Melbourne’s dedicated international documentary film festival

Melbourne (Jul 19-29, 2019)

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RocKabul

RocKabul

Afghanistan’s first psychedelic metal band will hopefully not be their last ...
Number 37

Number 37

There have been a lot of adaptations, homages or films otherwise inspired by Rear Window; ...
The Drummer and the Keeper

The Drummer and the Keeper

Casting matters. So does chemistry ...
The Seen and Unseen

The Seen and Unseen

Most stories are better without a sledgehammer to drive it’s point home, though subtlety doesn’t ...
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FINALLY it is time to lift the embargo and launch the festival!Congratulations to the Official Selection 2019From the nail-biting attempt to become the world’s fastest skydiver over the skies of Melbourne and Sydney, to the untold story of the man who inspired Banksy, to Nicholas Cage’s long term stunt double, to Francis Ford Coppla’s attempt to create a new film genre, to the lost film of a comedy genius, to Leonardo Di Caprio’s favourite comedy documentary, Melbourne Documentary has it all and delivers an impressive 4th edition.
From 19th – 30th July 2019 Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will profile an eclectic, diverse and wide ranging collection of documentaries from both Australia and abroad. The final selection is an uncompromising, award-winning and challenging slate of documentaries from the world’s very best film festivals. The festival competition will see country vs country, film school vs film school, film festival vs film festival, legendary documentary filmmakers vs emerging talent in an epic 11 day competition.Melbourne Documentary Film Festival’s 4th edition will be one of the world’s most progressive and modern takes on documentary including Documentary Web Series and Video Essay.
Docs featured in this year’s fest direct from:
44 of the world’s best film festivals will have coverage at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival including: Sheffield Doc Fest, San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, Doc Edge, Doc LA, Raindance, Full Frame, Doc NYC, Hot Docs, Doxa, New York Film Festival, Tribecca Film Festival, Big Sky, American Documentary Film Festival, Whistler International Film Festival, Venice, Telluride, New Zealand International Film Festival, Sydney International Film Festival, Manchester International Film Festival, RIDM, CPH:DOX, Revelations Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, Slamdance, Fantastic Fest, Found Footage Film Festival, Gold Coast Film Festival, Screenwave, Bryon Bay Film Festival, IDFA, Cambridge International Film Festival, BAFTA, Sydney Underground Film Festival, Bryon Bay Film Festival, Antenna Film Festival, The Academy long list, Tropfest, St Kilda Film Festival, Vision Du Reel and SXSWCelebrities who have directed, narrated, starred in, produced or distributed docs in this year’s fest include:
Peter Medak, Werner Herzog, Francis Ford Coppola, Barbara Kopple, Alex Winter, Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rosario Dawson, Mark Borchardt, Uwe Boll, Robert Davi, Richard Linklater, Claudio von Planta, Nicolas Cage, Tommy Emmanuel, Van Duren, the Sonics, Agnostic Front, KISS, the Velvet Underground, Ronnie Wood, Chip Monck, Alicia Vikander, Jeremy Dylan, Steve Vai, Eric Idle, Joe Satriani, Olivia Newton John and Cate Blanchett.
Highlights:
Blockbuster/Premiere
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival has the Melbourne premieres of blockbuster documentaries ‘Sharkwater Extinction’ & ‘Anthropocene: The Human Epoch’ and will also see the Australian premieres of critically acclaimed, award-winning documentaries ’17 Blocks’
‘The Ghost of Peter Sellers’, ‘Dark Money’, ‘Pariah Dog’, ‘Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain’, & ‘Cielo’.Australian Documentaries
Nearly half of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival’s total schedule will be from Australian Filmmakers. Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will have the World Premieres of 5 great new Australian documentaries – ‘Art of Incarceration’, ‘The Campaign’, ‘Woodstock at 50’, ‘Strange Tenants: Ska’d for Life’, ‘Tommy Emmanuel The Endless Road’ and ‘Looby’ The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and commemorate the 10th anniversary of Black Saturday with a documentary called ‘Forged from Fire’ and will raise money for the Victorian Volunteer Firefighters as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival’s Charity Docs.Female Directors
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival has a strong, authentic and genuine commitment to women in film and will see Barbara Kopple lead a pack of the world’s most talented female directors that include local Melbourne filmmakers Hannah Cairns, Fiona Cochrane, Helen Gaynor and internationals Tess Girard, Alison McAlpine, Sandy Boone, Mariah Wilson, Cat Mills, Olivia Lichtenstein, & Kimberly Reed.New Voices
