Every year, the Melbourne International Film Festival presents the best in film from around the world and within Australia. This is a must on the already busy festival calendar in Melbourne where this historic event is now in its 61st year. After they scour the ends of the earth, MIFF strives to bring the best in film to our doorstep. With the recent announcement of The Sapphires being the film that will grace the opening night, the buzz has already begun.
As the years seem to go by quicker and quicker, there are two weeks in August where your normal, hectic life slows down and you can just sit and enjoy some of the best viewing from around the globe. There's an eminent cultural and eye-opening aura that this festival brings to Melbourne. So many of these highly acclaimed films don't get full cinema release so in some cases it could be the one chance you get to see some of these fantastic films on the big screen. The opportunity can't be missed. A lot of the filmmakers spend five to ten years on these projects, just so they can be part of the travelling film festivals where an interesting aspect to the festival is definitely waiting for some of the Q and A's afterwards with cast and crew. The insight into what goes on behind the scenes will blow you away.
From documentaries, to Australian films, to horrors, dramas, short films, comedies, internationals and special screenings, MIFF brings you something to enjoy. Personally, there's nothing better than the day the festival guide comes out and you can flick through and begin the hard task of deciding which films to see. As a regular, the MIFF Mini Pass, which grants you around ten films to see over the two weeks, is the best option. Ten films might seem like a lot but once you begin to circle the ones you want to see in the guide, you'll understand how hard it is to cut it down to ten. The Mini Pass is definitely the way to go to get your money's worth and really get involved in the festival. Jumping from film to film while enjoy coffee at the festival lounge and mingling with others is all part of the fun and embracing the film culture. If you can't commit to the pass then you can grab tickets for a single film but get on them quick as each year the screenings are selling out in record time.
With iconic cinemas such as the Forum Theatre and ACMI as well as Kino and Greater Union, you can't ask for a nicer setting to see a film. The audiences are always respectful and polite where the applause at the end of the film is a tradition you can't help but appreciate. Last year, the festival was a huge success and gave us chilling moments with titles such as Drive and Melancholia, laughs with Submarine and The Guard, where the documentary PressPausePlay was a personal highlight. The most humbling part of MIFF is the fact you are left with a greater appreciation for film where the festival has an inspiring quality that is seriously infectious. I'm sure this year will no doubt bring in some new classics that will again satisfy our inner critic. Can't wait. Full season program launches on the 13th of July (members pre-sale 11th of July).