Melbourne International Film Festival records largest ever audience for digital festival

With an estimated audience of 307,500

Organisers of the Melbourne International Film Festival say this year’s digital event, MIFF 68 1/2, has had the largest audience in the festival’s 69-year history.

The festival recorded over 205,000 streams since beginning on August 6, with organisers estimating an actual audience of 307,500 – based on the assumption that each stream is watched by 1.5 people. Last years event was attended by 190,000 people.

MIFF reports that 20% of viewers came from outside of Victoria, with Australian content composing 32% of all streams. Streams of free content accounted for 69% of all festival streams.

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Looky Looky, Here Comes Cooky, a documentary about Captain Cook told from an Indigenous perspective, was one of the three most streamed films of the entire festival.

MIFF 68 1/2 will continue until this Sunday (August 23), with the closing night film Ema, directed by Pablo Larraín. Larraín will also conduct a post-screening Q&A about the film with MIFF Ambassador Justin Kurzel, which will be followed by a special late night performance from The Huxleys, entitled ‘Schlockdown’.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival was forced to announce its physical cancellation for the first time in its history in April. In May, they relaunched under the moniker of MIFF 68 1/2 with a slightly truncated program of 113 films.

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