Melbourne International Film Festival 2024 program details
The Falling (image - MIFF)

Melbourne International Film Festival 2024 program details

Melbourne International Film Festival 2024 program details – Beloved cultural event, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), has tonight shared its impressive 2024 program of over 250 features, shorts and XR experiences landing across Melbourne, around Victoria and online Australia-wide this August.

Running 8-25 August, this year’s film line-up boasts a world class roster of international features, a assembly of stellar World Premiere local titles and a comprehensive shorts collection alongside immersive XR experiences, curated retrospectives, insightful talks, one-off special events and international guest
appearances.

Following tonight’s Program Launch event presented by Yering Station, Artistic Director, Al Cossar, said:

“Here it is – the big moment of our annual reveal, packed with anticipation, discovery, a celebration of all things cinema. This year’s MIFF program features over 250 films, with more than 400 sessions across 18 days, bringing together incredible Australian filmmaking, world cinema, drama, comedy, horror, animation, bold experimentation – things you’ve been waiting months to see, and others you never thought you’d get a chance to.

The MIFF program this year, like every year, is a multi-faceted festival of cinematic excess, designed to delight, and sure to bring out the best in your imaginations. We’re thrilled to welcome audiences back – come along and settle in for all too many movies at Melbourne’s favourite binge this Winter!”

This evening’s announcement has also revealed the full slate of films screening in competition for MIFF’s flagship prize, the MIFF Bright Horizons Award, presented by VicScreen. Recognising first and second-time filmmakers, the prize awards $140,000 to a filmmaker on the ascent, making it the richest feature film prize in the Southern Hemisphere. Across a prize pool of over $300,000, the MIFF Awards and
MIFF Shorts Awards include a number of further categories with nominees to be revealed later this month.

Premier of Victoria Jacinta Allan, said:

“Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia – we’re proud to support the nation’s largest film festival which brings film lovers to Melbourne and the regions and highlights Victoria’s leading role in the film industry.”

Alongside many of the Bright Horizons competition directors, MIFF will host visiting creatives from Australia and around the world to introduce and discuss their films at in-cinema Q&A sessions, panel events and other public appearances. International guests attending the festival include British
screenwriter and director Luna Carmoon, award-winning Latvian animator Gints Zilbalodis and American filmmaker, poet, and photographer Raven Jackson.

As previously announced, Adam Elliot’s Memoir of a Snail will make its Australian Premiere as the Opening Night Gala feature film on Thursday 8 August. Returning to MIFF some twenty odd years since winning his Oscar for Harvie Krumpet – and twenty one years since that same short opened MIFF in
2003 – Elliot’s latest hand-made wonder is a fitting hometown curtain raiser.

With a cavalcade of local stars including Sarah Snook, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Magda Szubanski, Eric Bana and Jacki Weaver lending their voices to the production, the much anticipated claymation was recently named Best Feature at this year’s Annecy International Animation Festival in France.

Other special events include the MIFF Family Gala presentation of Robert Connolly’s Magic Beach, adapted from the Alison Lester classic; the Music on Film Gala showcase of Warren Ellis documentary Ellis Park by Justin Kurzel; and the inaugural MIFF Premiere with Purpose presented by DECJUBA which
will debut Shannon Owen’s Left Write Hook.

Popping up in theatres statewide, the MIFF Regional showcase brings some of the festival’s must-see titles to audiences further afield across the weekends of 16-18 August and 23-25 August.

Meanwhile, MIFF Online – streaming via ACMI offers digital access Australia-wide to a limited selection of festival highlights from 9-25 August.

Alongside MIFF Premiere Fund supported titles Memoir of a Snail, Left Write Hook, Ellis Park and Magic Beach, the 2024 PFF line-up will include female-fronted skateboarding doco, Queens of Concrete directed by Eliza Cox and presented by Rydges Melbourne; Natalie Bailey’s pitch-black comedy Audrey; and the World Premiere of the Charles Williams-directed prison drama, Inside, which will also screen in competition as part of Bright Horizons.

With so many films screening across the 18-day event, attendees may have a hard time choosing a favourite. However there is good reason to do so this year, with festival goers given the chance to win an Intrepid trip for two to Vietnam just by voting for their top pick in the Intrepid Audience Award.

BRIGHT HORIZONS COMPETITION AND AWARD

Screening in competition at MIFF, the 2024 Bright Horizons films showcase an exciting array of innovative and compelling cinematic works from ten exceptional filmmakers on the rise.

In Good One, the revelatory debut from India Donaldson, a simple camping trip in the Catskills evolves into a life-changing experience. Breakout star Lily Collias delivers a stellar performance as the seventeen-year-old Sam who is roped along on a trip with her divorced father and his also divorced friend.

