Melbourne International Film Festival

Last updated

Melbourne International Film Festival
MIFF logo
Location Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
No. of films300 (approx.)
Website Official website

The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is an annual film festival held over three weeks in Melbourne, Australia. It was founded in 1952 and is one of the oldest film festivals in the world following the founding of the Venice Film Festival in 1932, Cannes Film Festival in 1939 and Berlin Film Festival in 1951. Originally launched at Olinda outside Melbourne in 1952 as the Olinda Film Festival, in 1953, the event was renamed the Melbourne Film Festival. It held this title over many decades before transforming in the Melbourne International Film Festival. [1] MIFF is one of Melbourne's four major film festivals, in addition to the Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF), Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) and Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF). Erwin Rado (1914 - 1988) was the Melbourne Film Festival's iconic director appointed in 1956. The Australian Dictionary of Biography notes Mr Rado was the Festival's first paid director and also shaped its character with his 'uncompromising drive for excellence'. He served as MIFF Director until 1980, returning to stage the 1983 event. Other notable Directors include Tait Brady, Sandra Sdraulig, James Hewison, Artistic Director Michelle Carey and current AD, Al Cossar appointed 2018. [2]



Established in 1952, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is one of the oldest film festivals in the world and has become the most notable screen event in Australia. An iconic Melbourne event, the festival takes place annually in various theatres in the Melbourne CBD, presenting an acclaimed screening program including films from local and international filmmakers, alongside industry events.


MIFF is the largest film festival in both Australia and the southern hemisphere, and is Australia's largest showcase of new Australian cinema. The 2012 festival generated A$8 million for the Victorian economy. [1] [3] [4]

As of 2013, the festival is accredited by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, [5] the Australian Film Institute [6] and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. [5]

As of 2013, the festival's CEO is Maria Amato, Carey is the Artistic Director and Mark Woods is MIFF's Industry Director/Executive Producer. [7]


The MIFF Opening Night Gala and film screenings take place in the Arts Centre Melbourne's Hamer Hall Hamer Hall interior pano.jpg
The MIFF Opening Night Gala and film screenings take place in the Arts Centre Melbourne's Hamer Hall

In 2013, the festival program consisted of the following categories:


The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is a main venue for screenings and the 37oSouth Market Australian Centre for the Moving Image.jpg
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image is a main venue for screenings and the 37ºSouth Market

The festival is conducted across various venues located in Melbourne and in 2013 the following venues were used: Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Forum Theatre, Greater Union Cinemas, Mandala Festival Wine Bar, Hoyts Melbourne Central, the Arts Centre Melbourne, Kino Cinemas, Wheeler Centre, Village Roadshow Theatrette, and Speakeasy Cinema. [9]

37ºSouth Market

The 37ºSouth Market is the only international film financing marketplace to take place during a film festival in Australia or New Zealand (NZ). The event occurs during the opening days of the festival and is a forum for around 45 invited sales agents/distributors to meet with up to 100 pre-selected Australian and NZ producers who are seeking co-financing support. As of 2013, the 37ºSouth Market is also the exclusive partner of the London's Production Finance Market (PFM) for Australia and NZ. As of 2013, the 37ºSouth Market has attracted companies such as: Studio Canal, Wild Bunch, Paramount Pictures, BBC Films, HanWay, Independent, Miramax Films, Visit, Bankside, The Works, eOne, Cargo, West End, Aver, Level K. [10]

Film Competitions

Since 1962, MIFF has staged a short film competition, as well as numerous feature film award categories. [11] It also presents audience popularity awards for feature film and documentary. [11] The festival's inaugural award was 'Best Short Film', but the title was changed to 'Grand Prix for Best Short Film' in 1965. [11] From 1985 onwards, the Grand Prix has been officially presented by the City of Melbourne. [11]

The Forum Theatre is a main venue for the short film competition, as well as festival panels and lectures Forum Theatre Melbourne.jpg
The Forum Theatre is a main venue for the short film competition, as well as festival panels and lectures

Feature film awards

Short film awards

As of 2013, the MIFF short film awards are accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), and winners in the Best Short, Best Fiction, Best Animation and Best Documentary categories are eligible to submit their films for Academy Award consideration. The judges for the 2013 MIFF short film awards were Lorin Clarke, Michael Matrenza and Ramona Telecican. [12]

