MIFF 1956

Organising Committee

Once again a co-operation amongst various groups concerned with the cinema has made the Festival possible.

It has became the meeting place for everyone who is seriously interested in the film, and it is now firmly established in the cultural life of our community.

 This year we have entered a new phase of consolidation developing the Festival within the general pattern evolved in earlier years.

 It has always been the aim of the Festival to present the widest range of films from all parts of the world, especially those films which are unlikely to reach our local theatre screens.

 On this occasion we are delighted to be ale to screen feature from thirteen countries, and all of them major productions. This contrasts with the rather restricted coverage available to us at earlier festivals. The growth in status of the Festival is further demonstrated by the action of three overseas Governments in officially entering films for exhibition.

We hope to continue our development and make the Melbourne Festival equal to the world best.

Introduction taken from the 1956 official guide

Festival Program
15 feature films and 67 short films screened from 22 May to 9 June
Full Program

Program in Focus
The 1956 program grouped feature films into 6 programs of double features, with screenings spilling over into day sessions on the weekends. Retrospective films screened included Threepenny Opera (G.W. Pabst, 1931) and The Atonement of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller, 1923), starring Greta Garbo. Films of note included Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) and for the 5th year discussion sessions and films centered on the theme of Film and the Child were programmed. Over 13 foreign countries participated in the 1956 festival, introducing Melbournians to films from Poland, Brazil, India and China.

Featured Film
Othello (Orson Welles, 1955)

Featured Film 
Animal Farm (John Halas and Joy Batchelor, 1954)

Image Gallery

From the Festival Files

On Screen and in the Cinema

The magic of the festival is reached through its screens. These are places and spaces that captivate our attention, providing windows where films come to life before our eyes. As portals to the world, the festival’s screens allow us to travel the globe, move through time, and see through another’s eyes. … Yet these screens also remind us of home. They are fixed in place, in our memories and in o …

You Had to Be There

The thrill of the festival happens in a moment. In the shared moments created in being present at the festival, and in sharing experiences with others in the MIFF community. These moments are the instances that set the festival apart from the everyday, that remind us that we live in the present, and that some experiences are just too unique to replicate. … Each year, we return to the festival to …