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Full MIFF Program Announced! Here are 11 Films to Go See at the Festival

The full MIFF program for 2019 has dropped, with the big news that Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be premiering at the long-running festival.

The Melbourne International Film Festival celebrates its 68th year (wow) in 2019, bringing with it a record number of offerings featuring 259 feature films, 123 shorts and 16 virtual reality experiences.

It will also include 31 world premieres and 160 Australian premieres over the course of its 18-days run between the 1st to 18th of August.

It’s been announced that Quentin Tarantino’s highly anticipated 9th film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will be having its premiere on the 3rd of August, along with Lulu Wang’s acclaimed, heartwarming film The Farewell closing out the festival.

You can check out the full program guide here, and we’ve selected 11 films from the list that we think stand out from the pack.

Check them out below and click on the title to be linked to the film’s MIFF page for tickets!

The Australian Dream

The inspirational story of former champion AFL footballer Adam Goodes, whose rise to glory was quickly shattered after becoming the target of a racial slur on the field.

The film will take viewers on a journey around Australia, speaking to prominent figures from the footballing world, the Australian media and Goodes’ family and friends to broaden the discussion about racism and its affect on society and indigenous peoples.

The Australian Dream makes its premiere at MIFF and should make for a truely eye-opening experience.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Tarantino is back with his hotly anticipated 9th film which follows the story of a fading film star set in late 60’s Hollywood.

Headlined by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the film features one of Tarantino’s best ensemble casts to date (and that says a lot considering the remarkable talent that’s featured in his past films), with the likes of Margot Robbie, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Damien Lewis, Damon Herriman and Luke Perry co-starring.

We still don’t know many plot-specific details about this one (as you’ll see in the trailer above), but expect lots of violence and classic Tarantino-isms here.

The Farewell

Lulu Wang’s heartwarming film, The Farewell, will headline MIFF’s Closing Night Gala and features rising Chinese-American star Awkwafina in the lead role.

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The film follows a family’s efforts to hide a terminal cancer diagnosis from its Grandmother, as they gather round to spend time with her in her final days under the false pretence of an impromptu wedding.

It’s a film that looks to have lots of humour and will be sure to pull at the heartstrings.

In Fabric

Peter Strickland’s new comedy-horror film In Fabric features a quirky premise, to say the least.

The film follows a cursed red dress that haunts anyone that wears it.

It’s a highly stylized film that obviously doesn’t take itself too seriously; a combination that generally makes for an excellent horror film.

The Lodge

On the other end of the horror spectrum comes The Lodge from the directors of the disturbing Goodnight Mommy (2014), Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala.

The Lodge tells the story of Grace (Riley Keough), who becomes trapped in a lodge with her boyfriend’s two children.

A former cult survivor, Grace’s paranoia begins to grow as she suspects the kids are manipulating her… Or is there more to this story?

The Lodge is sure to be a slow-burning, dread-building film, perfect for fans of the genre.

The Nightingale

Another one for fans seeking something a tad darker and disturbing is The Babadook (2014) director Jennifer Kent’s, The Nightingale.

The Nightingale is a period revenge drama-thriller film set in colonial Tasmania and it looks like one that will shock and awe it’s audience in the most uncomfortable ways.

A film that will likely feature some brutal violence and heavy themes, The Nightingale will be one for those that want a visceral experience at the cinema, for better or worse.

Little Monsters

Headlining MIFF’s Centrepiece Gala is Australian director Abe Forsythe’s zombie comedy-horror film Little Monsters, starring Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Gad and Kat Stewart.

The film has had virtually no marketing behind it and it’s near-impossible to find a trailer for the film, making it that much more intriguing.

We do, however, have a short clip from the film above, which highlights its humorous horror tone.

Earth Girls Are Easy

The cult classic Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) is featuring as part of a Jeff Goldblum movie marathon special event at MIFF in 2019.

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The film follows three space aliens that crashland on earth and find love with their female earthling counterparts.

Goldblum and a young Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans play the furry aliens in a film that didn’t do so well when it was released in 88′ but has since gone on to become a fan-favourite, rare, sci-fi musical rom-com gem.

The Jeff Goldblum Marathon event also includes films like Thor: Ragnarok (2017), The Fly (1986) and Independence Day (1996) amongst others.

The Dead Don’t Die

Directing auteur Jim Jarmusch tries his hand at comedy with this deadpan take on the zombie-movie genre.

Featuring an all-star cast that includes Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton amongst many other recognisable faces, the film follows a group of small-town cops that are forced to confront an impending zombie apocalypse.

Featuring plenty of dry humour, The Dead Don’t Die could be the anti-zombie-movie zombie-movie that we didn’t know we needed, if that makes sense.

The Beach Bum

Controversial writer/director Harmony Korine is back with his follow-up to 2012’s Spring Breakers.

Korine is known for making his audience feel uneasy with the tone, style and quirky characters he showcases in his films.

The Beach Bum is no different and features Matthew McConaughey as, well, a beach bum, who spends his days drinking, smoking weed and trying to write poetry, surrounded by a troupe of eccentric friends.

It’s a tragic character study, but one that you can’t help keep your eyes peeled to.

The Art of Self-Defense

Jesse Eisenberg stars as a wimp who decides to take up Karate in order to gain some confidence.

He’ll soon discover that there’s more beneath the surface of his new dojo and its strange instructor (played by Alessandro Nivola), as things turn dark and sometimes, dangerous.

This dark comedy from Riley Stearns looks hilarious and one that seems to get the most out of its starring talents.

So that’s our small pick of the bunch of many great films screening at this year’s MIFF.

Check out the full MIFF program here for a complete list of films at this year’s festival!

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Loves producing content as much as consuming it. Deserted Island Movie Collection: The films of Quentin Tarantino. Best Movie Snack: Nachos.


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