I’ve been to Sydney Film Festival and St Kilda Film Festival many times. I’ve even been to 37 Degrees South (the film market that happens around MIFF), but this is the first time I’ve been to the Melbourne International Film Festival. With my girlfriend currently overseas, I was lucky enough to attend the event with my high school friend Natalie Bassingthwaighte.
Opening night was a blast! A whirlwind of lights, colour, hair, dresses and suits (not to mention champagne and caramel salted popcorn!). It was great to see so many Australian actors and filmmakers come out to support the Australian film premiere Force of Destiny. While the film itself fell flat, the evening, was a roaring success, and the program offers a wide range of films to cater for every taste.
My highlight would have to be Holding The Man. Timothy Conigrave’s book is one of my favourite love stories of all time, and the play was amazing! The film got great reviews at Sydney Film Festival, and Grammy Winning singer Sam Smith recently commented that the book “changed his life”. I’m really excited to see Neil Armfield’s take on this classic Australian love story. I can only assume that it wasn’t the opening night film, because it isn’t a world premiere. But at least they’ve made it the Centrepiece Gala screening (the event is sold out – but they do have a standby queue at the venue on the night).
Other hits for me include: “Beat” Takeshi’s Ryuzo and His Seven Henchmen, Andrew Bujalski’s Results starring our very own Guy Pearce, and Yorgos Lanthimo’s English-language debut The Lobster.
But make up your own hit list at www.miff.com.au
WHAT: Melbourne International Film Festival
WHEN: 30 July-16 August, 2015
WHERE: Various theatres and state of the art cinemas across the heart of Melbourne.
TICKETS: Available via www.miff.com.au or at the door for standby tickets
Individual ticket prices vary, depending upon time of day and location.
eMini Passes which includes 10 sessions booked online (with a bonus of 3 sessions before 5pm on weekdays) are $155
Festival Passports allows entry to every film at all venues throughout the festival (excluding special events) are $365
By Drew Bailey
Drew is an Academy Award Nominated Producer currently living in Sydney, Australia.