MIFF Film Competition

MIFF announces the Southern Hemisphere’s richest feature film competition.

There will be even more to celebrate at our 70th anniversary edition in August with the exciting news that the festival will debut the annual MIFF Film Competition.

Initially comprising three awards, the MIFF Film Competition includes as its flagship prize the A$140,000 (approx. US$100,000) Best Film Award – the richest feature film prize in the Southern Hemisphere – supported by the Victorian Government through Film Victoria. Focusing on bold directorial voices and emerging filmmakers, the competition and this prize will celebrate filmmakers on the ascent.

Up to 10 films will be in official selection to compete for the Best Film Award, with all types of feature-length films eligible for inclusion – from fiction to documentary to animation, and any creative variations in between. All competition films will be Australian premieres of directors’ first or second feature-length works. The winning film will be decided by a jury of prominent international and Australian festival guests.

The 70th festival will also see the introduction of the Australian Innovation Prize, recognising an outstanding Australian creative within a film playing in the MIFF program; a large range of roles will be eligible for award consideration such as director, technical or creative lead, and cinema craft. Additionally, 2022 will ring in the return of the MIFF Audience Award.

The introduction of the competition positions MIFF as the only Southern Hemisphere film event to feature all the key components of major international festivals such as Rotterdam and Berlin: a film competition; a screen-content financing market for creatives, producers and investors (37°South Market); a commissioning fund (MIFF Premiere Fund); and talent escalator programs (MIFF Accelerator Lab and MIFF Critics Campus).

“The competition will recognise and amplify the new, the next, the breakthrough and the best in screen from Australia and across the globe, bringing incredible films and filmmakers to Melbourne – and making MIFF truly unmissable in 2022 and beyond.”
– MIFF Artistic Director Al Cossar

“The new competition is an outstanding initiative by MIFF, acknowledging the efforts of first-time filmmakers with financial support for their future endeavours and to keep them motivated. Having just finished my first film, The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson, I understand and know what it takes to bring a film to fruition and how much it can take out of you financially and physically. Introducing a prize of this magnitude is so encouraging.”
– Leah Purcell AM
“MIFF’s new competition and prize is fantastic support for rising talent. It can buy creative time and space for the next project and pay off the bills from the last one! I can’t wait to see the winners. Well done, MIFF.”
– Gillian Armstrong


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