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MIFF opens in a hail of excitement

The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is back! Melbourne-based filmmaker Lousie Alston, whose short film Photocopier is showing at MIFF this year, shares her opening night experience and must-see films.

MIFF opening nightMy partner was running late for opening night, so I lined up on the red carpet by myself behind the stars of Winners and Losers. They were glittering and gorgeous and I was asked to wait while they had their photos taken. “Look over here please Zoe”, “Over here thanks Melanie”, “one more please Catherine”, “Thanks ladies”.

I was motioned along and the silence from the photographers was deafening. So I took my seat early next to the multi-talented Peter Moon. We discussed the difference between writing sketch comedy and screenplays, my current work directing Neighbours and his experience acting on the show. We were interrupted by the speeches, with the highlight being Geoffrey Rush reciting the lyrics of “I’m so Excited” with a straight face.

MIFF opening night partyOpening night film was Pedro Almodovar’s I’m So Excited. It was classic Almodovar colour and camp, set mostly in the cockpit and business class seats of a stricken aircraft. It wasn’t just sitting next to Peter Moon that made me think of our own beloved gay airline stewards from comedy sketch show, Fast Forward.

It turned out I knew quite a few people at the after party. My partner arrived late and fell into conversation with his old mate from school, Adam Zwar. They discussed the appalling lack of cricket-themed films in recent times. The night ended with me shaking the hand of Geoffrey Rush. I decided this couldn’t be topped and went home to dream of dancing airline stewards.

My next big MIFF day is Saturday. I am looking forward to seeing the Great Escape on the big screen and following it with scream fest Patrick and A Field in England at the scary time of 11.30pm.

My other top picks for this year are:

The Turning – I have joined the buzz anticipating this!
A Field in England – Looks like a classic Hammer Horror.
Passion – Rachel McAdams is great.
Foxfire – I’m taking a punt.
Pussy Riot a Punk Prayer – I am fascinated by the Pussy Riot phenomenon.
Aim High In Creation – Looks hilarious, and it’s shot by Nicola Daley, director of photography of my short film, Photocopier.

Melbourne International Film Festival runs until 11 August. Check out our Miss Manners’ Guide to make your festival experience more enjoyable.

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