Home » MIFF 2024: Australian films | ScreenHub Australia – Film & Television Jobs, News, Reviews & Screen Industry Data

MIFF 2024: Australian films | ScreenHub Australia – Film & Television Jobs, News, Reviews & Screen Industry Data

MIFF 2024: Australian films | ScreenHub Australia – Film & Television Jobs, News, Reviews & Screen Industry Data

Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has launched its 2024 program (8-25 August) with features, shorts and XR experiences in Melbourne, around Victoria and online.

Here are the Australian highlights to watch out for this year. See the full 2024 program here.

MIFF: Australian films

Memoir of a Snail

Memoir of a Snail. Image: Madman Entertainment.

This year’s festival opens on 8 August with Australian Oscar-winner Adam Elliot’s latest stop-motion film, which took eight years to complete and has been supported by the MIFF Premiere Film Fund. The voice cast includes Sarah Snook, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Magda Szubanski, Eric Bana, Tony Armstrong, Nick Cave and Jacki Weaver. ‘It is truly a Melbourne film and MIFF is the perfect place for its Australian premiere,’ Elliot said. ‘It’s about Melbourne, made by Melburnians and voiced by Melburnians. Opening night at MIFF will be a celebration of their artistry and a celebration of this wonderful city in which we live.’

Runt

Runt. Image: MIFF.

Jai Courtney, Celeste Barber, Jack Thompson and Deborah Mailman star in the heartwarming and hilarious adaptation of Craig Silvey’s bestselling Runt, which is set to make its World Premiere at MIFF. Ignoring the age-old axiom not to work with children or animals, director John Sheedy (H Is for Happiness, MIFF 2019) rose to the challenge to do both, with magnificent results. Newcomer Lily LaTorre delivers a charisma-fuelled performance as Annie, while the notable Australian cast bring to life this upbeat underdog tale for the whole family.

In Vitro

In Vitro. Image: We Are Arcadia Pty Ltd.
In Vitro. Image: We Are Arcadia Pty Ltd.

A disturbing secret threatens a couple’s relationship in the Australian eco-thriller In Vitro, starring Succession’s Ashley Zukerman. Writer-directors Tom McKeith and Will Howarth (Beast) also worked with co-writer and star Talia Zucker on their thought-provoking screenplay that was developed after being selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Meanwhile, cinematographer Shelley Farthing-Dawe imbues a haunting energy to the plains around Cooma and Goulburn in New South Wales, which serve as the moody backdrop to this tense, outback-set sci-fi nail-bitter.

Voice

Voice. Image: Miff.
Voice. Image: MIFF.

World Premiere. Voice offers an inspirational insider’s look at the Indigenous-run collective Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good (DIYDG) as they embark on a 3,000 kilometre cross-country roadtrip to gather support for the Australian Indigenous Voice referendum. But while they seek to inspire a new future, the resulting votes seemingly bring another fight for recognition to a close. Directed by Krunal Padhiar alongside DIYDG co-founder and chair Semara Jose as co-director, this observational film is the first major Australian documentary to chronicle the journey of the Voice referendum in 2023.

Twilight Time

Twilight Time. Image: Miff.
Twilight Time. Image: MIFF.

A gripping profile of the Australian academic, agitator and surveillance expert Des Ball – the man who counselled the US against nuclear escalation in the 1970s and was subsequently hailed by former president Jimmy Carter as ‘the man who saved the world’. Employing a wealth of archival footage, veteran documentarian John Hughes (Senses of Cinema, MIFF 2022) has captured a timely look at Australia’s complicated involvement in global strategy, defence policy and mass surveillance.

Kid Snow

Kid Snow. Image: MIFF.

Shot in and around Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, the latest fiction feature from director Paul Goldman (Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story, MIFF 2023) explores a mostly untold chapter of Australia’s national narrative in the true story of Irish tent boxer Kid Snow. British actors Billy Howle and Tom Bateman star alongside a sterling local cast that includes Phoebe Tonkin, Mark Coles Smith, Tasma Walton and Hunter Page-Lochard. As punches are thrown, Kid Snow is ultimately a story of hope and the redemptive power of love.

Like My Brother

Like My Brother. Image: Miff.
Like My Brother. Image: MIFF.

Co-directed by Danielle MacLeanh and Sal Balharrie, Like My Brother is an inspiring documentary about four young women from the Tiwi Islands who all dream of playing professional footy in the AFLW. But while dreaming is one thing, achieving it is another as they each navigate the hardship of leaving loved ones, the strain of distance and homesickness and the barriers faced by many First Nations young people.

Aquarius

Aquarius. Image: MIFF.

The story of a radical ten-day Festival in 1973 where the idealists face down police interference, internal chaos, drugs and personal dramas to create a living template for survival on earth … and almost succeed.

Audrey

Audrey. Image: Miff.
Audrey. Image: MIFF.

A dramedy following self-appointed Mother of the Year, Ronnie Lipsick, who is living a life she never wanted, with a derailed career, a husband whose love for life has gone limp and two daughters who she struggles to connect with. When an accident lands her eldest daughter Audrey in a coma, Ronnie gets a second chance at life by taking on her daughter’s identity – only she’s not the only one in the family who sees Audrey’s comatose state as an opportunity. Directed by Natalie Bailey (Bay of Fires) and written by Lou Sanz (The PM’s Daughter).

Dale Frank – Nobody’s Sweetie

Dale Frank – Nobody’s Sweetie. Image: MIFF.

Artist Dale Frank is not easily pigeonholed. He’s an abstract painter, with occasional forays into ready-mades and sculpture. Contrasts abound even between his current cutting edge artistic output and his beautifully restored 19th century mansion in the NSW Hunter Valley. Just eight weeks to his next exhibition at Sydney’s Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, and with commissions coming in from overseas, Frank is working at pace. At the same time, he’s creating a vast botanical garden and battling ongoing pain. Directed by Jenny Hicks.

Flathead

Flathead. Image: Miff.
Flathead. Image: MIFF.

Jaydon Martin’s directorial debut is part documentary about day-to-day life in coastal Queensland and part dream-like narrative. A former drug addict whose life has been marked by tragedy, the frail Cass leaves Sydney and heads back to Bundaberg to take stock of his life. Religion helps console him, while drinking and partying help pass the time. Most touching of all is a budding friendship with Andrew, a Chinese-Australian chip-shop owner who is dealing with his own grief.

He Ain’t Heavy

He Ain’t Heavy. Image: MIFF.

Jade (Leila George) has never been able to travel overseas. She’s too worried about her meth-addicted brother Max (Sam Corlett), always on call to take him to hospital or provide first aid after he’s self-harmed. In desperation, she finally confines Max in a room inside the rural house left by their grandmother. Shot in Western Australia, He Ain’t Heavy marks an impressive feature debut from David Vincent Smith.

Left Write Hook

'I Came To The Sport Because I Was Angry,' Says Left / Write // Hook Producer Donna Lyon. Image: Ella Sowinska.
‘I came to the sport because I was angry,’ says Left Write Hook producer Donna Lyon. Image: Ella Sowinska.

For eight survivors of childhood sexual abuse, a ground-breaking program turns into a journey of recovery, transformation and friendship.

Read: Left Write Hook producer Donna Lyon fights to honour sexual abuse survivors

Rewards for the Tribe

Rewards for the Tribe. Image: MIFF.

A visually beautiful, heartwarming documentary tracing the first collaboration between acclaimed contemporary dance companies Restless Dance Theatre – a troupe of dancers with disability – and genre-defying Chunky Move.

Visit the Melbourne International Film Festival website for tickets, times and more information.