MIFF to showcase six new Australian titles

02 July, 2013 by Don Groves

Four Australian films and two feature-length documentaries will premiere at the 2013 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), which runs July 25 – August 11.

All were backed by the MIFF Premiere Fund, which launched in 2008 and has supported more than 40 films and docos.


All told the festival will screen 310 films, 10 world premieres, 166 Australian premieres, 17 program strands, 26 forums, talks and master classes.

The curtain raiser, previously announced, is I’m So Excited! Pedro Almodóvar’s satire on contemporary Spanish society. The closer is All is Lost, the almost wordless survival-at-sea drama starring Robert Redford, writer-director J C Chandor’s follow-up to Margin Call.

Accorded the Centrepiece Gala slot is The Turning, the film adapted from the Tim Winton novel consisting of 17 chapters, each from a different director with a stellar cast led by Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, Callan Mulvey, Susie Porter and Harrison Gilbertson.

The Australian Showcase section features Zak Hilditch’s These Final Hours, a thriller about a self-obsessed young guy who makes his way to the party-to-end-all-parties on the last day on Earth but ends up saving the life of a young girl who’s searching for her father, starring Wolf Creek’s Nathan Phillips and Snowtown’s Daniel Henshall; Rhys Graham’s Galore, the saga of four teenagers caught up in the devastating Canberra bushfires of 2003; and In Bob We Trust, a documentary which profiles Melbourne priest Father Bob Maguire, who was forced by the church hierarchy to retire at 75 but continues to fight for the poor and serve the community

Screening in the Night Shift section is Mark Hartley’s Patrick, a re-imagining of the 1970s thriller starring Sharni Vinson, Charles Dance and Rachel Griffiths in the tale of a comatose murderer with psychic powers who has a crush on his nurse.

Director/writer Anna Broinowski’s doco Aim High in Creation! examines the late North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il, who presided over one of the world’s biggest, if little known, film industries. Broinowski secured the co-operation of the North Korean authorities and during the production shot a short film which adhered to the dictator’s filmmaking manifesto.

Other Australian films include Red Obsession, which charts the fortunes of Bordeaux’s most famous export, Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road, Kim Mordaunt’s The Rocket, Fallout, the untold story of Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach and the film it inspired, Lygon St – Si Parla Italiano, which celebrates Melbourne’s most iconic street, and Persons of Interest, director Haydn Keenan’s exploration of people who figured in previously secret ASIO files.

This year there will be a new spotlight on Arabic cinema and a focus on 1970s and 80s cult Italian horror, while This Sporting Life will present films focusing on exceptional athletes in tennis, boxing, snowboarding, mountain climbing, surfing, motor sports and martial arts.

The full program will be available at www.miff.com.au at 11 am on Friday.