Festival Archive 1952-2019

The MIFF online archive contains 68 past editions of the festival (1952–2019) for you to browse or search through. We hope the archive will be a resource used by festival goers, film lovers, students, historians and whoever else would like to learn more about the types of films MIFF has screened over the years, or to track the trajectory of the festival’s curatorship, its directors and its scope.

Search options currently include: ‘Festival Year’, ‘Film Title’, ‘Director’ and ‘Country’.

A big thank you to our MIFF volunteers and partners who have helped make this archive possible.

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. With over 12,000 film synopses and more than 9000 directors’ names, there may appear a few typos here and there as our database comes to terms with special characters (my, there was a huge amount of Eastern European cinema screened at the festival back in the 60s!) and other items that need manual tweaking. Similarly, sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are slowly filling these in with further research. 

MIFF 1956

Festival Program
15 feature films and 67 short films screened from 22 May to 9 June
Full Program

Program in Focus
The 1956 program grouped feature films into 6 programs of double features, with screenings spilling over into day sessions on the weekends. Retrospective films screened included Threepenny Opera (G.W. Pabst, 1931) and The Atonement of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1923), starring Greta Garbo. Films of note included Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) and for the 5th year discussion sessions and films centered on the theme of Film and the Child were programmed. Over 13 foreign countries participated in the 1956 festival, introducing Melbournians to films from Poland, Brazil, India and China.

Featured Film
Othello (Orson Welles, 1955)

Featured Film 
Animal Farm (John Halas and Joy Batchelor, 1954)

Once again a co-operation amongst various groups concerned with the cinema has made the Festival possible.

It has became the meeting place for everyone who is seriously interested in the film, and it is now firmly established in the cultural life of our community.

 This year we have entered a new phase of consolidation developing the Festival within the general pattern evolved in earlier years.

 It has always been the aim of the Festival to present the widest range of films from all parts of the world, especially those films which are unlikely to reach our local theatre screens.

 On this occasion we are delighted to be ale to screen feature from thirteen countries, and all of them major productions. This contrasts with the rather restricted coverage available to us at earlier festivals. The growth in status of the Festival is further demonstrated by the action of three overseas Governments in officially entering films for exhibition.

We hope to continue our development and make the Melbourne Festival equal to the world best.

Introduction taken from the 1956 official guide

Organising Committee

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