The 62nd Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will once again deliver the best of the Cannes Film Festival to local audiences. MIFF patrons will be among the first in the world to see these films after many of them premiered on the French Riviera last month.
Twenty-nine feature films and seven shorts from Cannes will be included in the MIFF program with highlights including Accelerator alumnus Anthony Chen’s Camera d’Or winner Ilo Ilo, the stirring tale of a Singaporean family who take in a Filipino woman as a live-in maid; Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Jury Prize winner Like Father Like Son, exploring themes of responsibility and what it means to be a father; and Jia Zhangke’s Best Screenplay winner A Touch of Sin, a confronting character-driven tale of modern China and the domestic conflict its newfound wealth has wrought.
MIFF Artistic Director Michelle Carey said, “MIFF comes hot on the heels of Cannes every year, giving Melbourne a head start to see the most talked about films of 2013. This felt like one of the strongest Cannes in years and we’re excited to bring MIFF audiences some of the most debated and awarded films.”
Also screened in Competition at Cannes was the absorbing new work from Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Dry Season, MIFF 2007) Grigris, where an electrifying but struggling dancer from Chad gets drawn into a petrol smuggling racket; Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s (A Separation, MIFF 2011) The Past, featuring Bérénice Bejo in her Cannes 2013 Best Actress winning performance as a wife on the brink of divorce. In addition, Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric star in Jimmy P., French auteur Arnaud Desplechin’s adaptation of Georges Devereux’s Reality and Dream, about an unconventional psychoanalyst and the broken veteran he hopes to heal.
From the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section, MIFF will screen the moody feature debut from Flora Lau, Bends, featuring Hong Kong star Carina Lau and Chinese heartthrob Chen Kun; Hany Abu-Assad’s Special Jury Prize-winning account of the Israel–Palestine conflict, Omar; the latest work from Kurdish filmmaker Hiner Saleem, My Sweet Pepper Land; French auteur Clare Denis’ (35 Shots of Rum, MIFF 2008) Bastards, a gripping family drama about the aftermath of a wealthy patriarch’s suicide; and Winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize, The Missing Picture, where propaganda reels and hundreds of clay figures are cleverly combined in an autobiographical documentary about growing up under the Khmer Rouge.
Also from Un Certain Regard, MIFF will screen Fruitvale Station, inspired by a senseless police shooting in Oakland in 2009, and awarded the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance; winner of the Un Certain Regard Directing Prize, Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie’s steamy thriller about a picturesque lakeside spot where gay men gather to seek companionship; Nothing Bad Can Happen, a harrowing tale of a vulnerable young Christian man, from young German filmmaker Katrin Gebbe; and from banned Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof (Good Bye, MIFF 2011), Manuscripts Don’t Burn, a searing film about two low-level government enforcers tasked with preventing a controversial manuscript from being published.
From Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, MIFF will screen writer/director Serge Bozon’s (La France, MIFF 2008) Tip Top, a farcical riff on corruption, race and S&M starring Isabelle Huppert and Sandrine Kiberlain; Blue Ruin, a FIPRESCI Prize winner at Cannes about a vagrant who puts himself on a path of bloody revenge; Ugly, an action thriller set in Mumbai exploring a long-held grudge between a Bollywood wannabe and a ruthless chief of police; Ari Folman’s (Waltz With Bashir, MIFF 2008) The Congress, a combined live action and animated feature starring Robin Wright as Robin Wright; and The Selfish Giant, a reinvention of the eponymous Oscar Wilde fable from UK writer/director Clio Barnard.
Also from Directors’ Fortnight, MIFF will screen The Dance of Reality, the return of the master of trippy psychedelia – Alejandro Jodorowsky – after a 23-year filmmaking hiatus; Ain’t Misbehavin’, an autobiographical portrait from award-winning filmmaker Marcel Ophüls; writer/director Sebastián Silva’s (Old Cats, MIFF 2011) Magic Magic, a claustrophobic tale of schizophrenia and sexuality starring Michael Cera and Juno Temple; and the debut from actor/director Thierry de Peretti, Les Apaches, about five teenagers on the island of Corsica who one night break into an unoccupied luxury villa.
Other delights from Cannes that will be enjoyed by MIFF audiences are the restored and re-edited Weekend of a Champion, part informative racing documentary and part endearing odd-couple buddy movie featuring 1970s’ Formula One champion Jackie Stewart and Roman Polanski; and writer/director Amit Kumar’s kinetic, bracingly ambitious debut feature, Monsoon Shootout.
From Cannes Critics’ Week, MIFF will screen BAFTA Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wright’s feature debut For Those in Peril, a portrait of a young man who survives a tragic boating accident and is ostracised by his Scottish fishing village; the closing night film of this year’s Cannes Critics’ Week, 3x3D, a triptych exploring the evolution of 3D cinema with contributions from Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard and Edgar Pêra; and from writer/director David Lowery, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara as an outlaw couple.
Tickets for I’m So Excited! Gala Opening Night and passes are now on sale via miff.com.au
The full MIFF program and guest line-up will be launched for media on 2 July.
The Festival program will be online and Single Tickets go on sale at miff.com.au on 5 July.
Melbourne International Film Festival runs 25 July – 11 August 2013.