The Made In Melbourne Film Festival turns seven this year and a record number of submissions has led to one of its strongest programs, full of variety, world premieres, and multi-award winning films. Led by a trio of exciting features – each fresh or ground breaking or even controversial – and bookended by the popular Opening and Closing Night Short Film Showcases, there is something for everyone at MIM 2015.
The entire festival will be held at the exclusive and high-tech Backlot Studios in Southbank, from Thursday November 26th to Sunday November 29th. Festivities kick off with the traditional Opening Night Showcase, where the best shorts Melbourne has to offer light up the big screen and compete for a variety of prizes.
Some Kind of Beautiful, directed by Rahul Prasad, is a highlight. The poignant drama tackles bullying and sexual abuse and reminds us to pull back the layers to see the beauty in everyone. Another standout is the engaging documentary Mars Calling, directed by JP O’Brian, following two short-listed candidates – out of 200,000 worldwide applicants – for a mission to colonise Mars by 2024. The documentary explores their reasons for wanting to give up life on Earth to travel to the Red Planet and was featured on Channel 10’s The Project.
On Friday night we screen our first feature, ‘out of body comedy’ The Heckler, directed by Ben Plazzer and starring CJ Fortuna (Any Questions for Ben) and Simon Mallory (Comedy Inc.). A self-obsessed comedian on the fast track to fame, has his body hijacked by the spirit of a jealous heckler and must find a way to reclaim it before the imposter ruins his career forever. The Heckler sold out at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival earlier this year and has been screening at select cinemas across Australia ever since, in addition to picking up the ‘Best Ensemble’ award at the LA Comedy Festival.
On Saturday night we take a more serious turn with The Dream Children, directed by Robert Chuter. This bold and, at times, confronting drama tells the story of a gay couple who turn to the black market to adopt a baby, but secrets, desperation, and insecurities threaten to destroy their dream and newfound family. Based on a 2001 play by Julia Britton entitled Internet Baby, The Dream Children had it’s first public screening at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and has gone on to screen around the world at LGBT festivals in Miami, Mumbai, Indianapolis, Torino and more.
Shot with an open and European-esque attitude to sexuality much like French films Betty Blue and The Dreamers, and anchored by easy chemistry between leading men Greame Squires (Home and Away) and Nicholas Gunn (Neighbours), The Dream Children is a provocative but beautiful story about love and family and a desire for normalcy in a world that still tries to keep marriage equality to the sidelines.
Prior to The Dream Children we introduce our first ever Melbourne Music Showcase, kicking off Saturday evening with a BBQ and free live entertainment from Melbourne alternative band, Also, Dragons. This is followed by eight fantastic local music videos and short documentary Bodycrash. Directed by Adrian Ortega, Bodycrash takes you deep into Melbourne’s infamous nightclub scene and tackles the issues surrounding it, from drug use to underage clubbing to the ‘juicy wiggle.’ A night for the sounds of Melbourne to shine, this session is for all the groovers and shakers.
The Sunday Matinee session sees our final feature, Pretty Good Friends, by young director Sophie Townsend. Dubbed Melbourne’s first ‘mumblecore’ film, the story follows Jules who moves home to Melbourne with the hopes of re-inventing herself in time for her 25th birthday. Juggling the rekindling of an old friendship while an exciting new one emerges tests the boundaries of friendship and puts Jules in a dangerous position. A combination of comedy, romance and drama, Pretty Good Friends investigates the effects of an ‘emotional affair’ and took home the Best International Feature at the 2015 Starlite Film Festival Florida, in addition to being part of the 2015 Australian Film Festival Film Focus series at the Classic and Cameo Cinemas. Townsend was inspired to create a Melbourne mumblecore film using a small cast and crew and an even smaller budget. The result is ‘one of the most naturalistic films that are likely to see’ (The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Film Show).
Finally our Closing Night Shorts presents a mix of great shorts across many genres – everything from drama, horror, comedy and animation covering themes of loss, loneliness, acceptance, revenge, and anxiety caused by modern technology. A standout is Go Fish directed Kristin Sargent which deals with a grief stricken child who is forced to confront a horrific tragedy and tormenting school bullies. Featuring comedian Shane Jacobson in a dramatic turn as the child’s father, Go Fish has won numerous awards at festivals around the world and was even nominated for a 2015 New England Emmy.
MIM 2015. Still the only festival exclusively for Melbourne filmmakers and growing every year. Join us to celebrate our beautiful city by the bay and the talented artists that make it unique. All local. All Melbourne.
2015 Made In Melbourne Film Festival @ Backlot Studios, 65 Haig Street, South Melbourne
Opening Night – Short Fim Showcase 7:30pm, Thursday November 26th
Friday Night Feature, ‘The Heckler’, 7:30pm, Friday November 27th
Saturday Movie Matinee 2pm, Saturday November 28th
Free BBQ, Live Music from 5pm & Melbourne Music Showcase 6pm, Saturday November 28th
Saturday Night Feature, ‘The Dream Children’, 8pm, Saturday November 28th
High School Showcase 2pm, Sunday November 29th
Sunday Movie Matinee 4.30pm, Sunday November 29th
Closing Night Shorts, 7:30pm, Sunday November 29th