After considerable reflection I find I can only write this foreword from a personal point of view rather than as the "Director".
I came to the Melbourne International Film Festival in January, refreshed from a holiday in America, full of zest and over-flowing with the joys of human kindness. As it has turned out, I have needed every bit of this energy and then some.
Anyone who could do this for 26 years has my sincere admiration.
I found an uneasiness about the future of the festival that puzzled me, to me the potential seemed limitless. A distinguished history of 32 years, countless critical successes, guiding hands that were sure and experienced.
Over the first month I examined the artistic and financial records of the festival and managed to meet most of the people involved in the various sub-committees and working parties, the "Friends", and other special interest groups.
What emerged was a series of strongly-held opinions of what the festival was and should be. Clearly, it was impossible to completely satisfy everyone, if indeed everyone was correct. The goal then became to select and blend various desirable elements into a strong, vital, viable international festival.
This I hope I have achieved. And, if I have been successful it has not been accomplished on my own. The festival office staff — Kerrie, Lee, Marion, John and many others who gave freely their time, have been a source of unfailing support and good humour. Two special people, John McArthur and Scheffe, were always ready with clear-headed advice and encouragement. Two of nature's true gentlemen.
The wonderful people at the Arts Centre, especially George Fairfax, Sue Nattress and Renee Leon have been marvellous in finding solutions to the mountain of requests we have made to ensure the best possible Festival for you, and in very difficult circumstances too.
Please accept my heartfelt thanks if you have helped the festival this year and I hope I have thanked you personally. If not, I have meant to, believe me.
1984 — A festival that brings to you a selection of films from around the world in a variety of styles and in a range of languages. Hopefully we are all a little more tolerant and a little wiser for the experience.
Introduction taken from the 1984 official guide
75 feature films and 134 short films were screened from 1 June to 16 June
Program in Focus
Films of note: Daniel (Sidney Lumet), White Dog (Samuel Fuller), The Makioka Sisters (Kon Ichikawa), The Fourth Man (Paul Verhoeven), Videodrome (David Cronenberg), The Hypothesis of The Stolen Painting (Raul Ruiz)
Filmmaker in Focus
Alfred Hitchcock. A retrospective of Hitchcock films was screened.
Eureka (Nicolas Roeg)
Broadway Danny Rose (Woody Allen)