The 66th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) marks the 10th year of the festival’s Premiere Fund, an initiative designed to bring new Australian quality theatrical feature films to MIFF. Over the past decade, 56 projects have been invested in, including the 2017 slate.
This year sees six features make their debuts at the festival, including:
The Butterfly Tree, from debut director Priscilla Cameron and producer Bridget Callow-Wright. Melissa George (The Good Wife), Ewen Leslie (The Daughter), Ed Oxenbould (Paper Planes), and Sophie Lowe (The Slap) star in a magical realist coming-of-age tale.
The Song Keepers, directed by Naina Sen, looks at the work and legacy of the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir, an incredible story about a hidden musical legacy of ancient Aboriginal languages and German baroque songs.
Have You Seen the Listers? by director Eddie Martin (Lionel, All This Mayhem) is a moving personal account of the rise of Australia’s most renowned street artist.
Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy, director Ben Strunin looks Yolngu elder Djalu Gurruwiwi’s quest to pass his people’s ancient songlines and culture to the next generation – with a little help from global pop star Gotye.
Rabbit, by director Luke Shanahan, stars Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby) as a medical student, Maude, haunted by visions of her twin sister’s violent abduction. Convinced that she is still alive, Maude follows the clues to a derelict caravan park where she discovers that her fate is intrinsically linked to that of her sister.
Jungle, from Wolf Creek director Greg McLean, is MIFF’s opening night film this year. Daniel Radcliffe stars in this tense and frequently harrowing true tale of survival , based on the real life experiences of adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg.
What’s more, MIFF is pulling out three great films from the Premiere Fund vaults for retrospective screenings:
Balibo, Robert Connolly’s riveting account of the fate of the Balibo Five, journalists who were murdered during Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor.
Bastardy, director Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s impressionistic portrait of indigenous arts personality Jack Charles.
Blessed, Ana Kokkinos’ sprawling family drama starring Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto, Deborra-Lee Furness, William McInnes, Sophie Lowe, Harrison Gilbertson and Reef Ireland.
The Festival will also host a mini-exhibition of stills from this year’s Premiere Fund films.
Other films that have benefited from the Premiere Fund over the last decade include Paper Planes, Make Hummus Not War, The Turning, Galore, Bran Nue Dae, Monsieur Mayonnaise, Emo The Musical, These Final Hours, Electric Boogaloo, Not Quite Hollywood, Cut Snake, Downriver, Bran Nue Dae, The Loved Ones, and Putuparri & The Rainmakers.
“We are so proud of the films that have come through the Fund over the last 10 years and we take our hat off to the talented filmmakers that we have the privilege of working with,” said MIFF Premiere Fund Executive Producer Mark Woods.
The 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival runs from August 3 – 20, with the full program launching on July 11. For full info on all the films supported by the Premiere Fund over the years, including links to purchase many of them on iTunes, head over to the official page.