Mental reunites writer-director P.J. Hogan with his original leading lady Toni Collette for the first time since Muriel’s Wedding. Over 300 films make up the 61st Melbourne International Film Festival program, the largest and oldest film festival in Australia.
This year the festival is marking its halfway point with a special world premiere gala screening of Save Your Legs!, Melbourne director Boyd Hicklin’s debut feature. Also featuring is the world premiere of Jack Irish – Bad Debts. Starring Guy Pearce as the eponymous debt collector, Jeffrey Walker’s film is the first of the ABC Television series based on Peter Temple’s award-winning novel Bad Debts. Other Australian films include The First Fagin, a MIFF Premiere Fundsupported documentary about one of Australia’s most infamous convicts, Ikey Solomon, rumoured to be the inspiration behind the villainous character in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Lasseter’s Bones, which follows the folk hero behind the legend of Lasseter’s Reef; Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s fiercely haunting love story Hail; plus the documentary Coniston about the last-known massacre of Indigenous Australians, and World War II outback documentary Croker Island Exodus.
Other highlights include L, The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, Shock Head Soul, Just The Wind, Normal School, The Student, Las Acacias, Violeta Went To Heaven, Miss Bala and many, many more.
This year’s special events include: MIFF 51st Short Awards where this year the eligible short films are competing for a total cash prize pool of $42,000 and the winners are eligible to submit for nomination at the 2013 Academy Awards; The Sputnik Effect – a gallery installation that explores the relationship between society, psychosis and technology using 3D projections; and Planetarium Fulldome Showcase – the return of MIFF’s fulldome projection screenings at Melbourne Planetarium goes into space, underwater, and through the musical history of piano virtuoso Franz Liszt.