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MIFF 2016 opening Regent Theatre
Photograph: Tony Zara/Dean Walliss

MIFF announces full program, including 90 movies directed by women
Written by
Nick Dent

It’s the biggest Melbourne International Film Festival ever, with 254 features, 120 shorts and 19 virtual reality experiences.

Festival director Michelle Carey says goodbye to MIFF after eight years with a supersized program that features a bumper crop of highlights from the Cannes Film Festival in May.

(Carey is moving to Germany, leaving the festival in the capable hands of associate director Al Cossar, who takes over as director for MIFF 2019.)

The program, which was announced on Tuesday night, includes 90 movies directed by women – a record – as well as a focus on fashion, with iconic fashion films of yesteryear and new documentaries about Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.   

Great Italian crime movies from the 1960s and '70s will be screened, as well as retrospective of African cinema.

The highly anticipated Cage-a-thon is an all-night screening of seven essential Nicolas Cage movies: Mandy, Raising Arizona, Red Rock West, Vampire’s Kiss, The Wicker Man, Drive Angry and Con Air.

In more Nicolas news for MIFF, Nicolas Wending Refn’s cult thriller Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, was announced as a Hear My Eyes presentation with a live score. A specially assembled band will perform the movie’s songs as well as a brand new score featuring dry-pulsing beats, industrial tracks and ambient synth.  

French filmmaking couple Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, famous for their extreme aesthetic referencing Italian giallo cinema, are visiting the festival to present a retrospective of their short films and three features The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears, Amer and Let the Corpses Tan.

MIFF’s opening night film is Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife – a subtle drama about a teen whose family is falling apart in the 1960s starring Australia’s prodigious Ed Oxenbould (Paper Planes) and Carey Mulligan. Closing night is an upbeat new documentary, The Coming Back Out Ball – covering the stories of senior LGBTQIA Australians who took part in Melbourne’s Coming Back Out Ball last year during the plebiscite on marriage equality.

Arrested Development’s Maeby, Alia Shawkat, is among the festival guests, attending to present the film Blaze and to take part in a Q&A.

Tickets to MIFF 2018 go on sale Friday July 13. Time Out has compiled a fully researched list of 28 movies you must see in MIFF 2018 – check it out for suggestions on how to direct your festival dollar.

Can't wait? Here are the best films screening in Melbourne right now. 

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