MIFF announces record-breaking program

Words by Sasha Gattermayr

The largest film festival in the southern hemisphere returns.

The camaraderie of MIFF is electric. Last year, during a screening of Three Identical Strangers at a sold-out Athenaeum, a man in his mid-sixties who was also attending solo told me this was his twentieth film this week. His wife was currently at the screening of an Iranian documentary down the road and they were meeting up afterwards for dinner. The festival was their favourite time of year and they tried to schedule four films per day on their unlimited festival passes.

Later that week, I spotted the same man and a woman who was presumably his wife at a three-hour long documentary about the New York Public Library at the Forum on Flinders Street. I didn’t say hello, but a warm feeling fuzzed inside me knowing my first film festival friendship had sprouted in the serendipitous way I’d been told it would: recognising familiar faces shuffling between venues along the Hoddle Grid.

Equal parts grassroots community and rabid cinephile fanbase, MIFF devotees gathered last night for the launch of the 2019 program, which includes a record-breaking 44 films direct from Cannes.

Highlights include the Australian premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s latest and last film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the highly-anticipated Adam Goodes documentary, Jim Jarmusch’s star-studded zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die, a Jeff Goldblum marathon, and Lulu Wang’s critically acclaimed The Farewell starring Awkwafina taking out the Closing Night Gala.

The festival’s virtual reality program returns alongside newly slated festival series, Environmental Documentaries, and The World Online which showcases the filmmakers navigating the frontiers of the Internet as it pervades our present and shapes our futures.

You can browse the full program here. Tickets go on sale Friday July 12.


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