Melbourne writer, reader and Managing Editor of Lip Magazine. www.lipmag.com
If you're a bit of a film buff and have a penchant for the foreign variety, you'll be pleased to know that the Melbourne International Film Festival, now in its 59th year, will hit town on Thursday 22nd July.
Each year, the festival screens the very best films from over 50 countries, and gives the work of emerging and established local filmmaking talent a go as well. Annual admissions to the festival (which is the oldest of its kind in the world, mind you) are over 190,000, so it's safe to say that it has reached iconic status.
This year's event kicks-off at the Regent Theatre with a local gem, The Wedding Party, directed by first-timer Amanda Jane. The film "explores everything that can go wrong (and right) in the search for love", but if that's not enough to get you to Opening Night, perhaps the prospect of mingling with the stars will. Tickets for Opening Night are $130, or $115 for Concession.
A host of other special events will be sure to enhance your festival experience. See Germaine Greer in Conversation where the infamous feminist speaks about the 60s New York scene; or Peepli Live, a social satire on Indian society. And the MIFF Shorts Weekend, which highlights the best short films from around the globe and houses the MIFFS Short Film Awards, is not to be missed.
If you have children, the Next Gen program caters to a younger audience with a selection of animation, documentary, comedy and drama, and could potentially open some eyes to the wonder of Cinema so make sure you bring them along too.
Hope to see you at the festival - I'll be the eager one with the enormous bag of popcorn!