Melbourne International Film Festival delays in-person screenings, expands online program

The festival kicks off this Thursday

The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has switched up how it will deliver its 2021 program in light of capacity restrictions in Victoria.

MIFF will run between 5-22 August in a number of cinemas across Victoria as well as online. The festival’s program was initially designed to screen in-person films for the first half, followed by online screenings for the second half. Considering Victorian cinemas are currently subject to a 100-person cap, online screenings (known as MIFF Play) will now run over the course of the entire program, while in-person screenings are pushed back to the program’s second half.

The festival’s opening night gala film, Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson, will now be screened on August 12 to mark the commencement of the in-person program.


“We are determined to share our wonderful program, and the work of so many incredible filmmakers, with audiences – through moving our entire schedule to make the most in-cinema screenings for the largest audience possible, utilising large capacity venues such as the Coburg Drive In, and expanding MIFF Play’s digital festival season, so that audiences anywhere in Australia can make MIFF happen, even in 2021,” festival director Al Cossar said in a statement.

Festival organisers have also announced a number of additional titles, including Julia Ducournau’s Palme D’Or-winning film Titane, Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s Rehana Maryam Noor and Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World, among others.

MIFF’s 69th program was announced last month and includes a record 40 world premieres and 154 Australian premieres.