Sponsored in part by the National Film Board of Canada, this section of the festival will feature new emerging international talent including Tess Girard from Canada for As the Crow Flies and the Tribecca Award Winning Documentary 17 Blocks by Davy Rothbart.Legendary Documentary Directors
Peter Medak, Werner Herzog, Francis Ford Coppola, Barbara Kopple, Alex Winter, Richard Linklater, and Claudio von Planta all have documentaries they are involved in being shown at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival this year.Master Classes
Melbourne Documentary will host 3 Master Classes this year at the Backlot Cinema on 22nd July 2019 & 29th July 2019 they will be on:
1: Making a Personal Documentary
2: Making Aboriginal and LGBTIQ Documentaries
3: Making the Great Australian Music DocumentaryShort Documentaries / Doc Challenge
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival’s new initiative ‘Doc Challenge’will see the best film schools in Australia – AFTRS, Monash, SAE and VCA go head-to-head. In addition to this, shorts from the very best film festivals – Big Sky Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, IDFA, and DOC NYC will compete for top International Documentary in Melbourne. The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will also have specialised short sessions on Aboriginal, LGBTIQ, and Music.Music Documentaries
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will profile a diverse range of styles of music from ska to soul to hard rock and will see documentaries about artists and bands like KISS, Ronnie Wood, the Velvet Underground, Teddy Pendergrass, the Sonics, Agnostic Front, Van Duren, Tommy Emmanuel, and Woodstock.Stats on the Fest
Dates 19th – 30th July 2019
Venues: Cinema Nova and Backlot Cinemas
112 documentaries selected
50 features
62 shorts, web series, video essay
World Premieres = 6
Australian Premieres = 59
Melbourne Premiere = 42Awards
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Best Documentary Film Festival of 2018 – Film Daily, Best Documentary Film Festival the Southern Hemisphere 2018 – Guide Doc. Top 100 Film Festival in the World 2017, 2018, 2019 – FilmFreeway.
We now close off the 3rd edition & thank everyone for sharing their stories with us last year. We had a great time in Melbourne. Tomorrow we launch the 4th edition. We had so much to celebrate including:
* 12 sold out sessions
* Raised money for the Mcgrath Cancer Foundation
* 4 Documentaries on the Oscar Long List, the highest of any documentary-only festival in Australia
* Abducted in Plain Sight went on to become one of the biggest documentaries on the planet
* Bam Bam got the front page of the Age and the Project
* We won Best Documentary Festival in the World on Film Daily and Best Documentary Film Festival in the Southern Hemisphere on Guidedoc
* Fish Out of Water, Kangaroo Movie and War Mother beat the odds and got into Big Sky Film Festival, The Oscar Long List and Tribecca Film Festivals. Wonderful to see Australian Indie doing so well on the world stage
Thanks everyone!
The #mdffest2019 will be one of the most progressive version of documentary including Documentary Web Series, and Video Essay & will have 112 documentaries playing, 50 features,62 shorts, web series, video essay 6 World Premieres, 59 Australian Premieres, 42 Melbourne Premieres. Along with strong and authentic commitments to Australian Documentary, Women in Film, Aboriginal and LGBTIQ Docs and one of the best music sections around.
The #mdffest2019 will be an incredible competition of the world's very best documentaries. The festival competition will see country vs country, film school vs film school, film festival vs film festival, legendary documentary filmmakers vs emerging talent in an epic 11 day comp
Nearly half of all the docos in the comp will be Australian. We want to show Netflix that Australian content is popular, high quality and by supporting it is the right thing to do (currently Netflix plays 1.7% Australian content). The festival will also be curated under #australian #melbourne #premiere #music #filmbuff #environmental #strangerthanfiction #truecrime #health #foodie #sports #shorts #art #streetart #docsafterdark #politics #dogumentary
44 of the world’s best  film festivals will have coverage at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival including: Sheffield Doc Fest, San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, Doc Edge, Doc LA, Raindance, Full Frame, Doc NYC, Hot Docs, Doxa, New York Film Festival, Tribecca Film Festival, Big Sky, American Documentary Film Festival, Whistler International Film Festival, Venice, Telluride, New Zealand International Film Festival, Sydney International Film Festival, Manchester International Film Festival, RIDM, CPH:DOX, Revelations Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, Slamdance, Fantastic Fest, Found Footage Film Festival, Gold Coast Film Festival, Screenwave, Bryon Bay Film Festival, IDFA, Cambridge International Film Festival, BAFTA, Sydney Underground Film Festival, Bryon Bay Film Festival, Antenna Film Festival, The Academy long list, Tropfest, St Kilda Film Festival, Vision Du Reel and SXSW #mdffest2019