Winners of Grand Prix for Best Short Film

1965La gazza ladraGiulio Giannini, Emanuele Luzzati Italy
1966The InheritanceHarold MayerUnited States
1967Petrol-Carburant-KraftstoffHugo Niebeling West Germany
1968You're Human Like the Rest of Them B. S. Johnson UK
1969 Pas de deux Norman McLaren Canada
1970Calcutta Louis Malle France
1971 Blake Bill Mason Canada
1972ScarabusGérald FrydmanBelgium
1973 Street Musique Ryan Larkin Canada
1974Edward BurraPeter K. SmithUK
1975 Last Grave at Dimbaza Nana Mahamo South Africa
1976Leisure Bruce Petty Australia
1977Corralejas de SincelejoMario Mitrotti Colombia
1978Manimals Robin Lehman United States
1979MaljAleksandar Ilic Yugoslavia
1980Interview Caroline Leaf Canada
1981New York StoryJackie RaynalUnited States
1982ShadowsRoyden IrvineAustralia
1983Douglas Mawson: The Survivor David Parer Australia
1984Aquí se lo hallaLee SokolUnited States
1985In Heaven There Is No Beer? Les Blank United States
1986My Life Without SteveGillian LeahyAustralia
1987Panya shugekiNaoto YamakawaJapan
1988The Critical YearsGérard L'EcuyerCanada/United States
1989Twilight CityReece AuguisteUK
1990SwimmingBelinda ChaykoAustralia
1991Sink or Swim Su Friedrich United States
1992The Writing in the Sand Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen UK
1993Lektionen in Finsternis Werner Herzog Germany
1994 Only the Brave Ana Kokkinos Australia
1995Twilight Tengai Amano Japan
1996BakaThierry KnauffBelgium
1997 At Sea Penny Fowler-SmithAustralia
1998The Storekeeper Gavin Hood South Africa
1999So-poong Song Il-gon South Korea
2000WildlifeKate de PuryUK
2001MuakahHadar FriedlichIsrael
2002Palace II Kátia Lund, Fernando Meirelles Brazil
2003DestinoDominique MonferyFrance
2004Talking with AngelsYousaf Ali KhanUK
2005Silent CompanionElham Hosseinzadeh Iran
2006AvatarLluis QuilezSpain
2007Blood SistersLouise N.D. FriedbergDenmark
2008 Dennis Mads MatthiesenDenmark
2009 Next Floor Denis Villeneuve, Phoebe GreenbergCanada
2010 The Lost Thing Shaun Tan, Andrew RuhemannAustralia
2011A Fine Young Man Kevan Funk Canada
2012It’s Not A Cowboy MovieBenjamin ParentFrance
2013PandasMatúš Vizár Czech Republic
2014The QueenBenjamin Parent Argentina
2015Everything Will Be OKPatrick VollrathGermany
2016Mrs MetroAggelos PapantoniouAustralia


Breakaway film festival (2000)

In 2000, MIFF's rejection of a feature film written and directed by Richard Wolstencroft led him to form the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF). In subsequent years, MUFF has attracted controversy by criticising the content of MIFF, as well as its management, specifically the leadership of former directors. MUFF sees itself as a space for exciting and edgy Australian cinema that may not be played at MIFF. [13] [14]

Looking for Eric (2009)

In June 2009, Ken Loach, Paul Laverty (writer) and Rebecca O'Brien (producer) pulled their film Looking for Eric from the festival because the Israeli Embassy was a sponsor and the festival declined to withdraw their sponsorship. Moore compared Loach's tactics to blackmail, stating that "we will not participate in a boycott against the State of Israel, just as we would not contemplate boycotting films from China or other nations involved in difficult long-standing historical disputes". [15]

Uyghur film (2009)

During the 58th festival in 2009, the film The 10 Conditions of Love (2009), which documents the life of the exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer, was screened despite many attempts by the Government of China to have the film withdrawn from the festival. Chinese filmmakers withdrew their films from the festival two days before it opened on 24 July 2009. [16] Former MIFF director Richard Moore refused to remove the film from the festival program, [17] despite the hacking of the festival website and attempts to hack its online ticketing system from IP addresses of Chinese origin. Later, both pro-Chinese and pro-Uyghur activists attempted to disrupt ticketing due to the media coverage. [18] [19] [20] The Chinese Government contacted Robert Doyle, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne asking him to intervene, [21] but he refused. Australia's Ambassador to China Geoff Raby was summoned by China's Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun to express displeasure about Kadeer's attendance at MIFF. [22]

Victoria Police was placed on alert during the screening of the film and Pro-Uighur demonstrators also gathered outside the Melbourne Town Hall, [21] and the Dalai Lama sent a message of support via Michael Danby, the MP for Melbourne Ports: [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sydney Film Festival</span> Annual film festival held in Sydney, Australia

The Sydney Film Festival is an annual competitive film festival held in Sydney, Australia, usually over 12 days in June. A number of awards are given, the top one being the Sydney Film Prize.

