What: Melbourne International Film Festival 2019
When: August 1 – 18, 2019
Where: selected Melbourne theatres
The annual Melbourne International Film Fest is back, featuring some of the world’s best award winners and indie films. The program is packed with all sorts of genres suitable to everyone’s tastes; from Studio Ghibli-esque animations, to thought-provoking docos, and cult classics. If you’re the type of person who spends way too long deciding on what to watch on Netflix, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a roundup of some of the best films we reckon you should check out.
Based on the award-winning manga by Daisuke Igarashi, the story follows teenager Ruka, who has always had a strong connection to the sea. When she meets two boys who were raised by dugongs, she’s drawn into the ocean – just as marine life starts to mysteriously disappear. With a musical score from Studio Ghibli’s Joe Hisaishi, this animation is sure to draw you in with its stunning visuals – and to remind us to appreciate our oceans more.
This Sundance Festival winning film documents China’s controversial ‘one-child’ policy. Filmmaker Nanfu Wang explores gender discrimination in Chinese society through interviewing those who are still affected by the policy today.
Another Sundance winner, Jillian Bell (Rough Night, 22 Jump Street) stars as a twenty-something hot mess who realises she needs to get her shit together. She decides to quit her lifestyle of hardcore partying in order to get healthy. As a Manhattan resident, she’s too broke to afford a gym membership, so she runs one block at a time. Eventually she sets her sight on the New York City Marathon.
French actress Emilie Piponnier stars in this SXSW winning film about a Parisian woman named Alice who turns to high class escorting following the disappearance of her husband, in order to make ends meet. Directed by Australian filmmaker Josephine Mackerras, the story explores female empowerment and destigmatises common misconceptions on the industry.
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What happens when a perfect life is turned upside down? French-language feature film ALICE was successfully crowdfunded in post-production on KissKissBankBank and has been a labour of love for everyone involved. Photo credit: Samantha Hunt Que se passe-t-il quand une vie parfaite est bouleversée? Le long métrage francophone ALICE a été financé avec succès par le crowdfunding en post-production sur KissKissBankBank et a été un travail passionnant pour tous les participants.
Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) directs this gut wrenching story about Tasmanian colonial life, and what it was like for women and Indigenous Australians. Irish convict Clare (Aisling Franciosi) seeks revenge against a sadistic lieutenant who caused violence to her and her family. She enlists the help of Aboriginal tracker Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), who is also no stranger to a traumatic past.
An all-star studded cast, including Adam Driver, Bill Murray and Tilda Swinton, in a zombie comedy. What more could you ask for? This film makes fun of every zombie cliché in movie history, and also critiques our current society’s dead-eyed state of consumerism. Not only do the zombies eat the people of Centreville, USA, they also gravitate to the material things they craved when they were alive. The supporting cast features Selena Gomez, Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, and Wu Tang Clan’s RZA.
Supermodel and Rihanna’s protégé, Slick Woods, makes her film debut as Goldie, a New York teen who wants to make it as a hip-hop dancer. When her mother is busted for drug dealing, Goldie might have to put her dreams on hold in order to protect her family. The coming-of-age story is bittersweet, exploring the balance between believing in yourself, and doing what you need in order to get by.
Who doesn’t love Jeff Goldblum? This Friday 9 August, you’ll be able to watch some of Jeff Goldblum’s most notable works, including Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) and Independence Day (1996). The overnight marathon will run for over twelve hours. And yet we feel like that’s still not enough Goldblum.
Sea of Shadows is a thrilling doco about the Sea of Cortez, one of the most ecologically biodiverse bodies of water on our planet. Only here you’ll find the rare totoaba fish and the vaquita porpoise, the world’s smallest whale. Both species are endangered due to illegal fishing activity from the Chinese mafia. Richard Ladkani dives deep into his investigation of the efforts of journalists, scientists, local fishermen and undercover agents to fight the threat of extinction of the marine life.
MIFF’s closing night appropriately ends with The Farewell, a semi-autobiographical narrative by director Lulu Wang. Awkwafina leads as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who reunites with her family after learning her grandmother has terminal cancer – however her grandmother doesn’t even know it herself. Praised for being funny, heartwarming, and painfully honest, this A24 film is sure to pull on heartstrings – especially for anyone who can relate to growing up in between two cultures.
We’re giving away 5 x double passes to any regular screening at Melbourne International Film Festival for you and friend! For your chance to win, Be in The Cut and drop your email down below (T&C’s apply).
If you are already a part of our newsletter crew, email your mobile contact number to email@example.com for your entry, with ‘MIFF [your full name]‘ in the subject line. Please see T&C’s below.
Competition Terms and Conditions
- Competition opens on 8 August, 2019 at 6:30PM (AEDT) and ends on 13 August, 2019 at 12:00PM (AEDT).
- Entry into competition is free.
- Entry is via The Cut’s email signup form or an email note to firstname.lastname@example.org. All emails will be subscribed to The Cut’s newsletter; this is required to constitute a valid entry.
- To be eligible for the prize, the entrant must be an Australian resident.
- The prize includes 2 x passes to any regular screening to Melbourne International Film Festival, which covers one winner and their elected +1.
- The winner will be contacted via email and/or SMS by 12:00PM on 12 August, 2019. The Cut reserves the right to elect a new winner if prize is not claimed within 12 hours.
- Melbourne International Film Festival reserves the right to refuse any entry they consider to be offensive.
Featured image via Instagram @onceinhollywood.