As we celebrate the festival's half century, I would like to pay tribute to the pioneers who founded the Festival, to the commitment of my predecessors and to all who have contribute to the festival's growth. Your support – and the assistance of the film community, sponsors and government – have truly given us a past and present to celebrate, and a future to look forward to.
With our commemorative book, A Place to Call Home, and our homage to festivals and film past. You can read and see the passion that has fashioned the festival into this success we all now enjoy.
Ishi Sogo, Werner Herzog and Errol Morris will be the featured signatures of out screens, in addition to spotlight on irresistible Brits debuts and spirited new Latin-American cinema. The soul of the festival will always be found in our backyard. We have a rich Australian Showcase, plus the relentlessly spirit and extraordinary diversity of Asian cinema, in our Regional Focus. Integral to this year is Sideshow: New Media, which trips the future whilst Mach 1 provides an entry point for newer audiences to this vast and rich festival of ours.
I look forward to seeing you all at our birthday over the next two and half weeks.
Introduction taken from the 2002 official guide
158 feature films and 116 short films were screened from 18 July to 5 August
Program in Focus
MIFF's special 50th anniversary program featured the films of Ishii Sogo, American filmmaker Errol Morris and Werner Herzog. Attention was given to new films from Britain and Latin America. Music films, animation, documentaries, the International Shorts Competition, Australian Showcase and International Panorama continued to feature. Shadows: Dark Side of Cinema featured horror and cult films from Sweden, South Korea, USA and New Zealand.
Filmmaker in Focus
Errol Morris. A retrospective of the filmmaker's work was screened.
Filmmaker in Focus
Werner Herzog. A retrospective of the filmmaker's work was screened.
Opening Night Film
The Bank (Robert Connoly, 2001)