Timothy Burstall AM was an English Australian film director, writer and producer, best known for hit Australian movie Alvin Purple (1973) and its sequel Alvin Rides Again (1974).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Adelaide Film Festival</span> Film festival in Adelaide, South Australia

The Adelaide Film Festival is film festival usually held for two weeks in mid-October in cinemas in Adelaide, South Australia. Originally presented biennially in March from 2003, since 2013 AFF has been held in October. Subject to funding, the festival has staged full or briefer events in alternating years; some form of event has taken place every year since 2015. From 2022 it takes place annually. It has a strong focus on local South Australian and Australian produced content, with the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund (AFFIF) established to fund investment in Australian films.

Clara Law Cheuk-yiu is a Hong Kong Second Wave film director. Law currently resides in Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ivan Sen</span> Australian filmmaker

Ivan Sen is an Indigenous Australian filmmaker. He is a director, screenwriter and cinematographer, as well as an editor, composer and sound designer. He is co-founder and director of Bunya Productions.

The Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) is an Austalian independent film festival featuring mostly genre, controversial, transgressive and avant garde material.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Leeds International Film Festival</span> Film festival

The Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) is the largest film festival in England outside London. Founded in 1987, it is held in November at various venues throughout Leeds, West Yorkshire. In 2015, the festival welcomed over 40,000 visitors and showed over 300 films from around the world, shorts and features, both commercial and independent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nathan Christoffel</span>

Nathan Christoffel is an Australian film director from Byron Bay, New South Wales.

Perfect Life is a 2008 Chinese-Hong Kong film by Emily Tang and produced by director Jia Zhangke and his company, Xstream Pictures. The film mixes elements of dramatic fiction and documentary film.

Dominic Allen is an Australian director and producer whose work includes short and feature films, music videos, commercials, and television documentaries.

Listapad, also known as Minsk International Film Festival (MIFF) or Minsk International Film Festival Listapad, is an annual film festival which takes place in November in Minsk, Belarus. It is the largest such festival in Belarus.

Jayan K. Cherian is an Indian poet filmmaker who lives in New York City, US. He used to write in Malayalam and English languages. His documentary film Shape of the Shapeless got wide popularity on Many film festivals like International festival circuit, The International Film Festival of South Africa, as well as several festivals in North America. It won the Silver Jury Prize at the San Francisco Short Film Festival 2010, the Eastman Kodak award for Best Cinematography, and City Visions 2010 award for Best Documentary. Graduated with honors from Hunter College, BA in Film and Creative Writing and MFA from The City College of New York in Writing Directing Film, and Cinematography. Ka Bodyscapes (2016) is his new feature film, Papilio Buddha (2013), his critically acclaimed debut feature film, was screened in the Panorama Section at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. He made several experimental documentaries and narrative shorts such as: Shape of the Shapeless (2010) Love in the Time of Foreclosure (2009), Hidden Things (2009), Soul of Solomon (2008), Capturing the Signs of God (2008), Holy Mass (2007), Tree of Life (2007), Simulacra the Reality of the Unreal (2007), The Inner Silence of the Tumult (2007), Hid-entity (2007), and Tandava the Dance of Dissolution(2006).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Amiel Courtin-Wilson</span>

Amiel Courtin-Wilson is an Australian filmmaker. He has directed over 20 short films and several feature films. His debut feature film, Hail, premiered internationally at Venice Film Festival in 2011. He is also a musician, music producer, and visual artist.

