Eight flicks set to electrify Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

Eight flicks set to electrify Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

Words by Annie-Mei Forster

Melbourne Documentary Film Festival is bringing all the most anticipated new docos to local screens; many of which will be world-first premieres.

The fun and experimental Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will showcase the best in Australian and international documentary filmmaking talent over twelve massive days. Join us as we break down eight flicks you can’t miss at the fest – all going down at Cinema Nova.

Unsung heroes in the war on terror

The Daily Telegraph’s eight-part documentary series Voodoo Medics explores the lives of Australian military medical staff who served with our special forces in Afghanistan. The series, which won Best Documentary at the Annual New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles, sees journalist Kristin Shorten team up with cinematographer Rhys Edward Jones to create an intriguing exploration. Voodoo Medics is showing on Sunday July 21 at 11am.

Fighting sporting tradition

Little Miss Sumo is about Hiyori, a champion female sumo wrestler who has been banned from competing professionally. Fighting tradition, Hiyori embarks on a journey that sees her overcome obstacles both inside and outside the ring in an attempt to help change Japan’s national sport forever. Little Miss Sumo is being screened on Saturday July 27 at 11am.

The worst filmmaker of all time

The best filmmakers are often talked about, but what about the worst? F*ck You All: The Uwe Boll Story explores the infamous Uwe Boll, whose career highlights include working with Oscar award-winning actors and making films with $60 million budgets to lowlights such as people signing petitions for him to stop making films. You can catch this doco on Friday July 19 at 6.15pm.

Saving a species from extinction

Sharkwater Extinction follows activist and filmmaker Rob Stewart as he exposes the illegal shark fin industry. Stewart’s mission is to save these creatures before they are hunted to extinction. Exposing illegal fishing activities has earned Stewart some powerful enemies in this multi-billion dollar industry making shark fin soup for human consumption. Dive into this deep-sea adventure on Saturday July 20 at 8:45pm.

Comeback king

Soul music fans will love this heartfelt documentary about Teddy Pendergrass’ musical career. Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me looks at the first male African American artist to record five consecutive platinum albums against the backdrop of an American civil rights movement, and his comeback after a terrible car accident. This film is screening Sunday July 21 at 8:45pm.

Parodic religious ‘cult’

The Church of the SubGenius was called the “the most aggressively preposterous theology the world has ever known!” Director Sandy K. Boone explores the religious ‘cult’ that reached its peak during the ‘80s in America. The documentary shows archival footage of people involved in the Church from the deranged to the artistic and nerdy. You can catch J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius on Saturday July 27 at 4:15pm.

Criminals turned marathon runners

Skid Row Marathon is a story of hope, friendship and dignity. A criminal court judge starts a running club on LA’s notorious skid row. It follows four runners as they overcome their battles with homelessness and drug addiction to run marathons around the world. A motley crew of addicts and criminals come together in this inspiring documentary. Skid Row Marathon is screening Saturday July 27 at 8:45pm.

Human impact on the planet

Multiple award-winning team Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky bring you their feature documentary film Anthropocene: The Human Epoch. The film examines the lasting impact humans have made on the planet and sees the filmmakers travel the globe to examine the human footprint. This documentary is being shown Sunday July 28 at 6:15pm.

Melbourne Documentary Film Festival is happening from Friday July 19 until Tuesday July 30. Head to mdff.org.au for more info and tickets.