Welcome to the 53rd Melbourne International Film Festival, our city's annual celebration of the world's film's cultures. When it comes to our perceptions of the Middle East and its state(s) of unease, the answer to the rhetorical 'Need to Know' slogan of this year's MIFF is unequivocally "yes"! We wilt trace not only the 'fault lines' in the Middle East, but also attempt to get to know this region and its myriad cultures better through cinema.
It's vital for a contemporary Film Festival to be a hybrid of content AND events, of adventures and contemplation. This year we present a range of unique events, from Christopher Doyle's wild cinematographic expeditions Why i am not a Painter to our returning guest, virtuoso organist Ernesto Maurice Corpus performing to Tod Browning's The Unknown and the Australian classic The Man From Kangaroo. These events explore the boundaries of cinema plus the expectations of audiences—they are an integral component of a dynamic Film Festival.
This year's Australian Showcase reveals our filmmakers searching not only for their place in Australia but also beyond our borders. MIFF will be presenting premieres of local work from internationally renowned filmmakers Paul Cox; and Clara Law, in addition to championing emerging talents; such as Cate Shortland.
From Tehran to Bangkok, from St. Kilda to Stockholm, I urge you to take the trip!
Introduction taken from the 2004 official guide
236 feature films and 140 short films were screened from 21 July to 8 August
Program in Focus
The 53rd festival program's curatorial umbrellas including International Panorama, Australia Showcase, and Raw Japanese Cinema and Regional Focus for the second and third years respectively. New Cinema from Thailand rounded out a strong focus on Asian cinema. Middle Eastern and new crime cinema also featured. As per previous programs, New Scandinavian Cinema, Animation Gallery, Music on Film, Documentaries and short films featured.
Filmmaker in Focus
Chang Cheh. A retrospective of Cheh's work was screened.
Opening Night Film
Somersault (Cate Shortland, 2004)