Shark Island Productions is a documentary film production company based in Sydney, Australia, established in 2001 by Ian Darling. creates extensive education, outreach and community engagement campaigns with its films. It is the production arm of Shark Island Institute.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Pike</span> Australian film historian

Dr. Andrew Pike, OAM is an Australian film historian, film distributor and exhibitor, and documentary producer and director. Pike formed Ronin Films, an Australian film distribution company, with his first wife, Dr Merrilyn Fitzpatrick, in 1974. With Ross Cooper, he co-authored the book, Reference Guide to Australian Films 1906–1969 and has produced and directed many documentaries since 1982. Pike has been honoured with numerous awards including a plaque on the ACT Honour Walk in Canberra City, appointed of the Order of Australia (OAM) and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Canberra.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kamar Ahmad Simon</span>

Kamar Ahmad Simon is a Bangladeshi filmmaker. He was featured as red carpet director in Piazza Grande at Locarno and has won various awards including the prestigious Harrell Award at CIFF (Camden), Grand Prix at Cinéma du Réel (Paris), Open Doors Award and Arte International Prix at Locarno, Golden Conch at MIFF (Mumbai), grants from Sundance, IDFA-Bertha and WCF/ Berlinale. He has been a jury of the Sydney International Film Festival for the Australian segment, La Bibliothèque publique d’information (BPI) France, Johns Hopkins University USA has acquired his film and Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI) have exhibited his work.

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is a Victoria State Government-funded annual festival based in Melbourne founded in 2012. It is presented by Film Victoria, and the provider is chosen through a tender process. The current tender provider is Mind Blowing Films, run by Mitu Bhowmick Lange who is the Festival Director of IFFM. The festival has currently been provided with State Government funding until 2018. The goal of the film festival is to showcase Indian cinema to the Australian audience. The festival has streamed Bollywood films, Indie movies, documentaries, regional cinema from India etc. It also organizes short film competitions, dance competitions and a flag hoisting ceremony since it is during the time of Indian Independence day celebrations in Melbourne.

Jeff Daniels is an American-Australian documentary film director and producer.

Aaron Wilson is an Australian filmmaker, known for the 2013 suspense war drama Canopy and the 2021 period drama Little Tornadoes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Wolstencroft</span> Australian director and film festival organizer

Richard Wolstencroft is an Australian filmmaker and director of the Melbourne Underground Film Festival or MUFF. Wolstencroft also founded the Melbourne BDSM venue Hellfire Club under the pseudonym 'Richard Masters.'


  1. 1 2 "About". MIFF. Melbourne International Film Festival. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  2. Craig Mathieson (28 May 2013). "FILM – MIFF 2013: Early highlights". SBS. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  3. Sandy George (3 July 2013). "Investment fund boosts Melbourne's world premiere tally". Screen Daily. Media Business Insight Limited. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  4. aunngo (8 June 2011). "Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)". Meld Magazine. Meld Magazine – Melbourne's international student news website. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  5. 1 2 "Resources". Film Festival World. Film Festival World, Inc. 2007–2008. Archived from the original on 29 March 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  6. "PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION CRITERIA". Australian Film Institute. 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  7. "Staff". MIFF. Melbourne International Film Festival. 11 August 2013. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  8. "Categories". MIFF. Melbourne International Film Festival. 11 August 2013. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  9. "Venues". MIFF. Melbourne International Film Festival. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  10. Stuart Kemp (21 May 2013). "Cannes: Melbourne's Movie Market Secures Four". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  11. 1 2 3 4 "Melbourne International Film Festival". IMDb., Inc. 1990–2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  12. "MIFF 52nd Shorts Awards". MIFF. Melbourne International Film Festival. August 2013. Archived from the original on 8 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  13. Richard Wolstencroft (2 August 2013). "The Opening Night of the 14th MUFF. Jugular by JJ DeCeglie. Discovering exciting and edgy new Australian Cinema. That's how we roll. That's what we prioritise. That is our mandate.". MUFF on Facebook. Facebook. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  14. Avrille Bylok Collard (9 August 2013). "Melbourne Underground Film Festival Announces Dates". Beat. Furst Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  15. "Email exchanges between Ken Loach, Paul Laverty, Rebecca O'Brien and the Melbourne Film Festival organizers". Pulse Media. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  16. "Chinese entries boycott film festival". ABC News. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  17. "MIFF 'sticking to guns' over Uighur film". ABC News. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  18. "MIFF website hacked amid Chinese film row". ABC News. 26 July 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  19. pers comm. R.Raulings, director eFirst
  20. "Chinese hackers attack film festival site". ABC News. 1 August 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  21. 1 2 Gus Goswell (10 August 2009). "Demonstrators turn out at Kadeer film screening". ABC News. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  22. ABC/Reuters (1 August 2009). "China summons Australia over Uighur leader visit". ABC News. Retrieved 11 August 2013.{{cite news}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  23. Dalai Lama sends message of support to Kadeer - ABC News, 9 August 2009