MIFF 2024: full program

The program for the Melbourne International Film Festival (8 to 25 August 2024) is now available.
Inside. Image: MIFF.

Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has launched its 2024 program (8-25 August) with features, shorts and XR experiences in Melbourne, around Victoria and online.

In the words of Artistic Director Al Cossar: ‘This year’s MIFF program features over 250 films, with more than 400 sessions across 18 days, bringing together incredible Australian filmmaking, world cinema, drama, comedy, horror, animation, bold experimentation – things you’ve been waiting months to see, and others you never thought you’d get a chance to.’

Quick links are below, followed by more detailed descriptions of the films.

Quick links

Opening Night Gala

Memoir of a Snail

Memoir Of A Snail. Image: Madman Entertainment
Memoir of a Snail. Image: Madman Entertainment.

This year’s festival opens on 8 August with Australian Oscar-winner Adam Elliot’s latest stop-motion film, which took eight years to complete and has been supported by the MIFF Premiere Film Fund. The voice cast includes Sarah Snook, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Magda Szubanski, Eric Bana, Tony Armstrong, Nick Cave and Jacki Weaver. ‘It is truly a Melbourne film and MIFF is the perfect place for its Australian premiere,’ Elliot said. ‘It’s about Melbourne, made by Melburnians and voiced by Melburnians. Opening night at MIFF will be a celebration of their artistry and a celebration of this wonderful city in which we live.’



Megalopolis. Image: Lionsgate Films.
Megalopolis. Image: Lionsgate Films.

Francis Ford Coppola’s star-studded, 40-years-in-the-making passion project arrives at MIFF in all its loopy, maximalist glory, in a strictly one-off special screening at IMAX. Steeped in the Roman Empire, Shakespeare and Dickens, and featuring Adam Driver, Jon Voight and Shia LeBeouf, Coppola’s out-of-control ‘fable’ is the stuff of modern-day moviemaking myth. Having invested over $120 million of his own money into the production when no studios would dare bankroll its uncompromising vision and mega-scale ambition, Coppola works here with unparalleled creative freedom. Dedicated to his recently deceased wife Eleanor, Megalopolis looms as an indelible vision from the 85-year-old auteur.

All We Imagine as Light

Mumbai-based director Payal Kapadia returns with the highly anticipated fiction follow-up to her striking debut feature documentary A Night of Knowing Nothing (MIFF, 2022). Recently shown in Cannes as the first Indian film to screen in competition in 30 years, All We Imagine as Light is the sensuous tale of three nurses, their romantic entanglements and a mystical trip to the coast. Awarded the 2024 Grand Prix at Cannes, Kapadia has delivered one of the year’s most assured films.

The Substance

Demi Moore satirises Hollywood ageism in an audacious gory feminist body horror that was the talk of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it won Best Screenplay. The Substance sees French director Coralie Fargeat (Revenge) ruthlessly marshal Cronenbergian tropes, from 1980s-inspired production design to some truly superlative prosthetics, provocatively depicting the turmoil of ageing as a woman in a patriarchal world. Featuring performances by Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, MIFF 2019) and Dennis Quaid.

Caught By the Tides

MIFF mainstay and Sixth Generation legend Jia Zhang-ke (Unknown Pleasures, MIFF 2002, Ash Is Purest White, MIFF 2018) remains the master of capturing China’s relentless march towards modernity – and the ‘drifting generation’ lost in its wake. In Caught By the Tides, he fashions a free-flowing narrative from more than 20 years of video, complete with varied aspect ratios and resolutions. At the centre of it all is Jia’s wife and muse Zhao Tao, a magnetic screen presence who digs deeper and deeper into a character that has spanned her husband’s career.

A Different Man

Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) plays a wannabe actor who learns that confidence isn’t skin-deep in this deliciously twisted morality tale. Channelling Cronenberg and Lynch in his film’s blend of body-horror, dark comedy and surrealism, indie auteur Aaron Schimberg shrewdly takes a scalpel to misplaced ambition and the superficiality of modern society. Stan, who won the Berlinale’s Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance, appears alongside Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World, MIFF 2021) and Adam Pearson (Chained for Life) who are both equally magnetic.

