In the face of the global disruption to the entertainment market, the film industry is finding new and innovative ways to keep cinema enthusiasts connected, and today the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) announced MIFF 68½ – a reimagined celebration of film online.
Following the festival’s cancellation, MIFF Artistic Director Al Cossar and his team developed this stream-specific detour in a bid to utilise the technology and open Australian audiences up to cinema they would ordinarily not have the chance of experiencing.
“MIFF 68½ is our response to these difficult times – the result of our desire to sustain MIFF’s outstanding film programming, stay connected with our audience, and foster new audience connections during this truly unparalleled time”, Cossar stated.
Available for audiences to stream across the festival’s original 2020 dates (6–23 August), MIFF 68½ will feature a fully-curated program, made available to audiences via ticketed access, with Cossar promising that “while it will not have the scale of a regular festival, it will certainly have all of the heart.”
The line-up for MIFF 68½, named so due to the festival’s historical 68th year, will be announced on the 14th July, and is expected to include a number of films planned for the festival’s intended 2020 program, as well as foregrounding ‘discovery’ highlights by emerging filmmakers. The program will also include a presentation of shorts across the Australian, International, Animation and Documentary program packages, while MIFF’s traditional Shorts Awards will adapt and run in 2020 alongside these packages, to recognise, showcase and support artists in this space.
“Nothing quite matches the power of cinema to transport, inspire and uplift, and we are thrilled to be able to bring the spirit of the festival into the homes of MIFF audiences at a time when working to keep connection to the arts has never been more vital,” Cossar closed with, echoing the sentiments of cinephiles the world over.
For more information regarding MIFF 68½ please visit the Festival’s official site.