Melbourne International Film Festival Reveals Full 2016 Program

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Melbourne International Film Festival Reveals Full 2016 Program

Celebrating its 65th edition, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is thrilled to reveal its full program with a blockbuster lineup of over 344 films including 244 features, 91 shorts, nine Virtual Reality experiences, 22 Talking Picture events, 24 world premieres and 157 Australian premieres. It all takes place over 18-days, spanning 22 venues across the Melbourne CBD.

The festival will open with the world premiere of The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, the debut feature from Melbourne filmmaker, Cris Jones. A time-bending love story supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, the film stars Xavier Samuel, Matilda Brown and Rachel Ward.
Marking the festival’s halfway point is Abe Forsythe’s Down Under, a rip-roaring black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, which screens as the festival’s Centrepiece Gala. Key cast members are set to join the director on the red carpet at The Comedy Theatre and the after party takes place at The Blackhearts Club, an exclusive pop-up drinking, dining and piano bar, conjuring the old world charm of the Golden Age of Hollywood, located at The Forum during MIFF.

Going out with a bang on closing night comes Cannes hit Hell or High Water, an entertaining neo-Western directed by David Mackenzie. With a screenplay by Sicario scribe Taylor Sheridan, the film boasts a first-class ensemble cast featuring Chris Pine, Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges. After the film, festival goers can enjoy MIFF’s famous Closing Night party.

Further program highlights include the world premiere of Joe Cinque’s Consolation, based on Helen Garner’s award-winning book. Directed by MIFF Accelerator alumnus, Sotiris Dounoukos, the film is an emotionally complex and chilling true-crime drama. It joins a strong line-up of world premieres at this year’s festival, including six MIFF Premiere Fund supported titles.

This year MIFF introduces Headliners, a brand new section celebrating the most-anticipated A-list festival hits and award-winners – all to be screened in the grandeur of The Comedy Theatre. Here you can catch Ben Wheatley’s High Rise, Certain Women, starring Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and Kristen Stewart as three women trying to sustain love and find connection; and the Cannes hit Paterson, a tender portrait of a bus driver poet, played by Adam Driver (Hungry Hearts, MIFF 14).

Documentaries are out in full force, with Tickled, which starts as an investigation into the world of ‘competitive endurance tickling’ and soon takes a darker turn alongside Louis Theroux’s critically lauded exploration of Scientology. This year also features the new Documentary/Drama program, which blurs the lines between documentary and fiction.

The Dance on Film program will showcase Reset, a portrait of Benjamin Millepied – the choreographer for Black Swan – as he undertakes his first year as the Paris Opera Ballet director; and Kiki, a film about marginalised and often brutalised LGBTQI youth-of-colour, who competitively dance the 21st century offspring of ballroom.

Further highlights include the return of Culinary Cinema, the MIFF Shorts selection, a horror fan’s delight with MIFF’s Night Shift, an Australian Showcase, and a special Jerry Lee-Lewis retrospective presenting all 12 films made by the Hollywood star in a celebration of his 90th birthday.

The 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival will run at venues throughout the CBD from Thursday July 28 to Sunday August 14. This is all just the tip of the MIFF iceberg. For full program and booking details, head to their website.