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Melbourne International Film Festival Has Revealed the First 33 Movies From Its Huge 2022 Lineup

MIFF will celebrate its 70th fest with almost a month of impressive titles, expanded screenings in suburban cinemas and the return of its online program.
By Sarah Ward
June 09, 2022
By Sarah Ward
June 09, 2022

For the two past pandemic-affected years, the Melbourne International Film Festival has beamed its lineup to movie lovers online rather than in cinemas. Turning 70 in 2022, however, it's returning to where it has always belonged. After expanding its audience and going national with its virtual programs, MIFF isn't ditching its digital screenings — but once again showing hundreds of the latest and greatest titles in international cinema in Melbourne picture palaces is firmly the star of this year's show.

That's the first piece of great news for Melbourne movie buffs. The second: while MIFF will grace the screens at a heap of inner-city favourites between Thursday, August 4–Sunday, August 21 — such as ACMI, The Capitol, Forum Melbourne, Hoyts Melbourne Central, IMAX, Kino Cinema and Cinema Nova — it'll also show in suburban Melbourne cinemas The Astor, Lido, Pentridge and Sun Theatre from Friday, August 12–Sunday, August 21, too. Throw in the online component as well, which runs from Thursday, August 11–Sunday, August 28, and that's almost an entire month of MIFFing to look forward to.

Also among the ace announcements: the first 33 films that cinephiles can put on their must-see lists, whether on screens big or small. That includes homegrown titles to both open and close MIFF 2022, with the fest launching with the world premiere of coming-of-age feature Of an Age by director Goran Stolevski — then wrapping up with the Aussie premiere of documentary Clean, about Melbourne 'trauma cleaner' Sandra Pankhurst.

Other highlights span 2022 Berlinale Golden Bear-winner Alcarràs; Australian docu-drama The Plains, which hones in on daily life and picked up an award in Rotterdam; Dual, the Aaron Paul (Westworld) and Karen Gillan (Avengers: Endgame)-starring latest by The Art of Self-Defense's Riley Stearns; and Aubrey Plaza (Best Sellers) slipping into the thriller genre in Emily the Criminal. Or, there's horror-comedy Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon from A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night's Ana Lily Amirpour, which focuses on a telekinetic young woman; Where Is Anne Frank, the first feature film in eight years by Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman; and doco Jane by Charlotte, with actor Charlotte Gainsbourg (Nymphomaniac) exploring the life of her iconic mother Jane Birkin.

It wouldn't be a MIFF without a film by South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo (The Woman Who Ran, On the Beach at Night Alone), which is where the Berlinale Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize-winning The Novelist's Film comes in. And, other standouts include New York-focused music documentary Meet Me in the Bathroom, about the 00s music scene; fellow doco Fire of Love, a Sundance-winner that surveys the lives of volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft; and Reflection, about a man's experiences in post-Maidan Ukraine.

Thanks to the MIFF Premiere Fund, which helps financially support local flicks, the Australian contingent also covers ten more titles so far. Among the must-sees: Greenhouse by Joost, a documentary about zero-waste pioneer Joost Bakker and chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett making a self-sufficient, eco-friendly residence; the Western Australian-shot Sweet As, starring Tasma Walton (How to Please a Woman), Mark Coles Smith (Occupation: Rainfall) and Shantae Barnes-Cowan (Firebite); and the film student-focused Petrol, from Strange Colours' director Alena Lodkina.

Plus, there's Under Cover, a Margot Robbie (The Suicide Squad)-narrated doco that focuses on women aged over 55 facing homelessness — and Moja Vesna, a drama about the impact of grief upon a Melbourne immigrant family that first premiered in Berlin.

The list goes on — and, it'll only grow, with the entire program will be revealed on Tuesday, July 12. That's when exactly what'll screen in MIFF's new competition, which'll boast a $140,000 Best Film Award, will also be unveiled.

In the interim, start steeling yourself for almost a month spent in darkened rooms, basking in the glow of the silver screen, committing the fest's ads to memory, and doing the usual dash up and down Swanson Street. Or, for checking out the program in Melbourne's suburbs — or online nationally.

The 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival runs from Thursday, August 4–Sunday, August 28 at a variety of venues around Melbourne and Victoria, and online. For further details, including the full program from Tuesday, July 12, visit the MIFF website.

Published on June 09, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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