Grand Tour

This Cannes Best Director-winning Asian odyssey spectacularly mashes up time and place, genre and form, to transport audiences somewhere sublime. This stunning cinematic essay from Miguel Gomes (Tabu, MIFF 2012) is much grander in scope than its story of a determined bride in hot pursuit of her runaway groom across Asia; it demands to be experienced moment to moment. As one wise character recommends: ‘Abandon yourself to the world, and see how generous it is to you.’


Rumours. Image: MIFF.

A gigantic brain in a forest, masturbating bog zombies, Cate Blanchett, Alicia Vikander and Charles Dance all collide for Guy Maddin’s audacious Rumours. Once again joining forces with co-director siblings Evan and Galen Johnson (The Green Fog, MIFF 2018), Maddin delivers an explosively topical satire set in a German forest where a nearby fictional G7 summit is taking place. A bittersweet hit at this year’s Cannes, Rumours delivers witty and wildly existential laughs.

The Seed of the Sacred Fig

Responding to his country’s punishing political climate, Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof (There Is No Evil, MIFF 2021; A Man of Integrity, MIFF 2017) returns with a searing family drama that captures the growing unrest among a generation deprived of rights. Having shot the incendiary film in secret, and – after receiving an eight-year prison sentence earlier this year – Rasoulof fled the country to attend its competition premiere at Cannes. Much like its maker, The Seed of the Sacred Fig is a courageous testament to resistance against tyranny.

The Shrouds

Following the recent death of his wife, David Cronenberg’s The Shrouds fashions a deeply personal meditation on loss, longing and grief, filtered through a necro-techno body-horror land. As Karsh, Vincent Cassel is a dead- ringer proxy for Cronenberg while Diane Kruger gives three full-throttle performances: as Karsh’s dead wife, as her alive twin sister and as an AI assistant that might be messing with Karsh’s mind. Guy Pearce joins the cast as Karsh’s paranoid hacker ex- brother-in-law, hamming it up with aplomb.

International highlights

An Unfinished Film

An Unfinished Film. Image: Yingfilms.

An Unfinished Film. Image: Yingfilms.

Chinese auteur Lou Ye (Summer Palace, MIFF 2006) tackles the seismic disruption brought by Covid through an exhilarating blend of drama and documentary. In An Unfinished Film, a fictional crew based near Wuhan stumbles upon ten-year-old footage of a (real) aborted queer film and sets about reuniting the cast to complete it with a new act. But this is early 2020, and fate has other ideas. With the film halted once again, the project comes to morph into something else entirely.

All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt

Named one of the top ten independent films of 2023 by the National Board of Review, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt is award-winning poet and photographer Raven Jackson’s mesmerising debut feature. Shot in gorgeous 35mm, this ode to a Black woman’s joys and tragedies in the Deep South is propelled by a visceral soundscape and a sparse but revealing script. For fans of Barry Jenkins (who has a producer credit here) and Terrence Malick.


In cult UK comedy treasure Alice Lowe’s second feature, a woman’s misguided fatal attraction to the same pretty bad-boy has lasted six centuries … so far. After co-writing and starring in comedy slasher Prevenge, Lowe is joined in Timestalker by an eager ensemble cast including Hot Fuzz’s Nick Frost, Sex Education’s Tanya Reynolds, Interview With the Vampire’s Jacob Anderson and period-drama darling Aneurin Barnard.

The Sparrow in the Chimney

Forming a trilogy on human togetherness (alongside The Strange Little Cat and The Girl and the Spider, MIFF 2021), The Sparrow in the Chimney marks the highly anticipated return of Ramon and Silvan Zürcher, the Swiss filmmaking brothers behind some of the most distinctive experimental dramas to emerge from Europe. Rebellious and hopeful, their latest sees tensions explode when two sisters come together with their families for a birthday party in their countryside.

A Traveler’s Needs

MIFF favourite Hong Sang-soo reunites with Isabelle Huppert for a third time (Another Country, MIFF 2012; Claire’s Camera, MIFF 2017) in A Traveler’s Needs, the mysteriously tricksy comedy that won the Berlinale’s Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize. Wide-eyed Iris (Huppert) is an expat adrift in Seoul. Eking out a strangely dislocated life mooching in the spare bedroom of a younger man, much to his mother’s ruffled chagrin, Iris teaches French to the locals using unusual methods that hint at deeper meanings.


