By Erin Free

“We’re so excited to launch this year’s MIFF program, which offers abundant opportunities for festival goers to get out of their comfort zones,” says Melbourne Film Festival artistic director, Michelle Carey. “In 2016, we’ve cast our nets wider than ever with a huge programme ranging from an eight-hour Filipino opus to Poland’s first horror-mermaid-musical. And in a very special program, MIFF audiences can also enjoy technologically advanced filmmaking during our not-to-be-missed Virtual Reality experiences. There is much that is new at MIFF this year , including our exciting new section, Headliners, and a deep exploration of what’s new and what’s next in virtual reality,” says Melbourne Film Festival artistic director, Michelle Carey. “But then there are the films! 2016 is proving to be a massively strong year in features, docs, shorts, and local productions that impress in their breadth. Come explore with us!”

Set to play out from July 28 through to August 14, The Melbourne International Film Festival is always one of the key engagements on any film lover’s cinematic calendar, and this year looks to be another belter for the fest. MIFF will be opening with the Aussie flick, The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom, starring Xavier Samuel, which will usher in a whole host of tasty delights, including the centrepiece screening of Abe Forsythe’s hilariously incendiary Down Under. There are also high-profile international auteurs on board, with new works from Ben Wheatley (High Rise), Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women), Werner Herzog(Lo And Behold: Reveries Of The Connected World), Mia Hansen-Love (Things To Come), Terence Davies (Sunset Song), and Jason Reitman (Roast Battle), along with a literal horde of documentary features (yep, this is your chance to see the already notorious Tickled) and shorts (including one by Danny De Vito). The festival will close with the Cannes hit, Hell Or High Water, a gripping neo-Western directed by David Mackenzie (Starred Up, Young Adam), written by Sicario scribe, Taylor Sheridan, and starring Chris Pine, Ben Foster, and Jeff Bridges.

Abe Forsythe's Down Under
Abe Forsythe’s Down Under

There will also be some choice Aussie content, with director, Rosemary Myers, and actor/writer, Matt Whittet, presenting their feature, Girl Asleep, a wonderfully eccentric modern day fairytale about female adolescence; the taut thriller, Bad Girl;  the documentaries, Ella and The Family; director Rowan Woods and actor David Wenham will be guests of the festival on behalf of The Boys, which will screen in a newly restored print coinciding with a national conversation around violence against women; and, presented in association with The National Film And Sound Archive, will be the 25th anniversary restoration-screening of MIFF guest Jocelyn Moorhouse’s debut feature, Proof, in which special festival guest, Hugo Weaving, stars alongside a fresh faced Rusty Crowe.

For all information on The Melbourne International Film Festival, head to the official website.


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