MIFF 2017: Premiere Fund brings six world premieres

The Butterfly Tree

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the 66th Melbourne International Film Festival has announced that six films will have their red-carpet world premiere screening at this year’s MIFF. These include Greg McLean’s Opening Night offering JUNGLE, starring Daniel Radcliffe, and the highly anticipated THE BUTTERFLY TREE.

The Premiere Fund, which offers minority co-financing to new Australian quality theatrical (narrative and documentary) feature films that then premiere at MIFF, has invested in 56 projects including the MIFF 2017 slate. The 2017 premieres include:

  • THE BUTTERFLY TREE: starring Melissa George (The Good Wife), Ewen Leslie (The Daughter), Ed Oxenbould (Paper Planes) and Sophie Lowe (The Slap) in a visually sumptuous coming-of-age tale of love and loss, tinged with magical realism, from feature debut director Priscilla Cameron and producer Bridget Callow-Wright. 
  • THE SONG KEEPERS: Naina Sen’s  film is described as “Central Australia’s answer to The Buena Vista Social Club,”  from producers Rachel Clements and Trisha Morton-Thomas, tells an incredible story about a hidden musical legacy of ancient Aboriginal languages and German baroque songs that are being preserved by the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir.
  • HAVE YOU SEEN THE LISTERS?: From director Eddie Martin (Lionel, All This Mayhem) and producer Sarah Shaw (Snowtown). It provides a moving personal account of the artistic and commercial rise of Australia’s most renowned street artist, coupled with a deep personal cost.
  • WESTWIND: DJALU’S LEGACY: Director Ben Strunin portrays Yolngu elder Djalu Gurruwiwi’s quest to pass his people’s ancient songlines and culture to the next generation – with a little help from global pop star Gotye. Producers: Kate Pappas, Ben Pederick, Virginia Whitwell and Nick Batzias (That Sugar Film).
  • RABBITa chilling fairytale feature debut from director Luke Shanahan and producer David Ngo (One Eyed Girl), in which identical twins are linked by more than just DNA, starring Alex Russell (Cut Snake) and Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby).
  • JUNGLE: Alex Russell also features alongside Daniel Radcliffe in Wolf Creek director Greg McLean’s MIFF opening night selection, a gloriously tense survival thriller based on the bestselling real-life story of adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg.

Some of the previous MIFF Premiere Fund films, including BALIBO, BASTARDY, and BLESSED will also be showcased as part of the anniversary, clearly showing a favouritism for films starting with the letter ‘B.’

The full MIFF 2017 program will be announced on 11 July 2017. So far, MIFF has already revealed 29 of its First Glance titles, a freaky looking sci-fi retrospective,  the massive coup of opening night film Jungle, and the Kids Gala screening of Rock Dog.