Melbourne Film Festival introduces $140k grand prize for 70th anniversary

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Melbourne Film Festival introduces $140k grand prize for 70th anniversary

Melbourne International Film Festival

The Southern Hemisphere’s largest and longest-running film festival, Melbourne International Film Festival is hoping for bigger and better things with a huge new main prize.

The new $140,000 prize for the winner of MIFF’s Best Film award is being funded by the Victorian state government, as the new competition seeks to attract more major titles, global profile and leading filmmakers to Melbourne in August.

It’s going to be a huge year for MIFF. Film Victoria is supporting the launch of the new Best Film competition in celebration of the landmark 70th anniversary of MIFF.

Keep up with the latest Melbourne film and television news here.

An official selection of up to 10 feature films that have their Australian premiere at the festival will compete for the Best Film Award, with a jury of prominent Australian and international filmmakers and industry professionals deciding the winner. Additional awards will include a new Australian Innovation Prize and the return of the festival’s Audience Award.

The festival already boasts a talent development aAccelerator Lab, a commissioning fund and a screen content financing market, making MIFF one of the few film festivals in the world to feature such a broad offering of industry and public activity, putting it alongside festivals such as the Berlin’s International Film Festival – Berlinale.

The awards will be presented at a reshaped MIFF Closing Night Awards Ceremony on 20 August. Despite the pandemic, activity in the Victorian film industry is at record levels, with more than $391 million channelled into production expenditure in 2020-21.

There does, however, remain a crucial lack of Australian content on streaming services, with regulation failing to keep pace with the booming market for streaming services Australia wide.

“The competition will recognise and amplify the new, the next, the breakthrough and the best in screen from Australia and across the globe,” MIFF Director Al Cossar said. “It will bring incredible films and filmmakers to Melbourne –making MIFF truly unmissable in 2022 and beyond.”

Keep track of MIFF’s movements here.