The Victorian government has pumped an additional $150,000 funding into the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) to ensure its venues have digital projection equipment.
Victorian minister for innovation, services and small business, Louise Asher, said the funding will allow the festival to screen a high number of films from the Cannes Film Festival.
“With films now delivered in a variety of formats, the $150,000 funding boost will ensure MIFF has the programming flexibility to show films in different formats across different venues," the minister said in a statement.
Few films, particularly in the independent sector, are now being distributed on 35mm film as the lower-cost DCP (digital cinema package) format takes hold. The National Association of Cinema Operators – Australasia (NACO) expects over 60 per cent of its Australian cinema screens to be converted to digital by Christmas.
MIFF chair Claire Dobbin said this year’s festival will feature over 35 films from Cannes as a direct result of the funding. “The majority of these films are only available in digital cinema package (DCP) format and without these additional funds MIFF would not have been able to secure these titles.”
MIFF also received $17,500 from the Coalition Government through Tourism Victoria’s Events Program to attract more visitors and showcase Melbourne as a leading screen culture and film capital.
MIFF will open with the Australian premiere of The Sapphires (which debuted at Cannes) on August 2.