MELBOURNE, Wednesday 16, May 2007 - The Melbourne Internaitonal Film Festival – Australia’s oldest and biggest film festival – today released snippets of its 56th annual program, (July 25th – August 12th, 2007).
New Executive Director, Richard Moore, announced highlights of this year‘s programming strands. “This is only the tip of our programming iceberg“ he said. “ I know Melbourne’s audiences are curious, passionate, intelligent, great lovers of film culture and that they will come out again this year to warm their winter souls. Nineteen days only, over 200 new features,100 short films competing for $35,000 prize money.“
New program strands this year include:
AFRICA! AFRICA! - MIFF continues its tradition of exploring unchartered waters by presenting an array of features and documentaries from the continent of Africa. The programme contains films that rarely get shown – films from Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, South Africa and Chad. Highlights include the multi-award winning Dry Season; the comedy Bunny Chow; the musical road movie Return To Goree and Dreams Of Dust.
STARS OF DAVID - Israeli cinema has undergone a renaissance in the last few years, both with domestic audiences and on the international festival circuit. A selection of Israeli features and documentaries will screen at MIFF including Eytan Fox’s The Bubble; Dror Sabo’s No Exit; David Ofek & Ron Rotem’s documentary A Hebrew Lesson; and Ido Haar’s 9 Star Hotel.
WORLD STORIES - Indigneous peoples from around the world tell their own stories in their own way. As well as presenting the best of Australia’s own indigenous filmmakers the program presents such international highlights as Indigènes (aka Days of Glory); Journals of Knud Rasmussen; the Mongolian film Khadak; and Paraguayan Hammock.
NEXT GEN - MIFF is recruiting for a new generation of festival goers in the Next Gen spotlight. Films from many different cultures and languages make up the program for ages 6-10 and for the 14+, including the 3D animated The Ugly Duckling and Me based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairytale; Serge Elissalde & Grégoire Solotareff’s U; a new adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairytale Hansel and Gretel; and the multi award-winning drama Kidz in da Hood.
As part of an expanded retrospective program this year, MIFF is proud, as one of only five film festivals in the world to present the programme, MAGNUM IN MOTION. Started by the duo of Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Capa and named after the receptacle for holding champagne, the MAGNUM photgraphic agency became known for its journaistic integrity, its social conscience and its insistence on allowing the photographer to retain their own copyright. This program of 19 films, all made by Magnum photographers, includes Anne Makepeace’s evocative work, Robert Capa: In Love and War; a documentary on Magnum’s doyenne, Eve Arnold, called Eve and Marilyn; and also, Martin Parr’s film, Think of England.
As well as the new strands, MIFF promises the reurn of old programming favourites – including INTERNATIONAL PANORAMA, HOMEGROWN (formerly Australian showcase ), NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH (formally Regional Focus), BACKBEAT, DOCOS and the most highly regarded short film competition in the Asia Pacific, best MIFF shorts.
Full details of the program will be released on Wednesday June 20th.
Almost 400 films will screen over 19 days and across 5 venues, including the Regent, Forum and Capitol Theatres, ACMI and Greater Union on