bill’, and music on film from the likes of ‘It’s Only Life After All’ tracking the three-decade-long career of Indigo Girls, and ‘Mutiny In Heaven: The Birthday Party’ telling of the thrilling, debauched and hilarious adventures of the legendary Melbourne band in their words.
Check out the full programme.
Melbourne International Film Festival is on from 3-20 August in cinemas, and 18-27 August online.