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MIFF embraces cultural diversity

28 July 20150 comments

This year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) allows viewers to be transported through screen into the triumphs and tragedies of the global community.

The festival creates connections between cultures and encourages audiences to embrace both the uniqueness and similarities of our beautifully diverse global landscape.

Founded in 1952, the MIFF is one of the oldest film festivals in the world and remains a significant screen event in Australia.

The annual festival celebrates and acknowledges the human condition in all its forms through showcasing emerging and established local and global filmmaking talent.

Through exposing viewers to various qualities of the human experience, the festival is contributing to the current migrant and refugee debate by creating a more informed community.

One particular film, Melbourne, shows a young couple on the eve of their move from Tehran to their intended new home in Melbourne. The film examines what happens when good people are forced to confront troubling circumstances though stunning cinematography and skilful performances.

Like many of the films in the festival, Melbourne unravels cultural and personal complexities in a highly accessible and perceptive way.

Visual learning is one of the most effective forms of education, allowing creative directors and skilled actors to teach through film, and create a language understood by all.

The strength of MIFF lies in its ability to teach viewers about our complex and interconnected world by using cinema to provide an extraordinarily broad view of relatable everyday experiences as well as extraordinary events.

A particular focus of this year’s festival is on Asian cinematic culture, premiering films from India, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam, to name a few.

‘Accent on Asia’ allows viewers to have a wider grasp of a continent often shown to Australian audiences through film in a limited capacity.

While the festival is coveted for its global focus, MIFF is also Australia’s largest showcase of new Australian cinema.

In Snow Monkey, renowned Australian photojournalist George Gittoes, shows the unseen nature of Afghanistan’s politics, culture and society.

The documentary, which was created in Gittoes’ new home in the remote Jalalabad province, follows three gangs of children going about their daily lives in a war-torn land.

Viewers are provided with a rare window into often forgotten lives that are filled with humanity and hope yet excluded from your nightly news.

The festival not only encourages audiences to be more compassionate towards those seeking safety globally, but it also exposes viewers to the delights and differences of all cultures in a way that can only be explored through film.

MIFF runs from July 30th to August 16th in various venues throughout Melbourne. Peruse the full program here.


Ruby Brown
AMES Staff Writer