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15 Must-See Films at Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Online

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One of the world's biggest showcases of documentaries

4 World Premieres, 38 Australian Premieres and 8 Melbourne Premieres

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival makes a welcome return this winter with an exciting jam-packed online program of premiere local and international documentaries direct from the international film festival circuit.

This year, documentary lovers can sit back at home and stream a curated program of well-made, compelling and thought-provoking documentary films exploring a diverse range of social issues from across the globe.

There is sure to be something to appeal to everyone's discerning tastes; highlights include an observational documentary on one of Melbourne's best writers, a profile of a 74-year-old musical genius who has finally found recognition, a hybrid documentary on the 80's synth wave phenomenon, an expose into dating confidence tricksters, and the documentary Tiger King should have been!

Melbourne Documentary Film Festival has a strong commitment to local, Australian indie and industry documentary with over 50 Australian documentaries premiering, representing 55% of the total festival slate.

Discover over 90 documentaries in competition direct from Camden International Film Festival, Vision Du Reel, Sheffield Doc Festival, DOXA, Slamdance, SXSW, RIDM, Hot Docs, Tribecca, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, FIFO, CPHDOX, Antenna Film Festival IDFA, Jerusalem Film Festival and Rotterdam International Film Festival and many more.

Importantly, this world-class documentary festival showcases 45 documentaries directed by female directors. So head to from 30th June - 15th July 2020 and discover engaging tales from Brazil, Russia, Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Israel, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea and France at this year's stellar Melbourne Documentary Film Festival!

Start planning your viewing experience with our 15 must-see films at this year's festival!

  • 1: Wongar

    Director: Andrijana Stojkovic

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: The Serbian-Australian writer B. Wongar "Sreten Bozic" fled his native Yugoslavia in the 1950s, worked with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in Paris, and ended up in Australia in 1960. He still lives there, in a remote locale, together with his six dingoes. The Serbian filmmaker Andrijana Stojkovic follows Wongar in his chaotic home, dominated by old newspapers, black-and-white photos of Aboriginals and an ancient typewriter.


  • 2: Insert Coin

    Director: Joshua Tsui

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: The oral history of a team of geeks and misfits in the back of a Chicago factory creating the biggest video games (Mortal Kombat, NBA JAM, and others) of all time.


  • 3: The Boy Who Said No

    Director: Judith Ehrlich

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: The Boys Who Said NO! will tell for the first time the inspiring story and impact of the Vietnam War draft resistance movement.


  • 4: Hamtramck, USA

    Director: Razi Jafri & Justin Feltman

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: Through the exploration of daily life and democracy in America's first Muslim-majority city, Hamtramck, USA examines the benefits and tensions of multiculturalism.


  • 5: Keyboard Fantasies – The Beverley Glenn Copland Story

    Director: Posy Dixon

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: As a sci-fi obsessed woman living in near isolation, Beverly Glenn-Copeland wrote and self-released Keyboard Fantasies in 1986. Recorded in an Atari-powered home-studio, the cassette featured seven tracks of a curious folk-electronica hybrid, a sound realised far before its time.


  • 6: The Walrus and the Whistleblower

    Director: Nathalie Bibeau

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: The Walrus and The Whistleblower follows Phil Demers, ex-trainer at Marineland, whistleblower and walrus whisperer, as he speaks out against animals in entertainment and finds himself at the centre of an international movement to end animal captivity


  • 7: Strangers to the World

    Director: Grant Fraser

    Producer: Jannine Barnes

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: Strangers to the World examines individual moral courage in the face of almost overwhelming pressure from the world to conform and in doing so, act against that conscience. A dramatised documentary starring Rachel Griffiths and Oscar Redding that examines the lives of two people, Etty Hillesum and Franz Jaegerstaetter, who both stood their ground against the Nazi oppressors in Europe in 1943 and suffered with their lives.


  • 8: Paradise Without People

    Director: Francesca Trianni

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: At the height of Europe's refugee crisis, two Syrian women give birth in the same Greek hospital, with the same dream: to raise their children away from war. Their lives take unexpected turns as they navigate motherhood while seeking asylum. Directed by Emmy-nominated journalist Francesca Trianni, this is the first feature documentary produced by TIME magazine.


  • 9: Higher Love

    Director: Hasan Oswald

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: Daryl Gantt is a struggling blue-collar factory man striving to be a better father than his own, who abandoned him at childhood.


  • 10: The Pickup Game

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Director: Barnaby O'Connor & Matthew O'Connor

    Description: Inspired by Neil Strauss' best-seller The Game, a little-known, billion dollar industry has developed that teaches men how to manipulate women into bed. What began as a few confidence-building techniques has grown into an international subculture in which alpha-male instructors teach misogynistic mind games and even coercion, all in the name of seduction. With unprecedented access to the world's most notorious pickup artists, Matthew O'Connor and Barnaby O'Connor present a chilling look at men desperate to score, at any cost.


  • 12: Forman vs Forman

    Director: Helena Trestikova

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: The ultimate documentary biography of Oscar-winning Czech director Milos Forman. From his youth in Czechoslovakia under Nazi burden and communist rule to his first successes abroad with the Czech New Wave, to his exile in New York after the Prague Spring to his international fame. The intimate portrait of an outcast with exclusive access to family archive directed by award-winning Czech documentary director Helena Třeštíková.


  • 13: Cryptorush

    Director: Liliana Pertenava

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: The first documentary about cryptocurrency and blockchain explained from a female perspective.


  • 14: Rise of the Synths

    Director: Ivan Castell

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: The Rise of the Synths is a documentary film directed by Iván Castell and narrated by filmmaker and composer John Carpenter. The film explores the origins and growth of the electronic music genre known as Synthwave, charting its rise in popularity from the underground online music scene to its recent mainstream exposure following use in retro-themed soundtracks, notably the 2011 film Drive, and more recently the television series Stranger Things.


  • 15: The Swans: Where Does a Body End?

    Director: Marco Porsia

    Rated E (Exempt)

    Description: A portrait of the band Swans.


    Check out the complete 2020 program at

    Tickets are now on sale through - choose from $7 per film, 5 films for $35 or 10 films for $65.

    What will you discover at Melbourne Documentary Film Festival? For all the latest on the program and to plan your viewing experience, please visit

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    When: 30th June - 15th July 2020
    Where: Online Australia Nationwide
    Cost: $7 ticket / pick 5 $35 / pick 10 $65
    Your Comment
    Fantastic lineup. The dates listed here are incorrect. It's 30 June to 15 July.
    by sas (score: 0|2) 404 days ago
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