Written by Sez Niederer
July 12, 2022
Must-See Films at the 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival
The highlight of Melbourne winter is nearly upon us! Cinephiles, let’s get excited, because today MIFF has launched their full program of incredible films from around the world for the 2022 edition of the Melbourne International Film Festival. With selections from the most prestige film festivals globally, this year’s program delivers a feast for your senses. Here are our top picks from the festival line-up. Tickets on sale to the public from this Friday!
Melbourne International Film Festival 70 will run in cinemas 4-21 August and online 11-28 August.
A HOUSE MADE OF SPLINTERS
Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival. In this poignant and deeply intimate documentary three kids temporarily removed from their parents find friendship and flickers of hope inside the worn walls of a remarkable orphanage in Eastern Ukraine, as a group of dedicated social workers create moments of joy and respite from childhoods all but lost.More info
Starring Cannes Film Festival Best Actor winner Song Kang-ho (Parasite), Kore-eda’s (Shoplifters) tender drama is not to be missed.
Boxes are left out for people to anonymously drop off their unwanted babies. Brought together by chance through a baby box, five individuals embark on an unusual and unexpected journey.More info
Australian Premiere and Closing Night film at MIFF. Nominated for the Grand Jury Award at SXSW, CLEAN is a fly-on-the-wall insight into the world of trauma cleaning through the journey of larger-than-life business owner Sandra Pankhurst and the workers at Melbourne’s Specialised Trauma Cleaning Services.More Info
Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival and Sydney Film Festival’s Best Film award, CLOSE is the hotly anticipated sophomore feature from Lukas Dhont (Girl).
The intense friendship between two 13-year-old boys Léo and Rémi suddenly gets disrupted. Struggling to understand what has happened, Léo approaches Sophie, Rémi’s mother. CLOSE is a film about friendship and responsibility.More Info
CRIMES OF THE FUTURE
Australian premiere of the latest masterpiece from visionary filmmaker David Cronenberg (The Fly, Eastern Promises) starring Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart.
In a not-so-distant future, humankind is learning to adapt to its synthetic surroundings and, as humans alter their biological makeup – some naturally, some surgically – the body itself becomes art.More info
DE HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA
Premiering at Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight, Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Leviathan) take us into the world of medical invasive procedures rarely seen onscreen.
Five centuries ago, anatomist André Vésale opened up the human body to science for the first time in history. Today, DE HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA opens the human body to the cinema. It reveals that human flesh is an extraordinary landscape that exists only through the gaze and attention of others. As places of care, suffering and hope, hospitals are laboratories that connect every body in the world.More Info
DECISION TO LEAVE
Winner of Best Director at Cannes Film Festival, DECISION TO LEAVE is the latest masterpiece from Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden, Oldboy).
A detective falls for a mysterious widow after she becomes the prime suspect in his latest murder investigation. Kind and polite detective Haejun is entrusted with a case of unnatural death in the mountains. While investigating the case, he meets Seorae, the dead victim’s wife, and can’t help but both suspect and develop an interest in her.More Info
DREAMING WALLS: INSIDE THE CHELSEA HOTEL
Nominated for Best Documentary at Berlin Film Festival, DREAMING WALLS examines the legacy of one of New York’s eminent cultural landmarks.
The end of a long upmarket renovation of the legendary Chelsea Hotel in New York City is partly longed for and partly dreaded by the artists who still live there. The film grants us access to their apartments and interweaves the past with the present.More Info
FIRE OF LOVE
Intrepid scientists and lovers Katia and Maurice Krafft died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded. Winner of the Sundance Film Festival Documentary Editing Award.More Info
GREENHOUSE BY JOOST
World Premiere! GREENHOUSE BY JOOST follows internationally renowned zero-waste campaigner Joost Bakker as he builds a self-sustaining home, an ecosystem that provides its occupants with food, water, shelter and energy. Filmed in central Melbourne, GREENHOUSE BY JOOST is an uplifting look at the teamwork and ingenuity behind a paradigm- shifting project that bursts with life.
Screening in the Official Competition at Melbourne International Film Festival, Fran Kranz’s writing and directing debut, MASS features four extraordinary performances by Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton.