Top 5 Fresh True Crime Short Documentaries:1: Anonymous Comes to Town
https://www.theguardian.com/news/ng-interactive/2019/apr/18/anonymous-comes-to-town-how-hackers-took-on-high-school-sexual-assault-in-ohio2: Murder on Cortes Island
https://www.channelnonfiction.com/the-fifth-estate-murder-on-cortes-island/3: Trouble Finds You
https://www.vimooz.com/2019/04/27/watch-trouble-finds-you-the-intercept-short-documentary-on-largest-gang-raid-in-nycs-history/4: Agama
https://jezebel.com/inside-the-thai-spiritual-haven-run-by-an-alleged-sexua-18340930355: Albatross Soup
https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2019/05/01/albatross-soup/
Top 5 Upcoming Documentary Events in Melbourne
1: ACMI - Human Rights Film Festival – Risking Light
https://2019.hraff.org.au/events/risking-light/2: Kino -  Irish Film Festival Australia - The Camino Voyage
https://irishfilmfestival.com.au/film/the-camino-voyage/3: Sun Theatre - Setting Sun Film Festival – Short Documentaries
https://settingsunshortfilmfestival.com.au4:  Cinema Nova  -Meet the Filmmaker – Rockabul
https://www.cinemanova.com.au/films/rockabul5: Monash Art Gallery – Katrin Koenning – Documentary Photography
https://www.bjp-online.com/2019/04/katrin-koenning-poetic-documentary/
Documentary of the Week: Last Breath by Alex Parkinson is a docu-drama from the UK. This gripping, edge of your seat docu-drama sees a commercial diver  stranded on the seabed with only five minutes of oxygen, and no chance of rescue for half an hour. The docu-drama has access to astonishing underwater archive, this is the true story of one man’s impossible fight for survival. GRAVITY meets TOUCHING THE VOID - 100 meters underwater. Last Breath will be available in Australia on iTunes on 6th May 2019
https://itunes.apple.com/au/movie/last-breath/id1456196270
Artist and Documentary Photographer Linda Alterwitz uses a camera that detects radiant heat, instead of light, uncovering and documenting hidden thermal signatures in everyday scenes https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/this-photographer-shoots-portraits-with-a-thermal-camera-1437109/
Top 5 Australian Documentaries on VOD
1: Beama Films – Gurrumul – Paul Damien Williams
Celebrated by audiences at home and abroad, indigenous artist Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was one of the most important and acclaimed voices to ever come out of Australia. Blind from birth, he found purpose and meaning through songs and music inspired by his community and country on Elcho Island in far North East Arnhem Land. Living a traditional Yolngu life, his breakthrough album ‘Gurrumul’ brought him to a crossroads as audiences and artists around the world began to embrace his music
https://beamafilm.com/watch/gurrumul2: Ozflix – Bastardy – Amiel Courtin-Wilson
An intimate documentary of Jack Charles, a.k.a. "Jackie", the legendary Australian aboriginal actor who co-founded Australia's first indigenous theatre company and struggled with his identity later in life.
https://www.ozflix.tv/#!/browse/film/3387/bastardy3: Docplay – Midnight Oil - Ray Argall
In 1984, Midnight Oil released their iconic record Red Sails in the Sunset. They embarked on a relentless tour around the nation performing raw and electrifying music that reignited the imagination of young Australians. That same year, their lead singer Peter Garrett committed to run for a Senate seat for the Nuclear Disarmament Party. With the mounting pressure of balancing the demands of music and politics this is the year that would make, but nearly break, Australia's most important rock and roll band.
https://www.docplay.com/shows/midnight-oil-1984?fbclid=IwAR0_rkExle7jEiy9Qn2OclINOIW2WYOZnBi-X96VfzdGV-jG0TIXZij3ves4: iWonder – Meal Tickets – Matt De Koning
A band of best friends, a roadie who wanted to be a rockstar, a documentary ten years in the making.
https://app.iwonder.com/titles/402880356755d22e016755d28d9200f45: Guide Doc – Servant or Slave - Steven McGregor
Since 1905 to approximately 1967, thousands of Australian aboriginal girls who were uprooted from their families were treated as slaves while doing domestic labors in the homes of white families. This film tells the story of the time of the “Stolen Generations” in Australia through the testimonies of five women victims of this state policy.
https://guidedoc.tv/documentary/servant-or-slave-documentary-film/
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