Melbourne International Film Festival cancelled

It's totally expected, but still heartbreaking for cinephiles and the industry. The 69th MIFF will happen next year instead.

It’s the announcement we’ve been dreading but anticipating. With pandemic shutdowns now estimated to last well into the middle of the year, and perhaps much longer, the 2020 Melbourne International Film Festival has finally pulled the plug on their 2020 edition. 

Here is the statement MIFF sent out this afternoon:

‘It is with sadness that the Board and Management of the Melbourne International Film Festival have taken the difficult decision to cancel MIFF 2020 owing to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For 68 years, MIFF has championed the power of film to educate, entertain and inspire humanity – and to document its experiences, especially during challenging times – so the unprecedented move to cancel the August 2020 festival, as well as 37ºSouth Market & Accelerator Lab, has not been taken lightly.

“The thought of a winter without MIFF in our city is a disorienting one; deeply disappointing to both our organisation and, I’m sure, our community,” said MIFF Artistic Director Al Cossar. “It is a decision that was very hard but plainly necessary, responsible and required given what we all face together at this moment. Our thoughts rush to those who make MIFF what it is year after year, and what it will return to be. To our partners, funders, venues, staff, suppliers, filmmakers and artists, volunteers, prized collaborators of all kinds, and our own uniquely MIFF audiences, we wish you safety and support; we will continue, together.”

MIFF is committed to the longevity and sustainability of the festival and will continue to provide compelling and community-building experiences for our audience and stakeholders into the future. And, in the absence of the festival this year, MIFF is considering other means of maintaining its engagement with audiences. We will share details as they become available.

If you have already purchased a membership or a pass to MIFF 2020, it will now be valid for MIFF 2021, and any passes or memberships purchased from today will also be valid for MIFF 2021. If you would like to support MIFF and are in a position to do so, we encourage you to join us by becoming a member or making a tax-deductible donation.

We look forward to bringing you the 69th Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2021.’

MIFF’s cancellation follows in the wake of other film festivals including Melbourne Queer Film Festival (whose festival was axed just a few short days into its 2020 edition) and Sydney Film Festival, which announced its cancellation last month.

The Cannes film festival has also postponed this year’s edition.

About the Author
ScreenHub​ is the online home for emerging and experienced Australian screen professionals.