MIFF makes triumphant return to Melbourne event calendar

Film enthusiasts rejoiced when it was announced in June that the Melbourne International Film Festival would return, after having been cancelled in the previous two years due to COVID-19.

The announcement of MIFF’s return was long awaited by the leaders of Australia’s film industry.

This year’s event was even more highly anticipated than usual, because 2022 marks the 70th iteration of the festival – all but guaranteeing that the creators who were featured would show audiences the pinnacle of their craft.

Over nearly three weeks from 4th to 21st August, film buffs in Melbourne had plenty of time to see as many movies as they could.

One of the main themes of the event this year was the use of film to open up discussions on controversial or difficult topics.

A man wearing glasses and looking at the camera
The screening of the film Man on Earth was accompanied by one of 2022’s MIFF Talks events on “Death & Dignity on Screen”. Photo: MIFF media

Filmmakers who were featured at MIFF 2022 held seminars discussing the philosophy and methodology behind their work – these seminars were open for anyone to attend and covered a variety of topics.

One of these seminars which was popular among those who attended is Death and Dignity on Screen hosted by Michael Williams, Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Dr. Nick Carr, and Professor Louise Keogh. This seminar, which was centred around the film Man on Earth, attempted to discuss the challenges which come with depicting death in films.

It was a spiritual opportunity for who attended, seeking to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of filming such moments.

The festival also featured interviews with filmmakers and directors such as Hannah Barlow, John Hughes, Alena Lodkina, and Tony Ayres among others.

These allowed attendees to see their idols and heroes in person as they shared experiences that led to success in the film industry.

But the most poignant part of the Melbourne International Film Festival is not the films or the featured creators, but the fact that it finally brought people together to celebrate their shared passion for film, after what the pandemic and the lockdowns stole from the city.

While attendance this year was lower than expected because of the lingering fear of COVID-19, the event was a massive success, signalling a bright future for MIFF.