The MIFF Premiere Fund provides minority co-financing to new Australian quality theatrical films (narrative-drama and documentaries) that then world premiere at MIFF. The Fund deepens MIFF’s relationship with filmmaking talent and builds a pipeline of quality Australian content for the festival.
The MIFF Premiere Fund Executive Producer is Mark Woods, a former CEO of both Screen Ireland and Ausfilm as well as having served as Head of Content Investment & International Acquisitions at Showtime Australia. Prior to MIFF, Woods co-invested in and/or Executive Produced many quality productions, including Rabbit Proof Fence, Cannes selected Japanese Story, Somersault, Golden Globe-nominated, Breakfast on Pluto, Cannes Palme d’Or winner The Wind that Shakes the Barley, and the Oscar-winning Six Shooter.
More detailed information about the Fund for film practitioners is at miffpremierefund.com.
Now in its second decade, the Premiere Fund has a proud history of assisting the telling of a diverse range of stories from a diverse range of talent and voices; view the Premiere Fund highlights clip here.
Of the 70 films co-financed thus far by the Premiere Fund:
- Some 29% had female directors (versus Screen Australia-reported industry average of 16%)
- 62% have had female producers (versus industry average of 32%);
- 42% included youth themes (including Paper Planesand H is for Happiness);
- 30% had elements portraying Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALDs), with 8% having CALD creative principals (director and/or producer(s));
- 16% included Indigenous themes and/or characters (including Bran Nue Dae), with 8% having Indigenous creative principals;
- 15% included LGBTIQ characters and/or issues, with 23% involving LGBTIQ creative principals
- 45% involved regional themes and/or regional shoots
- Some 49% of Premiere Fund movies are helmed by first time directors, with 22% of the overall tally being directed by alumni of the MIFF Accelerator Lab emerging director program and 47% securing part of their financing from MIFF 37ºSouth Market.
Other key milestones include:
- Family film Paper Planes grossed almost $10 million at the Australia/NZ box office and won the inaugural CineFest $100,000 film prize in 2014
- Premiere Fund titles have won more than 60 awards and more than 300 key festival selections including Berlin (Bran Nue Dae, Buoyancy, Emo The Musical, Galore, H is for Happiness, Make Hummus Not War, Monsieur Mayonnaise, Paper Planes, The Turning); Cannes (These Final Hours); Rotterdam (Electric Boogaloo, Machete Maidens Unleashed, Not Quite Hollywood, Have You Seen the Listers?); Toronto (Balibo, Blame, Blessed, Bran Nue Dae, Butterfly Tree, Cut Snake, Downriver, Electric Boogaloo, Loved Ones, Machete Maidens Unleashed, Mother of Rock, Not Quite Hollywood, Paper Planes)
- Indigenous-themed feature documentary Putuparri & The Rainmakers won the 2015 CineFest $100,000 Film Prize, with Cinefest Jury Chair David Wenham remarking: "A story and characters so compelling and emotionally engaging that it reinforced the power of cinema to entertain, touch us deeply and stay with us forever.”
- Khmer-language anti-slavery drama Buoyancy, which Guardian Australia praised as "a powerful reminder of cinema’s ability to provide a window to the world," won the Ecumenical Jury prize at 2019’s Berlinale Panorama and was Australia's official entry for the 2020 Oscars;
- Acute Misfortune was named by Guardian Australia as the Best Australian Film of 2019 and one of the ten best Australian films of the decade with the publication lauding the film about late Archibald Prize-winning artist Adam Cullen as "a biopic for the ages" that explores "big ideas about the nature of Australian culture and celebrity."
- Family film H is for Happiness selected to open Generation K-plus at Berlinale 2020 having won the 2019 CineFest $100,000 Film Prize, with Jury Chair Rachel Ward saying: "If we have the power as jurors to change the world to be a better place, then voting for H is for Happiness to win CinefestOZ 2019 is our contribution."