Upcoming Melbourne film festivals
Australia’s only film festival dedicated to film lovers aged 60 and up, Young at Heart, is returning in February. The festival program includes acclaimed features, special guests, Q&As and cinema classics brought back to their rightful home on the big screen. Screenings are at Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona and Palace Central, and if you're a senior you're looking at just $8.50 a ticket plus booking fee (sorry, full price is $20). The festival opens with Swimming with Men, which stars Welsh comedic star Rob Brydon as a mature man who joins an all-male synchronised swimming team; there'll be afternoon tea and a glass of sparkling wine before the screening. Nonna on the Run is an Italian comedy concerning two woman who flee their retirement home in Rome for a trip to Venice – screen icon Claudia Cardinale (Once Upon a Time in the West) is one of the stars. An Australian screen great, Elizabeth Debicki, plays Virginia Woolf in Vita and Virginia, portraying the writer's romance with Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton). The Heiresses was named Best Film at the Sydney Film Festival last year, and Young at Heart presents an opportunity to see this emotionally compelling Paraguayan movie. Screen favourite Bill Nighy plays a Scrabble obesessive searching for his lost son in Sometimes, Always, Never, and Judi Dench appears in Red Joan, based on the life of British KGB agent Melita Norwood. On the documentary fron there's Older than Ireland, centring on Irish cente
The growth of the global youth climate movement, alternative power and a filmmaker’s attempt to replace himself with a robot are some of the topics covered in this year’s festival of world-changing films. Part of the Sustainable Living Festival, the Transitions Film Festival’s eighth edition is a chance to join like-minded viewers in watching local and international documentaries that seek to address the world’s problems and face the probable future head on. A total of 28 films will screen at Cinema Nova, and a program of speakers will feature leading sustainability academics, artists and entrepreneurs, including celebrity endurance athlete Samantha Gash, Solar tuk-tuk adventurer and social entrepreneur Julian O’Shea and comedian and lawyer Corinne Grant. Opening night’s film is Point of No Return, in which two pilots attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an experimental solar-powered plane. Closing night’s The Serengeti Rules is a study of food chains around the world that puts forward a hopeful theory about the resilience of the natural environment. More Human than Human is Tommy Pallotta’s disturbing investigation into AI and robotics, exploring the ways in which both have already infiltrated our lives. Dystopians will also enjoy System Error, which questions the economic logic of infinite growth. On the inspirational side of the equation comes Run India, about endurance athlete Samantha Gash (Australian Survivor) and her 3,200km run across India to raise awareness a
Returning for its third year, Melbourne Women in Film Festival is designed to redress the relative lack of women in the film industry, celebrating the work of women filmmakers and creatives. This year's program takes the theme of 'Dark Delights' and begins with a triptych of three short films called Freaky, Fantastic and Feminist. It includes Margaret Dodd's startling 1982 short film 'This Woman Is Not a Car', in which men project their lust upon an FX Holden, Jub Clerc’s award-winning Indigenous horror film 'Storytime' (2006), and 'On Guard' (1984), a boldy feminist short focusing on the ethics of reproductive rights in the 1980s. A digital restoration of 1997 Australian rural gothic The Well will screen, followed by a Q&A with director Samantha Lang, and preceded by Jennifer Kent's short film 'Monster', the forerunner to her horror blockbuster The Babadook. Keep an eye out for Angie Black's new film The Five Provocations, an ensemble drama about love, loss and gender identity, with a range of cabaret stars playing the mysterious 'five provocations'. The Late Night Screaming session pairs Ursula Dabrowsky's 2014 horror thriller Inner Demon with witchy short 'Blood Sisters'. Other sessions include Stranger than Fiction, a program of documentary shorts; Sinister Shorts, a session of weird and dark films; and a Q&A screening of Mairi Cameron's 2018 suspense movie The Second. A series of workshops and panels will also take place, aimed at women filmmakers. Closing f
For its 29th edition the Melbourne Queer Film Festival will present more than 140 features, documentaries and shorts, including 9 Australian premieres, 28 Melbourne premieres and one restored classic feature. Opening night film Papi Chulo from Irish director John Butler (Handsome Devil) is a romantic comedy in which an LA weatherman forced to take extended leave forms an unlikely alliance with a Mexican migrant worker. Closing night is the highly anticipated Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy starring Kristin Stewart as the androgynous Savannah Knoop, who spent six years pretending to be the celebrated male author JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law Laura Albert (Laura Dern). Sure to be the talk of the festival is Knife+Heart, a lurid story of murder and pornography starring Vanessa Paradis in an acclaimed performance as a lesbian producer of gay porn. Gay icon Rupert Everett stunned critics with his triple-threat effort writing, directing and starring as Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince, his account of the last days of the Irish playwright's tumultuous life. Fans of the podcast You Must Remember This will love Scotty and Secret History of Hollywood, the memoirs of Hollywood gigolo and pimp Scotty Bowers, 95, who serviced both men and women during the 1950s and beyond. In that vein, a new doco on famously closeted Hollywood star, Making Montgomery Clift, will screen. There’s also a fiery lesbian romance Eva and Candela from Colombia; a feminist retelling of
St Kilda Film Festival is now a winter event, launching on Friday June 21 with a gala event at the Palais Theatre. The festival features the top 100 films submitted by Australian filmmakers, plus music videos (SoundKILDA), international content and special events. The festival has partnered with Virtual Reality (VR) Cinema by offering a novel viewing experience for audience members. Patrons will be able to watch a selection of short films and music videos for free while wearing VR headsets. St Kilda Film Festival is now an Academy Awards qualifying event, meaning that prize winners are eligible for consideration for the Academy Awards for short films, animations and documentaries.