Film buffs, you have some serious scheduling to do. The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) 2017 program has finally been released, with tickets on sale this Friday. The 2017 festival showcases over 358 films in just eighteen days from August 3 to 20.

The program includes headliners from Cannes, Berlin and Sundance festivals such as The Square, winner of the Palme d’Or, Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck starring Julianne Moore, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless and The Killing of a Sacred Deer from Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell. Screenings to the headline events sell out fast, and this year will be no exception.

Hear My Eyes, a collective that collaborates with local musicians to reinterpret a film’s soundtrack, is involved in the festival this year with Melbourne group Krakatau to perform an original live score alongside the 1973 surreal animation Fantastic Planet. Following the success of their events at the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival, this one is sure to be popular.

The 2017 program also unveils Pioneering Women, a collection of 80s and early 90s Australian films directed by women, paying tribute to trailblazers such as Ann Turner and her film Celia, Gillian Armstrong’s Starstruck and Tracey Moffatt’s Bedevil. Pioneering Women will also host a panel and guest Q&As with some of Australia’s best women in film during the festival.

To celebrate Sally Potter’s new film The Party, this year’s retrospective will focus on the celebrated director of Ginger & Rosa and Rage. Ever the overachiever, Potter has written and directed films since she was fourteen, and her innovative range of styles and risk-taking subject matter will be a centrepiece throughout the festival.

If you aren’t busy attending the thirty-one world premieres at MIFF this year, there’s also a lineup of special events to lap up, including acting, editing and cinematography masterclasses, MIFF Talks and an overnight sci-fi marathon at The Astor – you might lose sleep, but at least you’ll see more films than your friends.


The Melbourne International Film Festival runs from August 3 to 20 at venues across Melbourne. The full 2017 program can be viewed here.

Magenta Sheridan is a writer, illustrator and editorial intern at Going Down Swinging. She has had work published in Voiceworks and Feminartsy and is currently completing her honours thesis in creative writing at the University of Melbourne.