MIFF is streaming Melbourne’s most exciting student films for free this month

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MIFF is streaming Melbourne’s most exciting student films for free this month

MIFF student films
words by elijah wraight

Grab the popcorn.

Australia’s oldest and most prestigious film school, the Victorian College of Arts (VCA), continues to produce some of the most promising up-and-coming creators in film. Now, MIFF Play is streaming the 2023 graduates’ works for free. 

The showcase includes 40 feature titles and ranges from films shot on antique 16mm stock to beautiful animation styles. These projects were created in collaboration with the University of Melbourne’s education partner, NantStudios. 

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

The selection of projects caters to various film cravings, featuring teen slashers, provocative mockumentaries, improvised and naturalistic dramas, and documentaries. The students working on these features are in the process of pursuing degrees in film and television and animation.

Some of these films include Polly’s Peculiar Pilgrimage, a beautiful stop-motion animation, and The Replacement Fish, a surreal dark comedy. 

Polly’s Peculiar Pilgrimage is a bright, heartwarming story about Polly, a speck of pollen living a happy life with her father in a Poppy. However, her world is disrupted when a human named Hana unknowingly sniffs Polly’s father up her nose.

Polly embarks on a journey to get her father back, and the story comes to life through drawn artworks and physical material such as clay. While there isn’t much dialogue, the music drives the story, and audiences are completely charmed by this little speck of pollen. 


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The Replacement Fish is a darker tale compared to Polly’s. The film follows Heath, a psych-rock drummer who is dumped by his band and his now ex-girlfriend.

After touring, he wants to reconcile, only to find out his replacement is a human fish that only he can see. The unique film is driven by detailed costume design and strategic lighting. The twist is a must-see and will leave you contemplating Heath and his perceived reality. 

VCA has a rich history of producing some of the most talented filmmakers in Australia, with legendary alumni including Gillian Armstrong, Justin Kurzel and Adam Elliot.

It’s no surprise that the talent of 2023 graduates is refreshing, and some of their works are truly mesmerising. If you’re a lover of film or eager for some interesting stories, check out the VCA 2023 Graduates’ films on MIFF Play. 

The films will be streaming for free on MIFF Play from December 1 to 15. To browse the full program MIFF student films, head here