Award-winning comedian Nina Conti makes her directorial debut with Sunlight, a darkly funny joy ride featuring a monkey, a radio host brought back from the brink and a dead man’s watch. Co-written by Conti and her real-life partner comedian Shenoah Allen (and executive produced by Christopher Guest), the pair also share their chemistry on-screen in what can only be described as an unconventional love story. With its upbeat soundtrack and the sprawling desert landscape of New Mexico, Sunlight is sure to provoke both belly laughs, melancholy and a heartwarming afterglow.


The incomparable Jane Squibb (Nebraska) leads delightful crowdpleaser Thelma as the titular 93-year-old grandma on a mission for revenge after falling for an online money scam. Having seen his own grandmother targeted by digital fraudsters, improv-comedy veteran Josh Margolin has crafted a rollicking action-comedy parody that serves as a touching tribute to the determination and defiance of older people. Joining in on the fun are Blaxploitation legend Richard Roundtree (Shaft himself, in his final role), Parker Posey and Malcolm MacDowell.


Elijah Wood (Come to Daddy, MIFF 2019) stars as a wayward but well-meaning father in the charming throwback, Bookworm. In it, 11-year-old bibliophile Mildred (Nell Fisher) and her washed-up illusionist father (Wood) embark on a quest in the New Zealand wilderness to hunt down a mythical beast that may prove essential to healing their family. For his second feature film, director Ant Timpson has conjured a fantastical coming-of-age odyssey that is sure to appeal to both the young and the young-at-heart.


Having received the Caméra d’Or Special Mention at Cannes, Mongrel is the striking feature from directors Chiang Wei Liang and You Qiao Yin that takes viewers inside the lives of undocumented workers in Taiwan. Driven by an unswerving lead performance from Wanlop Rungkumjad (Manta Ray, MIFF 2019), this evocative portrait sees Oom, a calm and attentive caregiver, attempting to maintain his own humanity amidst exploitation at the hands of his employer.

Some Rain Must Fall

Winning a Berlinale Encounters Special Jury Award, Some Rain Must Fall is the arresting first feature from MIFF Accelerator Lab and Victorian College of the Arts alumnus Qiu Yang, who won the Short Film Palme d’Or back in 2017. With an extraordinary central performance from Yu Aier as a woman in the midst of a midlife existential crisis, Yang quietly and confidently infuses his intimate family drama with a palpable suspense and pinprick-sharp class commentary to create a masterful psychological thriller.


Delivering a bundle of joy from the slapstick indignities of impending motherhood is Babes, the raucous ‘mom-com’ written by and starring Ilana Glazer (Broad City). It follows pals Eden (Glazer) and Dawn (Michelle Buteau) as their friendship is put to the test when the carefree and single Eden decides to have a baby on her own after a one-night-stand. Described as a perinatal Bridesmaids, director PamelaAdlon(BetterThings) delivers both a bawdy comedy and an unexpectedly sweet love story between dear friends.

Documentary highlights

Black Box Diaries

Black Box Diaries. Image: MTV Documentary Films.

Black Box Diaries is a daring work of first-person investigative journalism that charts the extraordinary case that not only launched #MeToo in Japan but altered the country’s justice system for good. Retelling her own experience of rape and the ensuing legal battle, director and survivor Shiori Itō gives powerful voice to her life-and law-changing story – and hope to women everywhere.


As the restitution conversation gains momentum worldwide, the striking Berlinale Golden Bear-winning documentary Dahomey tracks a stolen statue home to the Republic of Benin. While literally capturing the careful transportation of the statue and other artefacts, French filmmaker Mati Diop (A Thousand Suns, MIFF 2014) and cinematographer Joséphine Drouin- Viallardwere also begin to unpack much needed questions around the significance of these items to the Beninese people, the country’s vestigial ties to France and the very purpose of museums.

The Remarkable Life of Ibelin

When Mats Steen dies at just 25 due to a rare degenerative disease, his parents are inundated with heartfelt condolence messages from strangers all around the world who had – unbeknownst to them – come to befriend Mats virtually. Winner of two Sundance awards, Benjamin Ree’s extraordinary The Remarkable Life of Ibelin traces Steen’s exploits in the video game landscape of World of Warcraft – amid the restrictions of his physical life with Duchenne muscular dystrophy – and the many people who came to know and love him.

