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Milk Bar’s Aussie MIFF Picks

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Film buffs of the world, unite! The 60th annual Melbourne International Film Festival kicks off this week, showcasing the crème de la crème of the world’s finest movies.

In addition to the vast program of international highlights, the festival will also showcase a selection of recent films made in Australia. Genevieve Bailey’s eagerly anticipated documentary, I Am Eleven, will premiere on July 23. The film transcends borders to bring the audience an intimate, cross-cultural snapshot of the innermost thoughts of adolescents. Bailey was not the only local director who has travelled overseas for her work. Tom Zubrycki went to the Pacific nation of Kiribati for his latest documentary about the human impact of climate change, The Hungry Tide.

Australia’s vibrant arts industry will be celebrated in many documentaries throughout the festival. The late dancer and Sydney Dance Company choreographer Tanja Liedtke will be immortalised in Life in Movement. Paul Cox, Australia’s iconic filmmaker, will be honoured in David Bradbury’s On Borrowed Time while music enthusiasts will experience the determination of a Brisbane orchestra to achieve the impossible in The Curse of the Gothic Symphony.

For those who prefer rock over classical, Dogs in Space director Richard Lowenstein will pay tribute to Melbourne’s iconic Birthday Party guitarist in Autoluminescent: Rowland S Howard. This will be complimented by Persecution Blues: The Battle for the Tote, which documents the recent campaign to save Melbourne’s much-loved rock venue from closure.

Alongside these enthralling true stories are an assortment of Australian latest drama, comedy and thriller flicks. Kriv Stender’s Red Dog is an affectionate tale of a rural town united by their love for a sick kelpie while The Eye of the Storm explores similar themes of togetherness and family reunion in the face of death. Craig Lahiff’s neo-noir thriller Swerve is filmed against the landscape of the South Australian outback while Jon Hewitt favours an urban atmosphere to deliver a dark tale of Sydney’s underworld in X.

No matter what your interest is, the Melbourne International Film Festival is sure to have something on the program that will tickle your fancy. From documentaries about musicians and community landmarks to tantalising thrillers about love triangles and sex workers, MIFF brings together some of Australia’s most outstanding films and crams them into a two-week marathon. Do yourself a favour: don’t miss it.

The Melbourne International Film Festival runs from 21 July – 7 Aug 2011. For full program, session times and ticket information, visit: http://miff.com.au


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