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MIFF Artistic Director Welcome
My name is Al Cossar – many of you may have met me in the context of MIFF (or of MIFFs past), and I'm delighted to greet you as MIFF's incoming Artistic Director.
Which is not to say I'm wholly new to all of this – in fact, I've been a part of the festival for nearly 9 years in some way, shape or form: as MIFF's Programmer since the 2011 festival (or Acting/Associate Artistic Director for the 2018 one), and right back in the day as a volunteer Features Panelist in 2010. My history with the festival is a personal and professional culmination of my passion: a square-eyed-stupor-inducing appreciation for all kinds of cinema, one that I'm always delighted to see reflected in the audiences who share our program each year.
My vision for MIFF is a festival setting that is inclusive, welcoming, diverse; that discovers, celebrates, champions the most compelling voices in cinema from Australia and around the world; responsive to new ways in which stories are told, and deeply reverent to the history of their telling. MIFF should be a place of anticipation, a source of curiosity, of adventure, a place to challenge, discover and rediscover – a ways away, I look forward to seeing you emerge from MIFF 2019 cinematically delirious, and in the meantime I look forward to sharing what's new and what's upcoming in the world of MIFF from myself and our wonderful team.
I want to also acknowledge here the incredible Michelle Carey, an amazing leader and a great friend during my time at MIFF. Michelle is someone who has championed all corners of Australian and world cinema, who has challenged, delighted, surprised audiences with the roads MIFF has taken. Hers is a legacy writ large in the corridors of Melbourne film culture, and I'm deeply appreciative as a colleague, a friend, a fan, of her work. We wish her all the best as her family depart for new chapters and globetrotting adventures.
So to October, a small step and a seemingly huge distance from the wall-to-wall worldwide kaleidoscope of film that MIFF 2018 brought to Melbourne this year; instead, we're now in the months where we make the first inroads, plan schemes, hatch plots, and start the first foundations for what MIFF 2019 will look like. There's a lot of ideas, and there's an empty page – full of potential, one of the most exciting sights there is. Until next time.
Al Cossar, MIFF Artistic Director