As the Tide Comes In

The 27 residents of Mandø, an eight-square-kilometre island off the Danish coast, serve as a microcosm for the world’s impending climate concerns in As the Tide Comes In. To make this sensitively handled, at times humorous account of life in remote conditions, co-director and visual anthropologist Sofie Husum Johannesen immersed herself in the locals’ experiences, lending a scholarly eye that elevates the film’s observational storytelling. Meanwhile, director Juan Palacios was behind the visually arresting camerawork of sky meeting sea, ebbing tides and flat plains, culminating in footage gathered across 15 trips in four years.

Secret Mall Apartment

Executive-produced by Jesse Eisenberg, the stranger-than-fiction Secret Mall Apartment recounts how a 2000s artist collective spent four years living inside a shopping mall. Screening to much acclaim at SXSW and Hot Docs, this funny, charismatic and slyly provocative film from director Jeremy Workman (Lily Topples The World; Claire Makes It Big, MIFF 1999) captures the scrappy DIY ethos and us-against-the-world spirit of its subjects, interrogating what it means to make art in the face of late-period capitalism.

Two Strangers Trying Not to Kill Each Other

The complex relationship between two married artists is laid bare over the course of a year in Two Strangers Trying Not to Kill Each Other. At 84 and 75, Joel Meyerowitz and Maggie Barrett have been together for a quarter of a century. But when Barrett injures herself in a fall, the couple’s dynamic alters significantly, and long-buried resentments come to the surface. Receiving CPH:DOX’s Dox:Award Special Mention, Manon Ouimet and Jacob Perlmutter’s film is a tender, at times funny, other times painfully candid study of the realities behind the romantic ideal of growing old together.


Intercepted takes its name from a cache of audio recordings played throughout this haunting psychological portrait of invasion: phone calls from invading Russian fighters, as captured by Ukrainian security forces. Director Oksana Karpovych – who was working for AlJazeerawhen the Russian invasion began – has authored a wholly unique study of war and what it does to the mindset of people caught up in its cruelties.


MIFF will host a free showing of the double Sundance-winning Daughters in its Australian Premiere. In this deeply moving feature documentary executive- produced by Kerry Washington and Joel Edgerton, activist and Girls for Change CEO Angela Patton and filmmaker Natalie Rae follow four young girls as they prepare to meet their incarcerated fathers – many of whom have been sentenced for up to 20 years – for a day of celebration at the prison’s Daddy Daughter Dance.

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger

British filmmaker David Hinton (Nora, MIFF 2009) brings his deft touch for kinetic storytelling to bear on this beautifully drawn documentary exploring the remarkable oeuvre of The Red Shoes co-directors Michael Powell (the late husband of editor supreme Thelma Schoonmaker) and Emeric Pressburger. Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger is presented by unbridled super-fan Martin Scorsese who waxes lyrical about how the mesmerising films of two of Britain’s finest inspired his own adventures in cinema.

Australian highlights


Runt. Image: See Pictures Pty Ltd.
Runt. Image: Court McAllister/ See Pictures Pty Ltd.

Jai Courtney, Celeste Barber, Jack Thompson and Deborah Mailman star in the heartwarming and hilarious adaptation of Craig Silvey’s bestselling Runt, which is set to make its World Premiere at MIFF. Ignoring the age-old axiom not to work with children or animals, director John Sheedy (H Is for Happiness, MIFF 2019) rose to the challenge to do both, with magnificent results. Newcomer Lily LaTorre delivers a charisma-fuelled performance as Annie, while the notable Australian cast bring to life this upbeat underdog tale for the whole family.

In Vitro

In Vitro. Image: We Are Arcadia Pty Ltd.

A disturbing secret threatens a couple’s relationship in the Australian eco-thriller In Vitro, starring Succession’s Ashley Zukerman. Writer-directors Tom McKeith and Will Howarth (Beast) also worked with co-writer and star Talia Zucker on their thought-provoking screenplay that was developed after being selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Meanwhile, cinematographer Shelley Farthing-Dawe imbues a haunting energy to the plains around Cooma and Goulburn in New South Wales, which serve as the moody backdrop to this tense, outback-set sci-fi nail-bitter.


