MIFF 2003

James Hewison

Welcome to the 52nd edition of the Melbourne International Film Festival. I promise that your senses will be stimulated as we traverse the myriad of cinema cultures and their filmmakers: from the delirious Canadian visionary Guy Maddin to new voices from Japan in Brain Monkey Sushi. The Festival is truly a 'World Citizen'.

It is timely that master Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami will travel from Tehran to Melbourne to present this year's centrepiece selection of his profoundly humanist work.

The MIFF 2003 programme peers beyond the glitter of the Bollywood behemoth, traces the arc of Asian martial arts films into recent Western mainstream acceptance and reveals the 'frissons' of challenging new French cinema.  

Pivotal to this Festival is Australian film and the yields this year are as rich as they are diverse. Whether watching new work from Varda, Panahi and Haneke or revelations by newcomers Barmak, Li and Saville, we see that the people in these films are not much different from us.

My thanks to the dedicated Festival staff. I'd like to acknowledge the contribution of the MIFF Chair and Board, MIFF members and supporters, including the film community, sponsors and of course particularly filmmakers themselves.

James Hewison
Executive Director

Introduction taken from the 2003 official guide

Festival Program
215 feature films and 124 short films were screened from 23 July to 10 August
Full Program

Program in Focus
The 52nd MIFF program's curatorial umbrellas include International Panorama, New Russian Cinema, Uncompromising French Film, Martial Arts in Focus, Discoveries from India, Music on Film, Raw Japanese Cinema and Asian films in Regional Focus. Emergence: The Latest Generation of Women Filmmakers from the East included films from Israel, Iran, South Korea and China. A series of forums, panels, lectures and Q&A sessions took place. Mach 03, a program designed as a youth entry point into MIFF, boasted high-energy, raw and street-savvy features, documentaries and exclusive live events. 

Filmmaker in Focus
Abbas Kiarostami. A retrospective of the filmmaker's work was screened. 
{focus Abbas Kiarostami}

Opening Night Film
Japanese Story (Sue Brooks, 2003)
Harvie Krumpet (Adam Elliot)

Image Gallery


MIFF 2003


Ka la shi tiao gou
Director Lu Xuechang
MIFF 2003


Talaye Sorgh
MIFF 2003


Die Golden Zitronen
MIFF 2003


Gokudo Kyofu Daigekijo: Gozu
MIFF 2003
MIFF 2003
MIFF 2003


Jiguereul jikyeora!
MIFF 2003


Ich Kenn Keinen: Allein Unter Heteros
Director Jochen Hick
MIFF 2003


Le Temps du Loup
MIFF 2003
MIFF 2003

From the Festival Files

Making the Festival

The Melbourne Film Festival began as the idea of a few passionate individuals. A sub-committee, formed from delegates to the 1951 Australian Council of Film Societies film weekend, suggested that a small festival of films in the tourist town of Olinda should be held in 1952. The resulting festival was a testament to the do-it-yourself initiative of the Olinda festival committee. As some 800 festiv …

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 …