Festival Archive 1952-2018

The MIFF online archive contains 66 past editions of the festival (1952–2017) 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 1959

Festival Program
25 feature films and 64 short films were screened from 25 May to 15 June
Full Program

Program in Focus
The 1959 program moved away from the educational and nature documentary-type short films of earlier programs, to include more feature films. Some of the major films shown included Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, Bardem's Calle Mayor, Kautner's The Captain from Koepenick and Chmielewski's No Place for Eve to Sleep. A lack of subtitled prints for Italian and French films meant more Spanish, Norwegian, Filippino and Romanian cinema was featured.  

Featured Film
Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, 1951)

Featured Film 
Ivan the Terrible, Part II (Sergei Eisenstein, 1945)

This year marks the establishment of the first Australian Film Festival. By co-ordinating the activities of various festivals, communities in four of our capital cities - Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney - will have access to films acquired from overseas for a brief period of five weeks during May-June 1959.

 While the overall organisation of collecting entries from all parts of the world and allocating them to the various festivals was undertaken by the newly established Australian Film Institute, the actual running of each festival is in the hands of autonomous groups in each city.

From a large number of entries, the Institute selected fewer for participation than were accepted in the past few years. This residue of higher quality films will be shown in the eighth Melbourne Film Festival. It is regrettable that there are no Italian or French feature films in the programme. This absence is due to the fact that no English sub-titled prints of suitable films could be made available to the Festival this year. However, we are pleased to include for the first time Spanish, Norwegian and Philippine films; together with two world-famous productions from Mexico and Denmark, which the Festival has tried to import for many years.

Once again, the Melbourne Film Festival has enjoyed the official recognition of the International Federation of Film Producers' Associations, which made it one of the eight endorsed non-competitive festivals in the world.

Unique in character by being organised by a non-commercial film organisation on a yearly membership basis, the Festival will be guided by the same single-minded aim as in the past: to bring the highest achievements of cinematography to this country for the benefit of the selective film-goer, and for the improvement of the film-fare appearing on commercial screens across the nation.

Festival Director Erwin Rado

Introduction taken from the 1959 official guide

Erwin Rado

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