By Lauren Valmadre, HRAFF Program Director

Melbourne winter is well and truly upon us, which also means, it’s nearly time for MIFF! There are so many fantastic films to choose from in this year’s impressive program. Here are five films below at the top of my wishlist.

The Square
Dir: Ruben Östlund

At the top of my list is Swedish provocateur Ruben Östlund’s 2017 Cannes Palme d’Or winning film The Square. The reviews have been astounding! If his latest satire (aimed at the cultural elite) is anything like his previous masterpiece Force Majeure, then we can expect an unforgettable cinematic experience.

The Silent Eye
Dir: Amiel Courtin-Wilson

Visionary Australian filmmaker (and HRAFF 2017 Film Jury member), Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s latest is another film I’m really looking forward to seeing at MIFF. Capturing the combined talents of free jazz pioneer, Cecil Taylor, and iconic Japanese dance artist, Min Tanaka, in a 70-minute performance piece – the results are sure to be breathtaking.

Beach Rats
Dir: Eliza Hittman

I was completely blown away by Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love at MIFF in 2014. I cannot wait to see her latest instalment, Beach Rats. Hittman is becoming highly regarded for her authentic portrayals of coming-of-age sexuality. Her recent major award win at Sundance only further proves she’s one to watch.

I am Not Your Negro
Dir: Raoul Peck

One of the most anticipated documentaries of the festival has to be the critically acclaimed (and deeply socially relevant), I am Not Your Negro . Over the past year at HRAFF we have seen a growing amount of films concerning the continuous gross inequality faced by the African-American community. This Oscar-nominated documentary profiles the life of iconic civil rights activist, James Baldwin, and serves as a potent reminder that the battle is far from over.

The Go-Betweens: Right Here 
Dir: Kriv Stenders

It’s no secret that I am completely obsessed with music documentaries so my number one pick for this year’s festival has to be Kriv Stenders’ The Go-Betweens: Right Here. A truly iconic, influential Australian band that never really got the international recognition they deserved. I’m hoping for a collective heart-swell and sing-along from the audience when ‘The Streets of Your Town’ starts blaring on the cinema speakers. Can’t wait!


As well as these films, a few absolute must-sees I personally recommend include Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$, Amanda Kernell’s Sami Blood, Rahul Jain’s Machines and Amanda Lipitz STEP.


Tickets are on sale now so get booking. See you in the cinema!


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