World Premiere feature Voice offers an inspirational insider’s look at the Indigenous-run collective Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good (DIYDG) as they embark on a 3,000 kilometre cross-country roadtrip to gather support for the Australian Indigenous Voice referendum. But while they seek to inspire a new future, the resulting votes seemingly bring another fight for recognition to a close. Directed by Krunal Padhiar alongside DIYDG co-founder and chair Semara Jose as co-director, this observational film is the first major Australian documentary to chronicle the journey of the Voice referendum in 2023.

Twilight Time

is the gripping profile of Australian academic, agitator and surveillance expert Des Ball – the man who counselled the US against nuclear escalation in the 1970s and was subsequently hailed by former president Jimmy Carter as ‘the man who saved the world’. Employing a wealth of archival footage, veteran documentarian John Hughes (Senses of Cinema, MIFF 2022) has captured a timely look at Australia’s complicated involvement in global strategy, defence policy and mass surveillance.

Kid Snow

Shot in and around Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, the latest fiction feature from director Paul Goldman (Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story, MIFF 2023) explores a mostly untold chapter of Australia’s national narrative in the true story of Irish tent boxer Kid Snow. British actors Billy Howle and Tom Bateman star alongside a sterling local cast that includes Phoebe Tonkin, Mark Coles Smith, Tasma Walton and Hunter Page-Lochard. As punches are thrown, Kid Snow is ultimately a story of hope and the redemptive power of love.

Like My Brother

Co-directed by Danielle MacLeanh and Sal Balharrie, Like My Brother is an inspiring World Premiere documentary about four young women from the Tiwi Islands who all dream of playing professional footy in the AFLW. But while dreaming is one thing, achieving it is another as they each navigate the hardship of leaving loved ones, the strain of distance and homesickness and the barriers faced by many First Nations young people.

Music on film

A Century in Sound

A Century In Sound. Image: Miff.
A Century in Sound. Image: MIFF.

Slip into the serene surrounds of Japanese ‘listening cafés’ – a space where music lovers, audiophiles and locals come together to hear records – in a limited series from New Zealand filmmakers Tu Neill and Nick Dwyer. A Century in Sound transports audiences to the world of these uniquely Japanese settings, chronicling the history of music in the country, the importance of these gathering places in post wartime and the influence of Western culture during the second half of the 20th century.

Dig! XX

Brings fans up to date on the enduring friendship and rivalry between 90s indie staples The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, some 20 years after the release of definitive rock doc, Dig!. With over 40 minutes of new material in hand, director Ondi Timoner returns to mythologise the bands and big identities at the centre of her breakout documentary, this time through older and somewhat wiser eyes.

The World According to Allee Willis

Alexis Spraic’s The World According to Allee Willis presents a kaleidoscopic ride through the 50-year career of the larger-than-life mega-hit songwriter behind the Friends theme song, Earth Wind & Fire’s September, The Pointer Sisters’ Neutron Dance and many more. Over her half-century-long career, Willis’ compositions sold over 60 million records. Drawing on a wealth of archival home videos and featuring interviews with Cyndi Lauper, the Pet Shop Boys and the late Paul ‘Pee-wee Herman’ Reubens, the film is a sincere and affecting tribute to a singular subject.

This is a Film About The Black Keys

Ohio-born bluesy rockers Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys get candid and introspective in the warts-and-all documentary direct from SXSW, This is a Film About The Black Keys. Director Jeff Dupre employs extensive archival concert and studio footage, lively re-enactments, and revealing interviews (including with Gen X icon Beck), to give viewers front row seats to the ups and downs – both professional and personal – of the iconic duo.

Omar and Cedric: If This Ever Gets Weird

Shares the untold 40-year story of the crowning moments, creative turmoils and deep friendship of the duo behind At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta: Omar Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Together, the pair have lived and created, fought and filmed through drug addictions, the death of friends, musical stardom and even Cedric’s fraught stint in the Church of Scientology. This intimate and immersive film from British director Nicolas Jack Davies is built almost entirely around four decades’ worth of Omar’s self-shot footage and features lively, almost duelling voiceovers from both men.

