Melbourne International Film Festival expands to Geelong for the first time in 2021

Melbourne International Film Festival expands to Geelong for the first time in 2021

MIFF returns for its 69th iteration this August.

Following last year’s successful digital festival, Melbourne International Film Festival is set to return to cinemas and screens at home in August with this year’s hybrid event.

Returning to familiar theatres across Melbourne like the Comedy Theatre, Forum, ACMI Fed Square, Lido Cinemas, Coburg Drive-In, and The Astor, MIFF is also set to expand to eight regional centres for the first time in 2021, including to Geelong’s beautiful art house theatre, The Pivotonian Cinema, as well as Bendigo, Castlemaine, Echuca, Mildura and Bright.

Streaming will be available via the festival’s new digital platform, MIFF Play.

The key takeaways

  • MIFF is happening from August 5-22
  • The festival will be held across Victorian cinemas as well as screening nationally via MIFF Play
  • The full 2021 program will be revealed on July 13

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As well as revealing dates and the format for this year’s festival, MIFF has also unveiled the first glimpse of its 2021 program.

The first program announcement features a slate of Australian films as well as highly-anticipated titles from Berlin, Venice and Sundance film festivals.

The festival will open with a screening of Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend Of Molly Johnson, marking the first-ever Opening Night film from a female Indigenous director.

“I am excited to bring the Dreaming storytelling structure of The Drover’s Wife The Legend Of Molly Johnson to the big screen and as part of such a prestigious festival,” said Purcell. “It is an honour to be the first female Indigenous director to have an opening night film at MIFF and I am thrilled to act as an ambassador for their stellar showcase of filmmaking.”

MIFF will also premiere 11 films through its Premiere Fund, the biggest collection in the Fund’s 14-year history of co-funding films to bring important stories to the big screen.

Featuring Courtney Barnett, Essie Davis, Judy Davis, Stephen Fry, Elton John, Caleb Landry Jones, Sir Ian McKellan, and Hugo Weaving, the Premiere Fund films will encompass themes ranging from artistic expression and identity to mental health and intercultural respect.

The festival will also bring a spread of Australian icons to the screen with the likes of Araatika: Rise Up!, a spirited celebration of sport, community and First Nations culture featuring Stan GrantAdam Goodes and Dean Widders; a behind the scenes look at Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter’s iconic performance with Paul Grabowsky’s Australian Art Orchestra in Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow; and Palazzo Di Cozzoa touching documentary telling the story of Melbourne’s favourite furniture mogul Franco Cozzo.

The much-loved Hear My Eyes series melding live music and cult-classic films will return this year, too, with a screening of  Two Hands accompanied by a live score from The Murlocs.

An Australian classic featuring breakout performances from Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne, Two Hands will be brought to life with a psychedelic garage rock-tinged reimagining of the film’s score.

This year’s MIFF will be more accessible than ever, with the festival expanding to five suburban sites, screening in eight regional centres and available nationally through its digital streaming platform, MIFF Play.

MIFF is happening from August 5-22. For tickets, the full first program announcement and more information, visit the festival website