2018 Melbourne International Film Festival to open with Australian premiere of Wildlife

The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will soon be upon us once again, running from 2-9 August, 2018. The 67th outing of the Festival will also mark the premiere of actor Paul Dano’s (Swiss Army Man) directorial debut Wildlife, starring Carey Mulligan (Collateral), Jake Gyllenhaal (Southpaw) and Australia’s Ed Oxenbould (The Visit). The First Glance selection, comprising of32 films demonstrating MIFF’s expansive and diverse reach have also been announced.

Set in 1960’s Montana, Wildlife tells the emotional tale of a teen dealing with the falling apart of his family, as he tries to pick up the pieces along the way.

MIFF Artistic Director Michelle Carrey commented on the premiere, saying “We are thrilled to announce Wildlife for this year’s Opening Night Gala. Paul Dano’s debut as a director provides an exciting glimpse into a successful shift in his career from on screen to off, and the cast including Australia’s very own Ed Oxenbould (a special name here at MIFF) is an impressive way to kick off proceedings”.

Other notable first glance features include both the on and off screen contributions of Ethan Hawke (Training Day) in First Reformed, as he portrays the cinematic legend Paul Schrader, and Blaze, a biopic on an unsung musical legend, in which Hawke directs.

Chloë Grace Moretz (Kickass) also features, as she gives a career-best performance in Desiree Akhavan’s (Appropriate Behaviour) feature The Miseducation of Cameron Post, winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize (US Dramatic).

Cannes 2017 best actor winner Joaquin Phoenix (Her) features in Lynne Ramsay(We Need to Talk About Kevin) feature You Were Never Really Here, taking on the role of a war vet and ex-FBI agent whose new job consists of rescuing children from various paedophile rings.

Bodied pairs the unlikely duo of Grammy-winning director Joseph Kahn (Detention) and rapper turned producer Eminem (8 Mile) as they present their satirical story about an accidental battle-rap star.

In the tradition of filmmaking first outings, acclaimed TV director Michael Pearce  makes his feature debut with Beast a British crime drama and love story infused with aspects of an intriguing psychosexual thriller.

The complete list of all 32 First Glance titles are as follows:

An Elephant Sitting Still (China)
Angels Wear White (China)
Apostasy (UK)
Beast (UK)
Blaze (USA)
Bodied (USA)
First Reformed (USA)
I Used to Be Normal – A Boyband Fangirl Story (Australia/USA)
In the Realm of Perfection (France)
Island of the Hungry Ghosts (Australia)
Let the Corpses Tan (Belgium/France)
McQueen (UK)
Mr Inbetween (Australia)
People’s Republic of Desire (China / USA)
Pig (Iran)
Pity (Greece/Poland)
The Bill Murray Stories (USA)
The Cheaters (Australia)
The Deserted (Taiwan)
The Guilty (Denmark)
The Insult (Lebanon)
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (USA)
The Seen and Unseen (Indonesia)
Tigers Are Not Afraid (Mexico)
Transit (Germany)
United Skates (USA)
Wayne (Australia/NZ)
West of Sunshine (Australia)
Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (France)
Wildlife (USA)
You Were Never Really Here (USA/France)
Zama (Argentina/Brazil/Spain/France/Netherlands/Mexico/Portugal)

While the full MIFF program is yet to be revealed, all tickets will go on sale Friday 13 July. For more information, you can visit http://miff.com.au/.


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Matthew Arcari

Matthew Arcari is the games and technology editor at The AU Review. You can find him on Twitter at @sirchunkee, or at the Dagobah System, chilling with Luke and Yoda.

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