Don’t Miss the Aussie Docos Playing at the Melbourne Documentary Film Fest!

June 14, 2018
This festival is the ultimate opportunity for Melbournians to catch up on documentaries of all sorts from Australia and overseas.

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (MDFF) supports emerging and established filmmakers from all over the world. The annual fest features documentaries of all sorts (including shorts and features) – many of them direct from some of the most prestigious documentary film festivals in the world, including the Sheffield Doc Fest, Traverse City Film Festival, Doc NYC, SXSW, Doc Edge and IDFA. Although the festival highlights and promotes documentaries of all kinds, particular attention is paid to films created by women, Indigenous filmmakers, Asian filmmakers and members of the LGBTQI community.

We don’t know about you, but we’re particularly excited to check out all the Australian films that will be playing at the MDFF… So we’ve listed them all below!

Australian Documentaries Playing at the MDFF


Theme: Melbourne Stories #1 + Masterclass

Date: Saturday 7th July 2018, Doors Open 11.30am, Start 12pm

Venue: 1 Yarra St, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia

 War Mothers

Directed by: Stefan Bugryn

Description: War Mothers is the story of three women: Galina, Svetlana, and Yulia. They live in the town of Zaporizhia, which is along the eastern front of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Big in Japan

Directed by: Louis Dai, David Elliot-Jones and Lachlan Mcleod

Description: After hearing about the huge demand for foreign talent in Japan, ‘ordinary Melbourne guy’ Dave sets out on an outrageous mission to understand fame.

*The screening of War Mothers and Big in Japan will be followed by a Q&A and Masterclass by FanForce and Pozible on crowd funding and distribution for documentary filmmakers.

Theme: Geopolitics

Date: Saturday 7th July 2018, Doors Open 2:45pm, Starts: 3.13pm

Venue: 1 Yarra St, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia

Disaster Capitalism

Directed by: Thor Neureiter

Description: A story that reveals the underbelly of the global aid and investment industry. It’s a complex web of interests that spans the earth from powerful nations and multinational corporations to tribal and village leaders. This film offers unique insights into a multi-billion dollar world by investigating how aid dollars are spent.


Directed by: Timothy George Kelly

Description: Why did Great Britain vote to leave the EU? Ex-pat Melbourne filmmaker Timothy George Kelly’s film explores the wider issues behind the shock move from both competing perspectives.

Theme: EDM Docs

Date: 8th July 2018 Doors Open at 6.30pm Starts at 7pm

Venue: 7-11 Dawson St, Brunswick VIC 3056, Australia

Decks and the City

Directed by: Glen J Scrymgour

Description: Decks and the City is a documentary that explores the passion for electronic music within the nightlife scene and the obstacles that DJs, producers, venue owners and patrons face from lawmakers and a conservative society.

Theme: Sports Docs / Aussie Shorts

 Date: 10h July 2018 Doors Open at 6.30pm, Starts at 7pm

Venue: 23 Meyers Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

New Island Home

Directed by: Amy Pysden & Daniel Clarke

Description: Dudley United Football Club was on the brink of extinction; its A-Grade side sitting on the bottom of the ladder and player numbers at an all-time low. In desperation, the small Kangaroo Island club enlisted the help of legendary AFL recruiter John Turnbull and together they hatched a unique plan that would change the island forever.

Aussie Shorts

 Safe Spaces

Directed by: Lyndal Redman

Description: Follows the journey of Paul and Sue. Paul was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at the age of 37. He and Sue were forced to give up their lives in Melbourne and return to Adelaide to be closer to family.

Act of Translation

Directed by: Irene Metter

Description: International students from diverse backgrounds and life circumstances tentatively start to attend free workshops (mostly due to a great supply of alternating pizza and dumplings), put on by City of Melbourne in an attempt to address social isolation.

Trump Antidote

Directed by: Aidan Prewitt

Description: Is there anything we can do to confront the rising tide of Donald Trump?

But Honey You Look Fine

Directed by: Jennifer Leonforte

Description: Follows the first steps to recovery that Gabby must take in her self-authored take on life with an eating disorder.

Pocket Picking

Directed by: Henry Simmons

Description: Through the personal stories and experiences of three young men, Pocket Picking explores some of the ways young men in New South Wales perceive gambling and the ways it is embedded in their lives.

Theme: Australian Art Docs

 Date: 13th July 2018, Doors Open at 6.30pm, Starts 7pm

Venue: 318 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North VIC 3068, Australia

Life is Art

Directed by: Oksana Sokol

Description: A homage to the creative principles of one of Russia’s most extraordinary contemporary artists, Anatol Brusilovsky – a collagist, an inventor and a lover of life.

Black Anzac – Directors Cut

Directed by: Tim Anastasi

Description: A film about Australian artist Hego’s journey, telling an under-told story of Australian history through a mural in the Indigenous heart of Sydney – a story of a WW1 Aboriginal soldier of colossal proportions and its positive impacts on the wider community.

Kings of Baxter

Directed by: Jack Yabley and Claire Evans

Description: An engaging, touching and at times funny documentary following juvenile justice detainees as they create a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Theme: Social Justice Docs

Date: 14th July 2018 Doors Open at 11.30am, Starts 12pm

Venue: Backlot Cinemas 65 Haig St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

 Risking Light

Directed by: Dawn Mikkelson

Description: From the streets of Minneapolis, the aboriginal lands of Australia, and the killing fields of Cambodia, three people with the courage to step out of a tragic dark past, risking everything to reach the light of their own compassion.

A Crude Injustice

Directed by: Jane Hammond

Description: Focuses on the aftermath of Australia’s biggest offshore oil disaster on the people of West Timor.

Theme: Melbourne Stories #2

Date: 14th July 2018 Doors open at 2.45pm, Starts AT 3.15pm

Venue: Backlot Cinemas 65 Haig St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

Fish Out of Water

Directed by: Israel Cannan

Description: The extraordinary story of two ordinary men from Mornington who set out to cross the North Atlantic Ocean – in a wooden row boat.

Bam Bam

Directed by: Jemma van Loenen

Description: Two time Australian Flyweight champion, Bianca ‘Bam Bam’ Elmir aims to be the first Australian to win a World Amateur Boxing Championship. A Lebanese Muslim girl from suburban Australia, she smashes the stereotypes of her family, society and her sport, to prove she is the best in the world.

Finding the Line

Directed by: Bjarne Salén

Description: Australian Olympian and X Games Slopestyle champion Anna Segal, and her Freeride World Tour big mountain skiing sister Nat Segal, use their extreme skiing to understand fear and how it manifests in the two siblings’ lives.

Theme: Closing Night: Rock Docs

Date: 14th July 2018, Doors Open at 6.30pm, Starts at 7pm

Venue: 65 Haig St, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia

Turn It Up, Finding Sydney’s Sound

Directed by: Samantha Holder & Nathan Richman

Description: So, what does the live music scene in Sydney look like today, where do artists go to perform, or is the Sydney scene dead? Take a look at Sydney’s sound then and now.

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will run from the July 6 – 14, 2018. To check out all the themes and films that will be playing, head to the MDFF website.

Get Tix for the MDFF Here

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