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The Ultimate Guide To MIFF 2024, Including The Five Flicks You Need To See

By Lara Torcello

Mighty MIFF is back from Thursday 8 August to Sunday 25 August. The program is 250 films thick, with round-the-clock screenings, world premiers, and emerging talent debuts. Be that person that, when the big flicks make regular cinema runs next year, can say, “Oh, I saw that last year at MIFF”.

We’ve got the lowdown on what the program is shaping up to be. But know, this is only the first glance—we’ll be back with the full line-up on Thursday 11 July. Until then, get hyped with our Editor’s top picks on unmissable flicks.

La Cocina (The Kitchen)

Drama | Play adaptation | Black and white | Spanish, English | Watch the trailer

Image credit: IMDB

A very Melbourne-esque film, one might say. Where relationships and kitchen life hastily intertwined under the pressure of the lunchtime rush, set within a New York City restaurant. Directed by Alonso Ruizpalacio, Rooney Mara (HER, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Carol) plays Julia, and Raúl Briones plays Pedro in this adaptation of Arnold Wesker’s play, The Kitchen.  

Cuckoo

Body Horror | English | Watch the trailer

Image credit: MIFF | Supplied

Maybe not the best film to watch if you’re about to depart on a trip to Europe—and if you are, best keep the lights on. Rising star Hunter Schafer carries this film with brutal grace. Writer-director Timlan Singer (responsible for the bone chilling Luz), took the metaphor for how Cuckoo birds parent and sent it into another stratosphere. This film is every bit trippy as it is unnerving.  This is very much in Neon’s wheelhouse, who lies behind five-time Oscar winner Anatomy Of A Fall, the highly anticipated Long Legs with Nicolas Cage, and the show-stopping Sydney Sweeney’s Immaculate.

Memoir Of A Snail

Claymation | English | Drama | More information this way

Image credit: MIFF | Supplied

Adam Elliot can both crack and fill your heart. His claymation is easily recognisable—just think of his past work, Mary And Max, and Harvie Krumpet. Now, after eight years from his last release, he’s back on the scene, headlining MIFF and gracing 2024 as the opening film. Memoir Of A Snail follows the memoir of Grace Puddle—hoarder of snails and other unlikely bits and bobs. You’re bound to recognise the voices of Eric Bana (The Dry, Time Traveler’s Wife), Sarah Snook (Succession), Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), Magda Szubanski (Kath & Kim), and Nick Cave in this melancholic animation.

She Loved Blossoms More

Body Horror | Dark Comedy | French, Greek | More information this way

Image credit: MIFF | Suppled

For those that roll their eyes at three hour films, here’s a tidy 86-minute long feature for you. Director-composer (what a combo) Yannis Veslemes tends to lean dark with his films, and She Loved Blossoms More plays in the same space. Gear up for a dark-trippy film as three brothers attempt to resurrect their late mother whose death they could never quite take in their stride. Thus, they fashion an old wardrobe into a time machine, and it all unravels. The body-horror is right in your face for this one.

We Were Dangerous

Drama | Feminism | More information this way

Image credit: MIFF | Supplied

Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu makes her filmmaking debut with We Were Dangerous. 91% on the Tomatometer, and backed by Taika Waititi with his signature dark comedic touch on difficult-to-swallow topics (think Jojo Rabbit). Described as a ‘delinquent coming-of-age’, this ferociously feminist film centers around three Māori teens that find themselves on a remote island facility at the helm of The Matron (Rima Te Wiata, Hunt For The Wilderpeople). It took home the award for Special Jury Award For Filmmaking at SXSW this year, and we reckon it’s on track to win more accolades this year. 

Now, that’s not to say we don’t have our eyes on Damon Gamour’s Future Council, Welcome Space Brothers as produced by Elijah Wood, Steve McQueen’s Occupied City, and more. But we can’t say we love the entire program (even when we do). 

FESTIVAL DETAILS

When: Thursday 8 August to Sunday 25 August
Where: all across Melbourne
Full program: to be announced Thursday 11 July

TICKET DETAILS

MIFF Members pre-sale: 8pm Thursday 11 July to 9am Thursday 16 July
General sale: 9am Tuesday 16 July

Image credit: MIFF | Supplied

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