MIFF shorts

Back From the Ink: Restored Animated Shorts

Undertaken in collaboration with the Seth MacFarlane Foundation and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, Back From the Ink: Restored Animated Shorts unearths lost classics from animation’s Golden Age. The animations selected include a 1944 stop-motion ‘Puppetoon’ from George Pál, a 1939 Terrytoon directed by Mannie Davis, and seven short films, drawn from 1928 to 1939, by the Fleischer Brothers(creators of Betty Boop and Koko the Clown), which feature jazz-age collaborations with Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway.

The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent

The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent. Image: Antitalent Produkcija.

Winner of the Cannes Short Film Palme d’Or, The Man Who Could Not Remain Silent is a razor-sharp, ultra-tense standoff by director Nebojša Slijepčević. Recreating the 1993 Štrpci massacre in Bosnia, where 19 civilians were pulled off a train and executed by a Serbian nationalist paramilitary group, this meticulous work of mounting tension is both a tribute to a hero and a study in the bystander effect. It effectively asks viewers: with danger in the air, would you speak up, or stay quiet?

The Masterpiece

Sundance Short Film Grand Jury Prize winner The Masterpiece sees race and class complicate the transaction between a wealthy couple and the scrap dealers they invite to their mansion, leading to an amusingly awkward exchange. Àlex Lora Cercós’ gripping exploration of class disparity builds from a slow simmer to viscerally unbearable tension, culminating in a confrontation that exposes the hidden hostility of polite society.

Withered Blossoms

Direct from Cannes, the gentle and tender Withered Blossoms chronicles the relationship between a twenty-something and her ageing grandmother. Using the hallmarks of slow cinema – still frames, no score, a reverence for tiny moments, emotions gradually accruing – to capture the passage of time, Lionel Seah’s beautifully observed, Sydney-set two-hander tells a Chinese-Australian story at once specific and universal.


kajoo yannaga (come on let’s walk together)

kajoo yannaga (come on let’s walk together). Image: MIFF.

Presented with Now or Never and ACMI, kajoo yannaga (come on let’s walk together) is at once a cinematic story, an immersive two-channel projection journey guided by First Nations knowledge. Through real-time motion tracking mapping body movement, connect to place and be transported to a vivid Spirit realm sprinkled with signs and signals for those who look to see. Lead artist April Phillips is a Wiradjuri-Scottish woman of the galari/kalari peoples, based on the Yuin Nation. Her practice is aligned with representations of First Nations futurism, intergenerational healing and digital experimentation to celebrate the potential of computer art for a new world.

The Memphis Chronicles: Water’s Edge

Step into an otherworldly cityscape representing the subconscious and the space between dying and the after life in The Memphis Chronicles: Water’s Edge by co-directors Mike Robbins and Harmke Heezen. Amid dilapidated buildings and seemingly deserted dwellings, users set out to discover hidden stories and secrets, solve puzzles to piece together fragments of memory, and evade the mysterious entities known as the Keepers.

Lui Avallos’ Queer Utopia: Act I Cruising

Brings the user into the living room of a retired playwright where he regales them with nostalgic and intimate stories of his youth. Inspired by real-life accounts from queer elders, this profound intergenerational essay on the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights delves into the past to conjure a renewed vision of the future.

Bright Horizons Competition and Award

MIFF’s flagship prize, the MIFF Bright Horizons Award, is presented by VicScreen. Recognising first and second-time filmmakers, the prize awards $140,000 to a filmmaker on the ascent, making it the richest feature film prize in the Southern Hemisphere.

Good One

Good One. Image: Metrograph Pictures.
Good One. Image: Metrograph Pictures.

In Good One, the revelatory debut from India Donaldson, a simple camping trip in the Catskills evolves into a life-changing experience. Breakout star Lily Collias delivers a stellar performance as the 17-year-old Sam, who is roped along on a trip with her divorced father and his also divorced friend. Soon enough, competing egos come to the surface and just as Sam learns uncomfortable truths about them, so too does she discover where, and how, she’ll draw the line.


Inspired by Ken Russell and other British filmmakers of the 1960s and 70s, Luna Carmoon’s Hoard appears in competition at MIFF having scooped four prizes at Venice Critics’ Week. Starring newcomer Saura Lightfoot Leon and Stranger Things’ Joseph Quinn, this intimate and at times confronting coming-of-age feature is centred on Maria, a young woman grappling with the grief, trauma and hoarding tendencies imposed by her mother.

