Melbourne International Film Festival 2011
Australia’s annual film event Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) kicks off today!
Dubbed the largest film festival in the southern hemisphere, films from more than 50 countries are screened for 17 days every winter, alongside parties and special events taking place all around the city.
MIFF also happens to celebrate its 60th birthday this year, making it one of the world’s oldest film festivals.
Films are grouped according to categories such as Networked, International Panaroma, Accent on Asia and Next Gen, and should entice cinephiles and occasional moviegoers alike. The only downside is that it’s only open to audiences aged 18 and above.
But films we recommend include Life in a Day, the handiwork of thousands of people from 192 countries. The unusual film is the result of Oscar winning director Kevin MacDonald’s attempt to piece together a single, unique story of a day on Earth, by using YouTube film clips accumulated from all corners of the world.
YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia and Facebook also feature in Fleurs Du Mal (pictured above). The French film explores the impact of social media on a modern 21st century romance between two youths in Paris, set alongside the historic events of Iran’s Green Revolution in 2009.
My Wedding and Other Secrets, a fictional romance story from New Zealand that shows the challenges of “cross-cultural love” faced by Chinese-New Zealand student Emily and local Kiwi James, is also worth a watch.
Finally, Japanese director Takashi Miike returns to MIFF for a third year in a row, this time with 13 Assassins. The movie is a period epic set in 19th century Japan, and has been described as “a visceral tumble of intense samurai action”.