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.
Under the charge of MIFF Chair Teresa Zolnierkiewicz, the MIFF Premiere Fund Executive Producer is Mark Woods, former CEO of the Irish Film Board and Ausfilm and Showtime Australia Head of Content Investment & International Acquisitions. Prior to MIFF, Woods co-invested in and/or Executive Produced many quality productions, including Rabbit Proof Fence, Japanese Story, Somersault, 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.
Entering 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.
Of the 70 films co-financed thus far by the Premiere Fund:
- Some 30% had female directors (versus Screen Australia-reported industry average of 16%)
- 61% have had female producers (versus industry average of 32%);
- 44% included youth themes (including Paper Planes);
- 32% had elements portraying Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALDs), with 7% having CALD creative principals (director and/or producer(s));
- 15% included Indigenous themes and/or characters (including Bran Nue Dae), with 6% having Indigenous creative principals;
- 13% included LGBTIQ characters and/or issues, with 20% involving LGBTIQ creative principals
- 45% involved regional themes and/or regional shoots
- Some 51% 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 48% securing part of their financing from MIFF 37ºSouth Market.
Other key milestones include:
- Children’s 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 285 key festival selections including Berlin (Buoyancy, Make Hummus Not War, The Turning, Galore, Paper Planes, Bran Nue Dae, Monsieur Mayonnaise, Emo The Musical); Cannes (These Final Hours); Rotterdam (Electric Boogaloo, Not Quite Hollywood, Have You Seen the Listers?); Toronto (Cut Snake, Electric Boogaloo, Paper Planes, Downriver, Balibo, Blessed, Bran Nue Dae, Not Quite Hollywood, Blame, Machete Maidens Unleashed, Mother of Rock, Loved Ones, The Butterfly Tree)
- 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.”