Hamer Hall will once again host the opening night with the world premiere of the new Australian feature The Death and Life of Otto Bloom. The film was written and directed by Victorian filmmaker Cris Jones who first took part in MIFF in 2003 when his VCA graduating film Excursion screened in the festival’s short film program.
Across 18 days, Australia’s biggest film event will celebrate the silver screen, and beyond, with a program that includes 345 films, forums and talks and a special virtual reality program which will bring audiences and filmmakers up close to the technology and ideas that are set to transform the screen experience.
Melbourne audiences will be the first to see several films that have been brought to the screen through the Victorian Government supported MIFF Premiere Fund including Ella - which follows the journey of The Australian Ballet’s first Indigenous dancer and Monsieur Mayonnaise which explores the history of Melbourne’s Mora family.
Jocelyn Moorhouse, Director of 2015’s blockbuster The Dressmaker, will be a guest of the festival when it hosts a special 25th anniversary screening of her 1991 feature Proof. The film, which has recently been restored, is renowned for launching Moorhouse - along with stars Russell Crowe and Hugo Weaving - to the world.
Beyond screenings, MIFF is also dedicated to making films happen through the 37º South Market, a film financing event that brings Australian and New Zealand producers together with local and international financing partners; and Accelerator, a workshop and screening program which showcases and develops upcoming directing talent.
The opening of MIFF caps off an exciting week for the screen sector, following the announcement the Victorian Government is investing $1 million in five new screen projects through Film Victoria’s latest funding round. The projects will create an estimated 200 employment opportunities and inject almost $11 million into the Victorian economy.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley
“Victorians love the screen, so it’s no wonder that we are home to Australia’s oldest and largest film event – its part of what makes us a creative state.”
“This year MIFF offers an outstanding selection of local and international films. It also provides a platform for new Victorian projects to get off the ground, creating new jobs in our screen sector.”
“Our Creative State strategy includes initiatives to strengthen our screen sector. Investing in MIFF is one way we are delivering on this goal. I look forward to seeing where the festival takes us in the next 65 years, and beyond.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020