What a year! If you can even call it that – some may deem it more a calendar of catastrophe, the days losing meaning against the whiplash swings and shifts in our city and community.

MIFF prepared for this moment in the design of a 2021 festival of moving parts: one with city, suburban, drive-in, regional and digital elements, welcoming those near and far. Inherent in that design was a creative response to the volatility of the world around us; we wanted to reach audiences, to continue to deliver and celebrate cinema – despite our vulnerability – with curiosity and positivity

in this changed and changing world.

We hoped for the best but planned for the worst – and we got it.

In 2021, MIFF navigated the severe impact of two metropolitan lockdowns and one regional lockdown, truly a set of circumstances that leaves the thesaurus exhausted when it comes to alternatives to that cliché du jour: ‘unprecedented’.

With the determination of our staff, and the outpouring of support from our filmmakers, partners and public, we continued, delivering as much of MIFF to as many audiences as possible. We maintained a wonderful program of auteurs and breakthroughs, cinema that ranged from the comforting to the challenging – a line-up that continued to look across the world and through the moment.

We are enormously proud of the films and filmmakers that were part of MIFF this year. They represent, in the best tradition of so many films and so much storytelling, a battle against the odds, and an overcoming.

If there is a message to receive against the mess that COVID manifested in 2021, it is this: that moments like this make us acutely, profoundly aware of what MIFF means to our community, which you will see reflected in these pages. For that, we are grateful, and we are given momentum to go forward.

To those reading – thank you.

Victoria Pope

Al Cossar

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