MIFF 2016: Melbourne International Film Festival launches full program

MIFF 2016 logo

Joe Cinque, Jerry Lewis, and and 8-hour film from the Phillipines are just some of the things you’ll see at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, back for its 65th year in Australia’s own European city. 

MIFF announced its full 2016 line-up today, following the First Glance and Cannes titles released last month. Kicking off on 28th July and running through to the 14 August. Over the course of those 18 days, the festival will screen a huge number of highly anticipated films, and feature British director Terence Davies (SUNSET SONG) as a festival guest.

Previously announced Australian film THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OTTO BLOOM will open the festival, with HELL OR HIGH WATER, a neo-western starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine, book-ending the event as the Closing Night selection. Marking the midway point is a Centrepiece screening of the Cronulla riots black comedy DOWN UNDER, one that debuted to some acclaim at this year’s Sydney Film Festival in June.

JOE CINQUE’S CONSOLATION, Sotiris Dounoukos’ adaptation of Helen Garner’s 2007 book about the death of a Canberra man due to a heroin overdose, will make its debut at the festival this year.  Some other highlights from this year’s offerings include a slew of titles from Cannes, not least of which is Nicolas Winding Refn’s incredibly stylish and divisive THE NEON DEMON, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s THE UNKNOWN GIRL and FIPRESCI Award winning TONI ERDMANN.  A full list of the Cannes imports was released last month.

One of the curious additions is the 8-hour (yup, 8 hours) HELE SA HIWAGANG HAPIS (A LULLABY TO THE SORROWFUL MYSTERY), a Lav Diaz film from the Philippines that includes an hour-long lunch break. That’s in addition to the the 5-hour Japanese film HAPPY HOUR.

The program launch mentioned a new section called “Headlines,” featuring the most anticipated films from around the world. There’s also going to be (wait for it) a JERRY LEWIS RETROSPECTIVE, featuring 12 of his features as director. You didn’t see that coming, did you? Of course, there will be a special tribute to Paul Cox, who died in June, and a screening of the recently restored Australian classic from Joceyln Moorehouse, PROOF. The latter will have its restoration premiere on 29 July at the Forum.

The full program can be found at miff.com.au. Tickets will be made available there to the general public on Friday 8 July. Also check out our full Sydney Film Festival 2016 coverage, which reviews a number of the films screening at MIFF.