The Melbourne International Film Festival, or MIFF, has been running since 1951. The 57th MIFF was held from 25 July–10 August 2008. The festival showcases a diverse array of films from across the world.
Known as Australia’s most critically acclaimed film festival, MIFF has enjoyed a period of rapid expansion over the past ten years, increasing its audience size by 230% since 1996. The festival also boasts a rich history, celebrating 57 years in 2008, making it one of the oldest film festivals in the world. The festival now enjoys annual admissions of 170,000 – 180,000, making it both a significant and iconic public event for Melbourne and the largest film festival (with respect to programme and audience size) in Australia.
In addition to screening films from around fifty countries, MIFF is Australia’s largest showcase of new Australian cinema and most vocal champion of both emerging and established local film making talent.
Friday 25 July – Opening Night Hamer Hall.
Saturday 26 July – Zombie gathering at RMIT Capitol Theatre 8.30pm to see George Romero and the Australian Premiere of Diary of the Dead.
Sunday 27 July – Rock n Roll Nerd World Premiere at RMIT Capitol Theatre at 5pm. Director Rhian Skirving in attendance.
Sunday 27 July – In Conversation with George A. Romero at the Coopers Festival Lounge at 7pm.
Monday 28 July – Geoffrey Rush presents The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith at the Forum with a Q&A with Geoffrey Rush and Fred Schepisi.
Wednesday 30 July – Charity screening of Young @ Heart at the Rooftop Cinema for Melbourne Citymission. Doors open 6pm.
Wednesday 30 July – MIFF launches the new Backbeat program with an After Party at the Coopers Festival Lounge at 9pm.
Saturday 2 August – Q&A with Temuera Morrison at the Forum at 2.45pm following the screening of Rain of the Children.
Saturday 2 August – In Conversation with Morgan Spurlock at the coopers Festival Lounge at 4pm hosted by John Safran.
Tuesday 5 August – Eric Bana presents Mad Max II at the Forum at 7pm with a Q&A with Eric following the screening.
12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST
Tue 5 Aug 08 9:15 PM
‘It’s a movie that seems simple, yet its subtle and brilliant complexity is not to be denied.’ – San Francisco Chronicle
With its title referring to the exact time dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled Romania’s presidential palace on 22 December 1989, 12.08 East of Bucharest cleverly looks, with a sly wink, at the aftermath of a revolution – most notably the skewed recollection of events by different people.
On the eve of the revolution’s anniversary a second-rate television talk show host recruits two average Romanians to debate the topic of the night: did the revolution happen in their town, or not?
Winner of the Camxra d’Or at Cannes 2006, Corneliu Porumboiu’s debut feature is a comedic, razor-sharp critique of the nature of memory and accepted histories.
D/P/S Corneliu Porumboiu WS Coproduction Office
L Romanian w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2006/89mins
New Romanian Cinema at Melbourne
Monday, October 22, 2007 On Saturday, veteran film journalist Nick Roddick led a provocative discussion on the sudden emergence of film gems from what had seemed like a most unlikely source: Romania. 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS (which is screening at the London Film Festival) was the surprise winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (a first from the cinema of that rather unknown and misunderstood country). Attention is definitely focused on the former Communist state as a new hotbed for the hottest talents working in international cinema.
The panelists included Cristian Mungiu, the acclaimed director of 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS; Andrei Boncea, producer of CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’, which screens at the Festival; Adina Bradeanu, Romanian film journalist; and Ada Solomon, film producer and Executive Director of NexT Cultural Society & NexT Film Festival in Bucharet. The panel discussed the success of such breakout films as the critical favorites THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU (directed by Cristi Puiu) and 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST (Corneliu Porumboiu), which singlehandedly put contemporary Romanian cinema on the map. Now with the high profile of Mungiu’s film, Romania has become the new „it” country on the world stage of cinema.
Panelists discussed why they felt the Romanian cinema was suddenly hot, while also questioning if there is truly a „national cinema” in place to take advantage of all the acclaim and attention. Some speakers felt that this sudden focus is nothing more than fate….the unlikely convergence of a number of buzz-worthy films made within a short span of time, which just happen to share a national origin. Others felt that the drama of recent Romanian history with the deposing of the autocrat Ceausescu and his wife by firing squad and the explosion of artistic freedom has made the country an incubator for new trends and ideas. Wherever the truth may lie, the fact is that Romanian cinema is having its moment and could generate the newest of the New Waves, as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and South Korea have done in recent years. The best way to sample the new Romanian cinema is to catch both 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS and CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ during their runs at the London Film Festival. Then, you can decide if this is a passing fad, or the start of a noble cinema tradition.
Sandy Mandelberger, London FF Dailies Editor