Janet Planet

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker’s debut film is a sublime mother– daughter tale that pays extraordinary attention to the ordinary. Over the course of one early 90s summer in Massachusetts, hyper-needy 11-year-old Lacy (Zoe Ziegler) comes to terms with the riddle that is her mother, Janet (Julianne Nicholson, Monos, MIFF 2019). Collaborating with cinematographer Maria von Hausswolff, who shoots on 16mm, Baker imbues her debut with a warm nostalgia that bathes her characters in an almost surreal haze. Presented by Letterboxd, Janet Planet is a certain marvel.

Julie Keeps Quiet

Belgian director Leonardo Van Dijl’s Julie Keeps Quiet tracks a young tennis prodigy who is teetering on the brink of athletic stardom when her coach at a prestigious training academy is accused of misconduct. With its mood of roiling tension beneath watchful stillness, this incisive character portrait premiered to acclaim at Cannes Critics’ Week, where it won the Critics’ Week (SACD) Award. Real-life tennis player Tessa Vanden Broeck delivers an impressively poised performance in her first acting role, making Julie’s vulnerable interiority powerfully eloquent despite her outward stoicism.

Sweet Dreams

The desperate absurdities of colonisation are laid bare in the acidic Sweet Dreams, the assured second film from Bosnian-Dutch filmmaker Ena Sendijarević, which took home Locarno’s Best Performance Award for lead actor Renée Soutendijk. Intent on subverting the conventional period drama, this satire about a Dutch family’s fallout following the death of their wealthy patriarch confronts the Netherlands’ colonial trespasses with dark humour, lurid colours and the confining Academy aspect ratio, building to what Sendijarević has dubbed a ‘horrific fairytale’.

Universal Language

In a reimagined Winnipeg that looks a lot like 1980s Iran – just with a lot more turkeys and Kleenex factories – two young kids find a banknote, leading them on an odyssey that takes them out of childhood and into the unforgiving world of adults. Calling Universal Language an ‘autobiographical hallucination’ drawn from a love-hate relationship with his hometown, writer-director Matthew Rankin (who also plays himself in the film), brings the best of Iranian cinema to Canada’s most beige city in this delightful cross-cultural comedy.

The Village Next to Paradise

Hope and familial bonds thrive in dangerous conditions in the groundbreaking The Village Next to Paradise – the first ever Somali film to screen at Cannes. Selected for Un Certain Regard, the affecting debut feature from Mo Harawe (Will My Parents Come to See Me, MIFF 2022) follows a makeshift family living in a cramped one-bedroom apartment in a small fishing village as they try to carve out a better life for themselves and together. Vividly rendered through Harawe’s rich visual language, The Village Next to Paradise is a gentle portrayal of survival in a country racked by instability and violence.


Flow, the striking animated allegory from Latvian filmmaker Gints Zilbalodis (Away), also arrives from Cannes Un Certain Regard to screen in competition at MIFF. In this wordless wonder, a menagerie of animals adrift on a boat must work together to survive a catastrophic flood. Having recently notched up four awards at Annecy International Animation Festival, this poignant parable for our climate-catastrophe times, Flow showcases an ascendant master hitting his stride.

On Becoming a Guinea Fowl

With absurdist humour and playfully surrealist imagery, the disarmingly funny On Becoming a Guinea Fowl rages at a middle-class Zambian family’s shameful silence in the wake of the death of one of their own. Rungano Nyoni follows her acclaimed directorial debut I Am Not a Witch (MIFF 2017) with another formally adventurous Zambian feminist social critique – this one winning the Best Director prize in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.


Executive-produced by Thomas M. Wright (The Stranger, MIFF 2022) and supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, Inside is the impressive first feature from Short Film Palme d’Or winner Charles Williams. Shot in Melbourne and regional Victoria, the film showcases a trio of powerhouse performances – from Vincent Miller in his debut role, to a transformative turn from Cosmo Jarvis (Shōgun), to Guy Pearce (who also appears in The Shrouds, MIFF 2024) as a man seeing out a life sentence – in this prison-set portrait that poignantly examines the complex interplay between incarceration, rehabilitation and remorse.

