The Melbourne International Film Festival has launched its 62nd program, announcing the full list of 310 films, 17 program strands, 10 World Premieres, 166 Australian Premieres, 26 forums, talks and master classes, 20 international guests and over 60 local guests.
Opening with I’m So Excited!, Pedro Almodóvar’s over-the-top satire on contemporary Spanish society will be contrasted by the closing night film, the Australian Premiere of All is Lost, which is almost entirely dialogue-free.
The talk of Cannes, JC Chandor’s follow-up to the Oscar nominated Margin Call sees Robert Redford shine in his most physically demanding, powerful performance ever.
This year the Festival is marking its halfway point with a special world premiere Centrepiece Gala screening of The Turning, a film adaptation of Tim Winton’s bestselling novel, which consists of 17 chapters – each featuring a different director and stellar cast.
Under the guidance of curator Robert Connolly, Mia Wasikowska and David Wenham make their directorial debut amongst acclaimed directors such as Warwick Thornton, Tony Ayres and Justin Kurzel.
Homegrown filmmaking also shines in the Australian Showcase section, with the world premiere of three MIFF Premiere Fund-supported films: These Final Hours – the feature film debut of writer/director Zak Hilditch, featuring a fresh, local take on the apocalypse subgenre; and MIFF Accelerator Alumni Rhys Graham’s Galore – in which four teens navigate the flashpoint of adolescent relationships.
Australian Showcase also features the documentary In Bob We Trust, directed by Lynn-Maree Milburn, which goes behind the scenes with controversial Catholic provocateur Father Bob, documenting one of the most turbulent times in his career: his forced retirement and eviction from the church he called home for 38 years.
The MIFF Premiere Fund-supported film also sees stand-out performances from Australian talent including Rose Byrne, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Miranda Otto, Richard Roxburgh, Callan Mulvey, Dan Wyllie, Robyn Nevin, Susie Porter, Wayne Blair and numerous others.
This year the Festival presents a new spotlight on Arabic Cinema. The films in A League of Their Own: New Arabic Cinema present a democratic cultural outpouring of myriad stories from the pan-Arabic world, reflecting on the past, present and future.
A perennial favourite, Night Shift offers hardy cinema lovers with a taste for the extreme all the blood-soaked brutality, zombies, reanimated corpses, psychedelic madness and Japanese weirdness they can handle.
Sitting at the heart of this ten film program is MIFF Premiere Fund supported feature Patrick, a re-imagining of the 1978 classic starring Rachel Griffiths, Sharni Vinson, Charles Dance and Damon Gameau, which will have its world premiere at the Festival.
Taking the art of storytelling where live action can never go, the MIFF Animation Showcase offers mind-bending, captivating and spooky animated films for adults.
“I’m really happy with how the 2013 MIFF program has shaped up,” said Artistic Director Michelle Carey. “Certain thematic strands effortlessly suggested themselves, such as Activism on Film and New Arabic Cinema and the retrospectives, Italian Giallo and North Korea on Film, were a lot of fun to put together.”
“Together with a strong Australian contingent and a big international opener and closer, there really is something for everyone at MIFF in 2013.”
Melbourne International Film Festival
Various locations around Melbourne
Screening: 25 July – 11 August 2013
For more information and full programme, visit: www.miff.com.au for details.
Image: The Turning (courtesy of Melbourne International Film Festival)