Melbourne International Film Festival to return to cinemas, reveals premiere screenings

Films starring Courtney Barnett, Archie Roach and The Triffids will be screened over the festival's duration

The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will be returning to cinemas this year, after last year’s virtual event.

The festival’s 69th instalment will be taking place in a range of cinemas across Melbourne and regional Victoria between 5-22 August. The opening night screening will feature Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend Of Molly Johnson, marking the festival’s first-ever opening night screening from a female Indigenous director.


“This is a film made for MIFF’s return to cinema – an outback western of grand vision; a resonant, revisionist force of filmmaking that has much to say about our country then, and who we are now,” MIFF artistic director Al Cossar said in a statement.

“The film will lead a slate of extraordinary Australian storytellers – emerging, established, revered – who give momentum and meaning to the core of MIFF this year.”

While the full program will be unveiled on July 13, festival organisers have shared details of the 11 films it will be premiering. Courtney Barnett will feature in Danny Cohen’s film Anonymous Club, which “[explores] the inner life of the notoriously shy artist amidst her significant rise to fame”.

Elsewhere, rock legends The Triffids are the subject of Jonathan Alley’s film Love in Bright Landscapes, and Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter’s 2004 performance with the Australian Art Orchestra will be revisited in Philippa Bateman’s directorial debut, Wash My Soul in the Rivers’ Flow.

Melbourne band The Murlocs have been enlisted for the annual Hear My Eyes event, in which the group will perform their own reimagined score to Gregor Jordan’s film Two Hands, which stars Heath Ledger in his breakout role.


Memberships and passes are currently on sale through the festival website.

MIFF went virtual in 2020 under the name MIFF 68½. Its program spanned 113 films from 56 countries.