African & Middle East films

Behind the Mountains East of Noon

To a Land Unknown My Favourite Cake Norah

Who Do I Belong To

Asia Pacific films

A Traveler’s Needs

Abiding Nowhere

All Shall Be Well

An Unfinished Film

Black Dog

Brief History of a Family

Ghost Cat Anzu

Head South

House of the Seasons


My Sunshine



Some Rain Must Fall

Viet and Nam

We Were Dangerous

Australian films



Dale Frank – Nobody’s Sweetie


He Ain’t Heavy

In Vitro

Kid Snow

Left Write Hook

Rewards for the Tribe

The Organist

Twilight Time



A New Kind of Wilderness

Black Box Diaries



Direct Action

Ernest Cold: Lost and Found

Gaucho Gaucho

Grand Theft Hamlet

I Shall Not Hate



Look Into My Eyes

Made in England: The films of Powell and Pressburger

No Other Land

Occupied City


Secret Mall Apartment

Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story

The Remarkable Life of Ibelin

The Ride Ahead

The Stimming Pool

Two Strangers Trying Not to Kill Each Other

Welcome Space Brothers

Europe & UK films


Close Your Eyes


Ghost Trail

Green Border

Hesitation Wound

Knee Cap



September Says


Suspended Time

The Girl With the Needle

The Most Precious of Cargoes

The Outrun

The Rye Horn

The Sparrow in the Chimney

The Story of Souleymane



Dream Team


The Hyperboreans

Us and the Night

Family films


Magic Beach


Iranian New Wave: 1962-79

A Simple Event

Brick and Mirror

Dead End

Golden Age of Iranian Animation

Tall Shadows of the Wind

The Carriage Driver

The Cow

The Deer

The Stranger and the Frog

Tranquility in the Presence of Others

Latin America

Cidade; Campo

La Cocina


Motel Destino


Simon of the Mountain



You Burn Me

Miff Schools


The Concierge




She Sat There Like All Ordinary Ones


Music on Film

A Century in Sound

Community to Commercial – Restored Australian Music Videos DEVO

Dig! XX

Dory Previn: On My Way to Where Ellis Park

Mogwai: If the Stars Had a Sound

Omar and Cedric: If This Ever Gets Weird

Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat

Teaches of Peaches

The World According to Allee


This Is a Film About The Black Keys

Night shift





She Loved Blossoms More

The Demon Disorder

The Moogai


Wake Up

North America

All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt


Blue Sun Palace

Bob Trevino Likes It


Matt and Mara


My First Film

My Old Ass


Sasquatch Sunset

Sing Sing

The Damned



Who by Fire


Back From the Ink: Restored

Animated Shorts

Histories d’Amerique; Food, Family and Philosophy

Lake Mungo 4K

Romulus, My Father

Stephen Cummins Retrospective

The Cars That Ate Paris

The Small Black Room

Un rêve plus long que la nuit


Accelerator Shorts 1

Accelerator Shorts 2

Animation Shorts

Australian Shorts

Documentary Shorts

Experimental Shorts

International Shorts 1

International Shorts 2

WTF Shorts

Special events

Music on Film Gala: Ellis Park Godzilla 70th Anniversary Marathon

Hear My Eyes: Wake in Fright x Surprise


Peninsula Hot Springs: Magic Beach

Lasting Impressions

Premiere with Purpose: Left Write Hook

Family Gala: Family Gala

Opening Night Gala: Memoir of a Snail

Planetarium Fulldome Showcase


Copa 71

Like My Brother

Queens of Concrete

You Should Have Been Here Yesterday

The Natural World


As the Tide Comes In

Every Little Thing

Fungi: Web of Life

Future Council

The Cats of Gokogu

The Falling Sky


Yvonne Rainer: Autobiographical Fictions

The Village Next to Paradise

Lives of Performers

The Man Who Envied Women

MURDER and murder


MIFF Regional

Films vary between regional venues, see MIFF website to confirm specific screening locations.




Copa 71

Ellis Park



I Saw the TV Glow

Janet Planet


LA Cocina

Let Write Hook

Memoir of a Snail

MIFF Shorts


Queens of Concrete


The Magic Beach

Twilight Time

We Were Dangerous

You Should Have Been Here Yesterday

Visit the Melbourne International Film Festival website for tickets, times and more information.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites