Commencing this year is the new program Headliners, which aims to showcase highly anticipated A-list festival hits, award winners and films which successfully screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The program includes High Rise, Certain Women, Sunset Song, Heart of a Dog, Patterson, Personal Shopper, Slack Bay, The Handmaiden, Things to Come, The Neon Demon, The Salesman, The Unknown Girl and Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. We recommend Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson starring Adam Driver, which tells the story of the routine and unremarkable life of a bus driver, and Terence Davies’s Sunset Song starring Agyness Deyn in the adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 1932 novel.
The MIFF programmers have searched the far corners of the world to bring you an international showcase full of award winners, festival entries, amateurs and experts from Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and beyond. With over 60 fascinating films in this category, it’s difficult to narrow the list down and pick our must-see favourites, but there are two films that stand out. Our first choice is Kleber Mendonça Filho’s film Aquarius (France, Brazil) which won the Sydney Film Prize and our second choice is the adaption of French-Armenian author Philippe Djian’s novel Oh… titled Elle (France, Germany, Belgium) by director Paul Verhoeven.
You can’t have an Australian film festival without celebrating homegrown productions and this year not only is MIFF bringing you world premieres, including Bad Girl, Emo the Musical, Monsieur Mayonnaise and The Family, but there are also restored classics, such as Paul Cox’s 2000 masterpiece Innocence and the 1991 black comedy Proof. Many of these screenings will be followed by exclusive Q&A events.
This year’s Documentaries program features 29 stories, dealing with everything from the human impact of Chinese economic development in Behemoth, to cats in Istanbul in Kedi, a Congressman’s political downfall in Weiner, a film about competitive tickling in Tickled and more. We recommend Frederick Wiseman’s In Jackson Heights and Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie.
This year MIFF presents a special Virtual Reality program, which allows you to strap on a headset and become totally immersed in a world of stunning visuals and impressive sound effects. Two animations from RMIT graduate Oscar Raby, The Turning Forest and Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel, will be screened using Oculus CV-1 headsets, with several sessions running each day over the course of the festival. Several other virtual reality experiences will be on offer, allowing you to meet white rhinos in The Ark, experience some alone time in 6×9: An Immersive Experience of Solitary Confinement and explore the UK’s immigration system in Invisible. Writer and director of Madagascar films, Eric Darnell, will run a Virtual Reality Keynote session on building immersive, VR worlds and the ways in which storytelling has changed.
Melbourne International Film Festival, July 28- August 14, 2016 | miff.com.au