Melbourne International Film Festival celebrates 60 years

MUMBAI: The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, which takes place from 21 July to 7 August.

Over its 60 years, MIFF has showcased some of cinema history’s most beloved films and has grown from screening 120 films from 21 countries in 1958, to more than 350 films from 50 countries in 2010.

The Festival has moved from its original location in the Dandenong Ranges, to the inner city suburbs of Camberwell and St Kilda, finally resting in Melbourne’s city centre.

MIFF has screened films from Russia, Equador, China, Japan, Jamaica and Bangladesh, to name a few countries. Bollywood movies have been featured in the MIFF across the years with the more recent titles being Madhur Bhandarkar’s Chandni Bar (2001), Deepa Mehta’s Earth (1998), Abhishek Chaubey’s Ishqiya (2010) and Dibakar Bannerjee’s LSD (2010).

The 2011 programme will showcase 60 years of MIFF with a retrospective looking at the most impactful films screened at the Festival over the years – films that changed federal laws on censorship, created heated debate and controversy, and some that changed the way we think.

MIFF remains committed to its support of short films and to this end, organisers will be programming a series of short films looking at the city of Melbourne and how it has changed over 60 years, featuring first films by MIFF Ambassador Fred Schepisi, plus Tim Burstall and many others.

To celebrate 60 years, MIFF invited all filmmakers – professional, amateur, semi-professional or other – to submit a short film, which will go into the running to be screened at MIFF 2011. The winner of the Miff Take/60 Short Film Competition will also enjoy the ultimate festival experience. Films must be six minutes or under and feature or reference Miff in some way.

Miff Tales, another initiative of the 60th celebrations, is the
commission of series of small vignettes to be screened at Miff and online and which will document important Miff moments, stories, tall tales and true tales that have given MIFF its character, profile and presence.

Finally, MIFF’s ‘60 films in 17 days blogathon’ challenge will
encourage bloggers to post their reviews on the go.

Australia’s biggest film festival has also received a AUD$17,500 boost from Tourism Victoria’s Events Program for 2011.

The AUD$17,500 grant is in addition to the AUD$310,000 of support provided annually through Film Victoria, and will help boost the number of visitors coming to Victoria for this event.

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