Buckle up animation fans, the Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF) is getting ready to screen at ACMI. With over 400 films from 30 countries all curated into nearly 40 screenings, MIAF truly is a feast of animation catering to every taste. Here are some of my personal highlights.
Our International Programs include such a comprehensive collection of new animation that it’s hard to pick out a single film as a favourite. What I really love is the glorious panoramic snapshot of the international animation scene that they provide collectively. That said, Barry Purves’ new film Plume is a triumph, all of the new Estonian films really rocked my world when I saw them, and National Film Board of Canada films are the dependable highlights that they usually are.
It gets a bit more interesting when it comes to the special programs though. Easily the one I had the most fun putting together was our Klasky Csupo restrospective (these guys created the first three seasons of The Simpsons and all episodes of the cult classic Duckman). I spent some time hanging out with Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo in LA and found out they had made a vast number of ‘pilots’ that have never been shown publicly. What a treasure trove. I can’t wait to show these!
I also think people are going to be fairly intrigued by the style and diversity of animation they’ll discover in our two programs focusing on new Japanese animation. The Tokyo University of the Arts animation course went stratospheric when Koji Yamamura took it over a few years ago. The best of these films are now hot property at festivals all over the world, and showing at MIAF this year.
The second program looks at the best of the works from the CALF Collective, a quirky little posse of young Japanese animators that are getting screenings everywhere. People often assume Japanese animation is just about anime. That’s a big mistake, and these programs will REALLY make that point.
If I had to choose just one program to watch it would be the Australian Showcase. It’s our most important program and is really strong this year. This program will tour around Australia and internationally, with its first international screening to take place in South Korea just three weeks after MIAF.
So buckle up for a whirlwind of a festival. It’s all go around here, and we hope to bring you along for the ride!
– Malcolm Turner, MIAF Director
MIAF is showing at ACMI from Sunday 17 June to Sunday 24 June. For more information see the ACMI website.