Years after an unspeakable tragedy tore their lives apart, two sets of parents agree to talk privately in an attempt to move forward. Thoughtfully examining their journey of grief, anger, and acceptance by coming face-to-face with the ones who have been left behind.More Info
MY OLD SCHOOL
The astonishing true story of Scotland’s most notorious imposter. It’s 1993 and 16 year old Brandon is the new kid in school. Soon he’s top of the class, acing exams and even taking the lead in the school musical. He’s the model pupil, until he’s unmasked…
Official selection at Sundance Film Festival, featuring Alan Cumming.
Winner of the Audience Award & Festival Favourite Award at Sundance Film Festival. Enthralling and intimate, director Daniel Roher’s NAVALNY unfolds with the pace of a thriller as it follows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in his quest to identify the men who poisoned him in August 2020. Shot in Germany as the story unfolded and offering extraordinary access to the investigation, NAVALNY is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that is also a study of Navalny the man – a portrait of a leader intent on reform who will not be cowed by anything, including his own poisoning.More Info
Included in a specially curated strand of films depicting the iconic city of Melbourne and those who dwell within.
NOISE deals with the response of an ordinary young man to the challenge posed when a community is affected by tragic events. The film shows we are at our best when the worst occurs. Matthew Saville’s debut film is utterly compelling with Brendan Cowell in the role of his career as a tinnitus-afflicted officer.
Also included in the accompanying collection of essays Melbourne on Film: Cinema That Defines Our City.More Info
ROBE OF GEMS
Winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Natalia López Gallardo’s feature debut will screen as part of the Official Competition at Melbourne International Film Festival.
In the midst of a divorce, Isabel leaves the city with her two children for her family’s abandoned country house. She soon discovers that the sister of her housekeeper, María , has gone missing. When Isabel offers her help, an unspoken pact to find the missing one is born between the two women. Meanwhile, Roberta, the police commander in charge of the investigation, tries to get her son out of the cartels.More Info
Direct from Cannes Film Festival, RODEO will set fire to the MIFF Official Competition.
Hot tempered and fiercely independent, Julia finds escape in a passion for motorcycles and the high-octane world of urban ‘Rodeos’ – illicit gatherings where riders show off their bikes and their latest daring stunts. After a chance meeting at a Rodeo Julia finds herself drawn into a clandestine and volatile clique and, striving to prove herself to the ultra-masculine group, she is faced with a series of escalating demands that will make or break her place in the community.More Info
Starring Beanie Feldstein, Steven Yeun, Richard Jenkins and Amy Schumer.
Three generations of the Blake family gather to celebrate in a dilapidated apartment in lower Manhattan.
As darkness falls outside and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the group’s deepest fears are laid bare. The piercingly funny and haunting debut film from writer/director Stephen Karam, adapted from his Tony Award-winning play, THE HUMANS explores the hidden dread of a family and the love that binds them together.More info
THE PASSENGERS OF THE NIGHT
Golden Bear Nominee at the Berlin International Film Festival, starring the captivating Charlotte Gainsbourg.
On election night in 1981, celebrations spill out onto the street and there is an air of hope and change throughout Paris. But for Elisabeth, her marriage is coming to an end, and she will now have to support herself and her two teenage children. She finds work at a late-night radio show and encounters a troubled teenager named Talulah whom she invites into her home. With them, Talulah experiences the warmth of a family for the first time.More info
THE QUIET GIRL
Winner of Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus at Berlin International Film Festival, THE QUIET GIRL is a heartfelt instant classic.
Rural Ireland. 1981. A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her overcrowded, dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. She blossoms in their care, but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth.More Info
THE REASON I JUMP
Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at Sundance, THE REASON I JUMP is an immersive cinematic documentary. Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, the film explores the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world.More Info
WHERE IS ANNE FRANK
From the director of Waltz with Bashir, WHERE IS ANNE FRANK screened in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival.
Kitty, the imaginary girl to whom Anne Frank wrote her famous diary, magically comes to life in the Anne Frank House in present-day Amsterdam. We follow Kitty as she travels across Europe and back to Anne Frank’s time, armed with the precious book, in search of her beloved friend.More info
YOU WON'T BE ALONE
Sundance Film Festival selected YOU WON’T BE ALONE stars Noomi Rapace, & Alice Englert.
Goran Stolevski’s astonishing debut is a visually spectacular supernatural tale about a young shape-shifting witch trying to understand what it means to be human.More Info