Soon enough, competing egos come to the surface and just as Sam learns uncomfortable truths about them, so too does she discover where, and how, she’ll draw the line.

Inspired by Ken Russell and other British filmmakers of the 1960s and 70s, Luna Carmoon’s Hoard appears in competition at MIFF having scooped four prizes at Venice Critics’ Week. Starring newcomer Saura Lightfoot Leon and Stranger Things’ Joseph Quinn, this intimate and at times confronting coming-of-age
feature is centred on Maria, a young woman grappling with the grief, trauma and hoarding tendencies imposed by her mother.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker’s debut film is a sublime mother– daughter tale that pays extraordinary attention to the ordinary. Over the course of one early 90s summer in Massachusetts, hyper-needy 11-year-old Lacy (Zoe Ziegler) comes to terms with the riddle that is her mother, Janet (Julianne Nicholson, Monos, MIFF 2019).

Collaborating with cinematographer Maria von Hausswolff, who shoots on 16mm, Baker imbues her debut with a warm nostalgia that bathes her characters in an almost surreal haze. Presented by Letterboxd, Janet Planet is a certain marvel.

Belgian director Leonardo Van Dijl’s Julie Keeps Quiet tracks a young tennis prodigy who is teetering on the brink of athletic stardom when her coach at a prestigious training academy is accused of misconduct.

With its mood of roiling tension beneath watchful stillness, this incisive character portrait premiered to
acclaim at Cannes Critics’ Week, where it won the Critics’ Week (SACD) Award.

Real-life tennis player Tessa Vanden Broeck delivers an impressively poised performance in her first acting role, making Julie’s vulnerable interiority powerfully eloquent despite her outward stoicism.

The desperate absurdities of colonisation are laid bare in the acidic Sweet Dreams, the assured second film from Bosnian-Dutch filmmaker Ena Sendijarević, which took home Locarno’s Best Performance Award for lead actor Renée Soutendijk. Intent on subverting the conventional period drama, this satire about a Dutch family’s fallout following the death of their wealthy patriarch contronts the Netherlands’ colonial trespasses with dark humour, lurid colours and the confining Academy aspect ratio, building to what Sendijarević has dubbed a “horrific fairytale.”

In a reimagined Winnipeg that looks a lot like 1980s Iran – just with a lot more turkeys and Kleenex factories – two young kids find a banknote, leading them on an odyssey that takes them out of childhood and into the unforgiving world of adults. Calling Universal Language an “autobiographical hallucination”
drawn from a love-hate relationship with his hometown, writer-director Matthew Rankin (who also plays himself in the film), brings the best of Iranian cinema to Canada’s most beige city in this delightful cross-cultural comedy.

Hope and familial bonds thrive in dangerous conditions in the groundbreaking The Village Next to Paradise – the first ever Somali film to screen at Cannes.

Selected for Un Certain Regard, the affecting debut feature from Mo Harawe (Will My Parents Come to See Me, MIFF 2022) follows a makeshift family living in a cramped one-bedroom apartment in a small fishing village as they try to carve out a better life for themselves and together. Vividly rendered through
Harawe’s rich visual language, The Village Next to Paradise is a gentle portrayal of survival in a country racked by instability and violence.

Flow, the striking animated allegory from Latvian filmmaker Gints Zilbalodis (Away), also arrives from Cannes Un Certain Regard to screen in competition at MIFF. In this wordless wonder, a menagerie of animals adrift on a boat must work together to survive a catastrophic flood. Having recently notched up four awards at Annecy International Animation Festival, this poignant parable for our climate-catastrophe times, Flow showcases an ascendant master hitting his stride.

With absurdist humour and playfully surrealist imagery, the disarmingly funny On Becoming a Guinea Fowl rages at a middle-class Zambian family’s shameful silence in the wake of the death of one of their own. Rungano Nyoni follows her acclaimed directorial debut I Am Not a Witch (MIFF 2017) with another
formally adventurous Zambian feminist social critique – this one winning the Best Director prize in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

Executive-produced by Thomas M. Wright (The Stranger, MIFF 2022) and supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, Inside is the impressive first feature from Short Film Palme d’Or winner Charles Williams.

Shot in Melbourne and regional Victoria, the film showcases a trio of powerhouse performances – from Universal Language

Vincent Miller in his debut role, to a transformative turn from Cosmo Jarvis (Shōgun), to Guy Pearce (who also appears in The Shrouds, MIFF 2024) as a man seeing out a life sentence – in this prison-set portrait that poignantly examines the complex interplay between incarceration, rehabilitation and remorse.

Media Release – Melbourne International Film Festival

Melbourne International Film Festival 2024 program details

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Melbourne International Film Festival 2024 program details

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