The dark cloud of COVID-19 has cast a long shadow of the world’s film festivals, but most have managed to quickly pivot and shake up their business models, refashioning themselves into solely online affairs. And while the ticket sales and one-off event nature of these festivals may have been lost, it means that they will hopefully be able to survive and continue on as we start to take the road out of the mess wrought by the coronavirus. One benefit for audiences, however, is that the film festivals of Australia are – for the time being – no longer regional: it doesn’t matter whether you live on Oxford Street or Acland Street, for instance, to enjoy The St. Kilda Film Festival this year.
Like the rest of the Aussie festival cohort, The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will also be heading online this year, while also offering up a whole host of tempting true life cinematic treats. Films will be available to stream through the Eventive platform from June 30, and the highlights are many and varied. There are docos for movie and music lovers (the John Carpenter-narrated The Rise Of The Synths, which tracks the thriving “synthwave” movement; Forman Vs Forman, a portrait piece on legendary director, Milos Forman; and the stellar rock doc, The Swans: Where Does A Body End?); deeply human stories (Higher Love, which follows a struggling blue-collar factory man striving to be a better father than his own, who abandoned him at childhood; Paradise Without People, about two women navigating motherhood while seeking asylum); portrait pieces (Wongar, about Serbian-Australian writer B. Wongar “Sreten Bozic”; The Walrus And The Whistleblower, about Phil Demers, ex-trainer at Marineland, whistleblower, animal activist and walrus whisperer); historical works (Strangers To The World examines the lives of Etty Hillesum and Franz Jaegerstaetter, who stood their ground against the Nazi oppressors in Europe in 1943 and suffered with their lives); and contemporary curios (The Pick Up Game details the billion dollar industry that has developed that teaches men how to manipulate women into bed; Cryptorush is the first documentary about cryptocurrency and blockchain explained from a female perspective).
The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival is always the reel deal, and this year, we can all get amongst it…
For all information about how to view the films playing at The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (which runs from June 30-July 15), head to the official website.